The eye of the storm

Does everything that goes on around us have to dictate how we feel, and what we do?  Do we have to be influenced by the events around us?  

Or are we practising being the eye in the centre of the storm?

Are we practising balancing ourselves and remaining calm no matter what we see, or what we think, what we hear or what we feel?

That is the purpose of meditation.  The purpose of practice.

To do that every moment of every day. 

And not be swayed by every perceived slight, every angry word, every misunderstanding.

That’s how most of the world operates.  Whatever is going out outside – that decides what they do, how they feel.  That determines their day, that determines their life.  

If we do this we surrunder our power, and our control over our mind.

The purpose of practice is to work with our mind, to train our mind, so we are not at the mercy of the events of our daily life.

And through stillness and stability in our mind, we find peace.



A peaceful life

One of the things I feel truly blessed to have is a calm and peaceful life for my son and I.

I have strived to create a very relaxed and nurturing home environment for us, and I thought I would share some of my techniques for cultivating calm.

  • Avoid watching, or listening to, the news as much as possible.  See my earlier blog post here for more.
  • Listen to classical music.  Especially the “lighter” pieces.  This is my favourite radio station.
  • Lavender oil.  Not only is this fantastic essential oil relaxing, it also helps dispel negative energy.  Use it in an oil burner.  Sprinkle it on your pillow before bedtime.  Or wear it instead of perfume (to stay calm during the day).
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Smile – even if you don’t initially feel like it.
  • Go for a walk everyday.  As you walk, use the opportunity to really notice your environment.  What can you see?  Hear?  Smell?
  • Practice meditation
  • Write out your intentions each morning.  Including the intention to be calm.
  • Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  • Drink tea, mindfully.

and my favourite, and I most highly recommend:

  • Avoid harshness.
    Harsh speech.  Harsh thoughts.  Harsh influences.
    Be mindful of what you exposure yourself to.  For example – music, books, movies…
    Are they adding to your feeling of calm and peace?

I must admit that I used to read a lot of horror and crime novels.

Until I read this enlightening blog post:

I won’t Kill Bill

“On a personal level, I question how I can claim to dedicate myself to a life of peace and nonviolence when I’m watching movies like Predator and Goodfellas on the weekends.”

The points in the blog post can also be extended beyond movies, to what other influences you expose yourself to.

Reading this blog post really opened my eyes.  And made me aware of how I felt after reading those types of books – depressed, anxious and jumpy.

Now I tend to stick to non-fiction books.  I usually spend my time reading to learn something, or improve myself.

Remember that peace generates peace.  By cultivating calm and peace within ourselves, we influence those around us , thereby making them feel more calm as well.


Micro meditations

In a perfect world we would all meditate twice a day for 30 minutes… at least.

But it’s not a perfect world.

It’s a busy, crazy, wonderful, sometimes stressful and chaotic world.

With demanding jobs, families to take care of, kids to raise, and countless other things vying for our attention.

When it comes to meditation, even a brief moment of mindfulness is beneficial.

One deep mindful breath can have benefits.

So here are a few ideas for when you have a chance to grab a moments break.

  • Close your eyes (if possible) and take a deep slow breath
  • Notice the sensation of the air entering your nostrils.  Is it cold or warm?
  • Concentrate on the sensation of your lungs expanding
  • Quickly scan over your body.  Are there any areas of tension?  Can you relax your stomach muscles?  Drop your shoulders?  Are you frowning?
  • Release the breath slowly through your mouth
  • Concentrate on the breath as it leaves your body.

Open your eyes, keep calm, and carry on 🙂