Benefits of Meditation In Difficult Times
“I am convinced more than ever before that meditation is critical to my well being. These past few weeks have been very trying and I have been reminded of the benefits of meditation.”
Our worlds seem to move much too fast. Sometimes as we’re darting around at the speed of light, something unexpected happens to slow us down.
Living through this latest “slow down” of life on Long Island after Hurricane Sandy has motivated me to search for meaning in this unfortunate situation. So, when my electricity was restored this past weekend (after two weeks), I had to ask myself what gifts this experience had given me.
Here’s what I came up with:
1. I read for pleasure: I have a pile of interesting magazine articles that I’ve saved and haven’t had time to really absorb. So when downtime came, unexpectedly, I used the time to read some of those articles that have been piled up for months. It was a great way for me to reconnect with some of the things that really fill my soul.
2. I walked more: My husband and I came up with this idea to conserve gas so we did some errands around town on foot. (For the most part, folks from Long Island do not walk except for exercise).
The weather was brisk but the fresh air seemed invigorating. Aside from enjoying the outdoors, we got a chance to talk to neighbors and storekeepers and even to each other.
3. I was present for others: On days when I was feeling particularly discouraged, cold and feeling sorry for myself, I recognized that supporting others has always been the best way to pull me out of my own despair.
When an acquaintance started to talk about some of the cherished belongings that she had lost, I noticed others turning away. Hers was a very painful story to listen to.
I couldn’t do anything tangible to change what had happened to her. I do know, however, that giving her my full attention in that time of need has taken our friendship to a new level.
4. I discovered new benefits of meditation: My personal meditation practice is something that helps me to stay grounded and balanced in good times and in the most trying times. It helped me during the aftermath of the hurricane to recognize that any discomforts that I was experiencing were only temporary.
Meditation also helped me to feel less stressed, less self-centered and much more compassionate for those whose lives were seriously disrupted by the storm. It’s great to have a powerful tool to remain at peace in spite of what is going on around me.
My hope is that you and your loved ones fared well. My hope too is that you would always be prepared with tools, like meditation, to help you to stay balanced even in the midst of the storms and the trials that occasionally come into our lives.