Something always tells me that the heart is innocent and it is the mind that corrupts the heart. The mind keeps racing to get the best, but the heart, being tender and complacent tries to stop it and says, “believe me, you have a lot, you don’t need anymore!”. Does the mind listen? Well, in most cases no!
In busy schedules and fast life, we forget to enjoy life. There is no mantra to happiness – it is a perception, an individual one. People find happiness in different things – working at the office, listening to music, traveling, making friends and socializing, sleeping, watching movies and many more things. Happiness is just a state of mind when it syncs with the heart – isn’t it? The heart is relaxed when the mind is happy…
So, what stops the mind from being happy? Changing priorities, countless ambitions, mundane jobs, unsatisfactory pay, monotonous routine? Do you fall into any of these categories?
Whether the answer is yes or no, you could be the not-so-happy person, how much ever you try to hide it. These materialistic things have become integral to us. Without ambition, we lose the purpose of life, without routine we lose the discipline in life, without priorities, we don’t have a direction in life, and without a good pay, we can’t imagine a luxurious (read as basic) life!
With these things in mind, there is always stress to do more, achieve more. There is no doubt that the mind never stops thinking – thinking for the better, thinking for the future, thinking for self and for others. The mind is rustic – it is not trained by itself to handle complex situations and stress. It embraces things beyond its capacity but is definitely open to becoming better and well-equipped to handle failures, stress and real-life problems.
A very powerful tool, that is underestimated and misunderstood by many – meditation – is the key to unlock all the problems in life – yes, those who say that meditation is powerful – are right to the dot.
I am not here to preach, but I’m telling my personal experience about how I faced tough situations and got the solution just like that – through regular meditation. The problems and the solutions both are inside us. It is just that one comes in one state of mind, and the other – in a different state of mind. When you are angry and stressed out – you think of only the problems. Contrarily, when you are relaxed, the solution suddenly pops up.
Meditation enables this transition to happen. Most of the times, we are not able to accept something as a problem! Meditation allows us to accept the problem as is. The problem becomes a task – and then the mind becomes calm. A calm mind allows for better thoughts.
At a certain point in my career, I had a tough job. It was almost like a 12-hr job because of a critical project that needed a lot of rework, testing, handling different team members, answering the questions posed by other teams, giving status updates to the manager, to the client and so on. The days seemed endless and the nights were nightmarish! Even after doing my best, people would question my integrity, my ability to do the job and the number of hours I was putting into it. Apparently, the other team members spent almost the whole day in office, while I spent only 12!
These unwanted things started affecting my productivity as I was thinking more about these than the actual work. I discussed this with my father one day when we were returning home from work.
My father suggested me something that had worked for him for years. No points for guessing what it was.
I wasn’t interested initially because I did not believe sitting or lying back idly for some period of time could change the mind for good! Well, turned out it was more than just that…
What was it?
Sit down, or lie down… relax your body… close your eyes…
You may fall asleep.
You may get negative thoughts.
You may get thoughts about next work, next meeting, next assignment, about you wasting your time, sitting where you are.
You may hear a doorbell, a phone ringing compelling you to get up.
No! Don’t get up! Not yet!
Let the thoughts flow. Forget about what’s happening around. Just let the thoughts flow.
The first day, I just let my thoughts flow. The thoughts just overflowed, one after the other. I got agitated in 20 minutes, got up and went to work.
The second day, I had more thoughts, more aggressive feelings. And I was lying down for about 30 minutes, just allowing random thoughts to pass.
By the third and fourth days, all the negative energy passed through my mind and perhaps it got flushed out of my system.
After about a week, I felt lighter, actually physically lighter. That day, I rested for about 40 minutes and I had no thoughts at all. Absolutely nothing. I tried hard to think of something, but nothing stayed. After I opened my eyes, I felt fresh and energized. I went to the office with new enthusiasm. I did not feel dejected when people raised questions.
This new me confused everyone. I was able to respond to all the sarcasm in a nice, polite way. I was able to finish all the work with a smile. I did not feel irritated or angry. I did not feel the stress! It was like a victory – how could this happen.
My mind did not get any solution per se. But the problem is gone.
Because of this new approach to tackle things – with a relaxed mind, with a happy heart. The problems seemed like temporary glitches, sorted with ease, then and there. I never felt stuck or discouraged by anyone else’s words. Mystic, isn’t it?
After this incident, I practiced meditation regularly. At least 30 minutes a day. I tried doing it at the same time every day because the mind was tuned so. When there were discrepancies, the mind would take time to settle and get into the meditative mode. However, that wasn’t difficult.
Even now, sometimes, I fall asleep, but I am still able to gather the happenings of my surroundings. For example, if I am listening to songs, and I fall asleep, my mom just switches off the music system. But, as soon as the music stops, I get aware of it – and can tell the last song that was playing before the tape was stopped.
That perhaps is the mystic me… I still can’t figure out why that happens, but that’s how it is.
Does it happen to you? Can you figure out what it is?