In the busy bustling world that we live in it’s almost difficult to achieve inner peace without being in a quiet place. From environmental pollution to social media distractions the ‘noise’ is endless and can really make it difficult to find that zen place in yourself.
But after years of practicing stillness I made it a point to try this in locations where I knew noise and distraction was imminent. And what I discovered was we all have it in us and can achieve that inner peace even in the most chaotic environment. So the next time you’re in a distracting place, try these four exercises to see if it brings you closer to inner peace!
1. Acknowledge the sound around you and make it part of your meditation
Let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to find somewhere to meditate without any background noise. Noise being heard from the other room, the washing machine whirring, the hum of air-conditioning and the busses passing by. It can be quite distracting but it can also disappear if you don’t see those sounds as ‘noise’. Think of it this way, if you’re sitting on a bus thinking, and there is noise all around you, like people talking or listening to music on headphones, it doesn’t impede your ability to sit there and think. It’s not like you say to yourself, I just wish the bus engine and those people would stop because I can’t think. Noise doesn’t impede our ability to think, and so it doesn’t impede our ability to repeat our mantra effortlessly. And while we let our thoughts float by while we’re repeating our mantra, we should also allow the noise around us to continue without bothering us. Try it and let me know if it works!
2. Let go of expectations
Most of us are very attached to the outcome of our meditations. A lot of my students will say to me they had a ‘good’ meditation or a ‘bad’ meditation. We live in goal oriented society and we even relate to our meditation this way. Each and every meditation will be different. Some you will have lots of thoughts, some you may fall asleep, some you may go into a deep transcended space of stillness and some may be darn frustrating. Starting your meditation with the intention of ‘take it as it comes, and as it comes take it’. The mere intent to sit for 20 minutes in meditation is having a huge effect on your mind and body. This is not a race, its a process.
3. Get comfortable with your space
Let’s face it. Not everyone has that chance to be in an amazing spot to meditate. Especially when you’re living in a busy city with a dense population – finding that wide space let alone quiet environment is virtually impossible! But if we altered our frame of mind and created a comforting space for ourselves you’d be surprised how easy it is to achieve inner peace. The key here is to find the spot that you can sit comfortably in and sit in a way that makes you feel comfortable – and remember you don’t have to sit cross legged just because you’re about to meditate. You won’t be feeling at peace if you were sitting in a position you’re not used to would you? So get comfortable in the space that surrounds you!
4. Your mantra is your vehicle
Trying to still the mind is not an easy task. Even the Dalai Lama said this is near impossible. So that’s where your mantra comes in. Using a specific mantra will help the mind settle down and shift from the active beta brainwave state to the deep meditative space of delta brainwave. The word ‘mantra’ is where we derive two english words: manas- mind and tra- truck. So a mantra is a mind vehicle that exports your mind from one place to another place. Once you have your mantra and start repeating it in your head, it’s important to remember that we’re not attached to the sound. There may come a point in your meditation where the mind will surrender the thoughts AND the mantra as it dives into the blissful ocean of stillness. It’s like when we arrive at our destination we are no longer attached to our vehicle as it was simply our means of transportation, not our destination.
Have any other ideas that you’ve tried to achieve inner peace? Share your ideas with me below, I’d love to discuss them with you.
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