Silence, Solitude, The Future

Be Well Be Happy

It seems everywhere we look these days there is new research on healthy aging. I am not in the medical field, but this subject is near and dear to my heart. My parents did not go “gently into that goodnight,” as Dylan Thomas, the poet and writer, exclaimed in his famous poem. Some would believe that this is an inevitability as we age, but it is not.

Taking care of my parents inspired me to live a life which hopefully will give me better odds to remain vital and resilient in mind, body and spirit throughout my life. The time to think about our future is built into this very precious moment. Mindfulness meditation helps us to turn inward to be fully conscious and present in this moment, linking the breath and the body to find peace and connectedness. The greatest threat to our faith and our inner peace is DISTRACTION! We are constantly distracted! We think on average 60,000 thoughts a day! Our minds and brains are exhausted from the steady stream of the never-ending news cycle with our technology, we don’t know how to turn off.  

This creates stress and anxiety and as a result we’re more likely to get sick. We all have a certain amount of stress in our lives, but we are seeing an unprecedented amount of depression as we race to keep up with the constant news cycle. We never stop to self-care. By stopping to be in the present moment, taking a deep breath connecting with the inner spirit, we can find some measure of relief from our discursive mind that seems to cycle on a constant loop of gloom and doom. Meditation is a practice of sitting, being still and focusing on the breath, then graduating to adding a beautiful affirmation of love and compassion which reconnects us to ourselves, building resilience which can be transformational in our lives.

Research has quantified the benefits of meditation. Every major religion or spiritual practice has prayer and meditation. They didn’t need quantitative proof back five thousand years ago. Practitioners knew then and now that being still and allowing this time of silence and solitude quieted the heart, soul and mind, calming our reactive minds and cultivating our inner landscape towards peace.    

When we come to sit in meditation, we can soften the edges around our aggressive, negative minds. Schools are using it to rewire students’ brains to help with focus and concentration. The medical community is now incorporating this practice into the wellness plan of patients, literally using it as a prescription to heal. East is meeting the west and research shows meditation increases the gray matter in our brain, helps reduce depression, anxiety, tension, pain and improve calmness, sleep and overall wellbeing. They say it slows down aging! Now there’s an anti-aging tool! 

By sitting in meditation, we come to recognize and love that spark of universal essence of being within us, so we can begin to heal ourselves, then radiate that love out to others.

May you awaken to the light and love within.

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