When coaching my clients in the Boston area, I worked with busy professionals whose schedules were jam packed, leaving them little down time. Even when they walked in the door at home, a new set of responsibilities would be there to greet them. They would lament how stress was an inescapable part of life. The question was, how can peace be found in a world with seemingly endless demands?
We all know how stress can railroad us into endless thought patterns, that prevent us from finding times of peace. The idea of calm in the storm can feel like something only a Buddhist monk can achieve. The truth is, this is a practice not an elusive moment that always feels beyond your grasp.
Vispassana meditation is the practice of having pointed attention on the breath. The translation means insight. There are 10 day retreats which can teach this method in its entirety. Most of us will, most likely, not have the time or dedication to do this. However, there are basic practices that can fit into even the busiest schedules.
Try to find a place this is quiet and without interruptions. This might be in your parked car with your cell phone silenced, or a quiet corner of your home. All you need is quiet and patience, and no attachment to outcomes. Just sit comfortably, close your eyes, and pay attention only to the inhale and exhale of your breath. When you notice your mind wandering, bring yourself back to the breath. Even a 5 minute practice can leave you feeling more harmony from within. Paying attention to the moment you are in takes patience, but its benefits are immeasurable. Life is a gift, and sometimes we move too fast to even notice that it is also fleeting, and this moment we are in is our only guarantee. Use a few of these moments to allow your mind to calm, and to appreciate the moment you are experiencing.
To learn more about vispassana meditation, check out a book by William Hart called, The Art of Living -Vispassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka. I hope you will find peace in it, as my clients and I have. Namaste.
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