Slow Down

Katie Parkes

Illustration by Katie Parkes

How do you visualize meditation? Just as you may have seen in Hollywood films, is it someone sitting cross-legged humming “ommmm”? Or are you thinking of those most enlightening moments when you have flushed anger from your heart while sitting in complete silence?

Meditating can be what you find works for you. Some people enjoying going deep in the woods to sit on a log overlooking a lake. Some appreciate rolling out a yoga mat on their bedroom floor and lighting a candle. Some may do it while sitting at their computer listening to music and focusing on their breathing. Meditating does not have to be done in any traditional way.

However, Buddha was once asked, “What have you gained from meditation?” He replied, “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.” If you learn to become still and relax your mind you may have problems answered that you never imagined were possible. When refocusing your attention on what you don’t want, and all the emotional charge around it, placing the attention then on what you wish to experience may just allow it to happen.

Some answers in life cannot be answered on Google. When you are struggling to find the answer to that mysterious life question such as “what is the meaning of life?” or “what am I going to do once I finish my undergrad?” – mediating may be your answer. I assure you that mediation will eventually promote inner peace, serenity and tranquility in your heart, mind and soul.

Be aware that meditation does not come easy. It does take time to motivate yourself to take time out of your never-ending day to sit down by yourself peacefully. However, it is possible! Yes, you may want to do it when your housemates are not home so they do not come running into your room talking about the professor they have been inspired by. Needless to say, remember meditation will carry you along the journey of life and allow you to reflect on the path which you are on. May you experience freedom from your thoughts and emotions. The simplicity of life rests in your heart and in the silence of your mind.