As we prepare for the new year, I want to share some things that I learned from my time in the Meditation Center that will hopefully resonate with you and help you as we enter this time. For those of you who don’t know, a couple of months ago I lived & volunteered in a Buddhist Meditation Center in England for a month. I worked in housekeeping, helped in the cafe, and attended daily meditation sessions at the temple. Being at the Meditation Center reinforced a lot of the yogic principals I’d been working through, as well as introduced new concepts to me. Below are the three principals that stood out the most:
✨ Peace & Happiness Are An Inside Job
One of the most helpful things I learned while at the Mediation Center was that peace and happiness begin from the inside. This was not a completely new concept, but I re-learned that nothing externally can bring peace and happiness besides what is cultivated internally. When things aren’t going the way we would want them to, it’s so easy to believe that until the external circumstances change we can’t be happy or experience peace, but that is not the case. We have the ability to live in peace and happiness all the time if we cultivate it internally, and it doesn’t rely on external circumstances that will always change. Even when things are going how we want them to go, the happiness we experience is a choice we’re making. We choose to be happy at those times and have the ability to choose peace and happiness throughout our life no matter the circumstance.
?♀Meditation Is Not Just For Yoga Class
As meditation became an integral part of my everyday routine, I realized that the meditations we were doing weren’t reserved for yoga class or for the 15 minutes when we were all sat together at the temple, but for making every moment its own meditation. One of the lead guides instructed us that these meditations we were doing were just reminders of how present we want to become in every moment so that whatever activity we’re in, we’re all there. Whether I was doing my laundry, taking a walk, practicing yoga, listening to music, or even eating, I noticed that my mind was often drifting away either in the past or the future. I began to use the principals learned in meditation of observing my breath and slowing my thoughts down to become more present so that this meditation practice wasn’t just something I did when my eyes were closed, but a moment to moment practice as I move through life.
∞ True Kindness Is Limitless
Kindness is defined as the, “Quality or state of being gentle and considerate.” At the Meditation Center where I met so many kind people and was shown a lot of kindness, I began to understand that true kindness is limitless. For me, true kindness was being gentle and considerate to everyone and everything (including myself). Going out of my way to help someone else out, recycling and doing what I can to be considerate to the planet we live on, even being kind to myself by changing my internal dialogue by being more encouraging & positive. Trying my best to be gentle & considerate is a conscious choice that can be made within every moment. When paired with being present and aware in every moment, choosing to be kind has no limits and can be extended to everyone and everything.
I’m so thankful to everyone that I met at the Mediation Center and the things I learned while being there. As we prepare to enter the new year, how can you introduce these principals into your life if you haven’t already? What can you do to cultivate internal peace & happiness? How can you begin to make every moment its own mindful mediation? Where can you extend a little more kindness?
Also, while I was at the Meditation Center I created my newest Pocket Guide To Stillness. I met a talented photographer (see her photography work here) who shot the photos in the peaceful greenhouse on the Meditation Center grounds to bring stillness where we spend most of our time– seated. ? This chair yoga guide was carefully curated to release stress in not only your body, but mind as well. To purchase, please click here or visit my Etsy store and take a look at all of my products at www.etsy.com/shop/NamasteConCharde.