A huge advantage of regularly practicing meditation is getting familiar with your center. In meditation, we work toward calming the body and mind where we can be more in touch with our feeling nature and higher consciousness, and this gets us to a more neutral place within where we are beyond our likes and dislikes, our successes and setbacks, and other ways in which we identify with who we are. The more often we get to this place where we are still and we are going beyond our normal consciousness, the more we get in tune with our true, essential nature.
When we are living life outside of meditation, out in the world, we have many, many encounters and incidents. These events may make us happy or angry or sad, but each of these events actually contains a big secret.
They are neutral.
The events themselves are not happy or upsetting or sad. We decide how they make us feel, and we typically just follow along with our emotions without putting a lot of thought into it.
Take a minute to let that sit in. Events are not causing your emotions. You are adding your emotion to the events. You are choosing what spin you put to events and taking the emotion from there.
Let's take an example. I bet you were hoping I would bring up my pets again, so let's go there. Last week as I was finishing a meditation I heard a scuffle between the dog and kitten, including one of those noises that indicates injury. I could see the dog seemed ok, but the kitten had run off. I looked around for her for a while before finding her hunkered down under a piece of furniture; a very strange place for her to be, position for her body to take, and she was acting very guarded. I was able to reach her, and when I picked her up I saw blood. In her eye. Arguably the eye would be one of the more alarming places to see blood. I won't do a play-by-play here, but essentially I took her to the emergency vet and luckily the blood was coming from a small laceration on her eyelid, and not the eye itself.
This event was the type that had me on full alert. All my senses were heightened as I tried to figure out where to take her, if her eye was getting worse, what I would do if she had a long treatment time (we were due to go out of town in a matter of hours). I could tell my mind was a bit scattered as I filled out the form at the vet's office. But, although I was in a state of heightened emotion, I was able to remain calm. I know that a regular meditation practice has helped me to stay more centered and not swing dramatically out in excitement or despair. I'm not pretending that the experience was serene, but I didn't panic with fear or desperation.
Another thing that helped was suspending labeling in my mind what was happening as it was happening. I wasn't thinking "this is bad, this is bad, this is bad" or "what if, what if, what if." I was doing my best to be in the moment and let things come as they came.
Controlling our emotions and coming at our lives from a calm center is one of the things that helps us live life more joyfully. We can make conscious effort to do this with each opportunity that arises in our lives, but alternatively we can meditate, or meditate more often, or deeper, or longer, and this will come naturally as a result of us naturally getting more and more in tune with our center. So now, go do!
Sending you much joy today and always.
I am an Ananda® certified meditation teacher. I am passionate about meditation and embrace a yogic lifestyle for greater wellness physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
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