Briefly: Meditation is about reducing suffering and the causes of suffering in my life and the life of others; also increasing happiness and the causes of happiness in my life and the life of others.
In more detail: Meditation for me is the basis of emotional intelligence – also peace, health, happiness and having a meaningful life.
A healthy mind means a happy heart.
I learned that happiness and peace are always there within me; I just have to learn to get out of my own way to experience it.
I experienced a difficult, chaotic, and abusive childhood. I have worked many workshops, therapies; all have been useful but the base underpinning all of that work was and still is meditation.
For me I have learnt to become more present in my life; to live with open curiosity, a greater sense of kindness toward myself and others and a sense of humour (mainly not to take myself so seriously).
There are many types of meditation:
Meditation, for example, can be observing my breath, my senses or my bodily sensations which calms my mind and brings peace to my heart. The loving kindness/Tonglen meditations generate compassion. Through meditation I have become more grateful and more appreciative of my life. Other types of meditation give me clarity on my “autopilot”; this allows me to respond instead of reacting. It is a safe space where I can make friends with difficult emotions in order to see the gift of knowledge that these difficult emotions bring with them.
Through meditation I have greatly reduced the power of my harsh internal critic and learnt to be kinder to myself which in turn opens the door to change. The ability to accept myself and be kind to myself meant that I could accept the love of someone else. I really don’t think that I could have been married happily for thirty years without it.
Meditation, mindfulness and all of the associated, teachings and practices are not tricks, nor short cuts, life hacks; it is a way of living, a different and more useful way to approach your live. It is to understand that the journey is the purpose, not the objective.
The experience of meditation
We go through life seeing ourselves as separate. In meditation we go further than simply seeing the idea of the deep connectedness as an intellectual idea. In meditation we experience it.