2014 – Year of Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation is a tool that has been used for centuries to calm the mind, reduce stress and bring enlightenment.  Just 20 minutes a day can rejuvenate a tired mind and body and help your brain to recharge.  And that’s not to mention the multitude of positive long-term effects.  Meditation has been proven philosophically, medically and scientifically to have so many benefits.  So why aren’t we doing more of it?

Perhaps we will be.  According to JWT Worldwide, one of the world’s largest marketing communications brands, ‘mindful living’ was named as one of ten trends that will shape the world in 2014 and beyond.  Related trends forecasted on JWT’s list include ‘survival of the focused’ – a movement characterized by a fear and resentment of technology, and desire for more human experiences.

Actually, Raja Yoga Meditation helps us to overcome fear in many forms.  It most certainly helps us to ‘focus’ in a positive way, and the experience of being more loving, caring and connected is another characteristic amongst many…. so perhaps meditation is THE shortcut to a better way of life.

A Huffington Post article by Carolyn Gregoire states that 2013 saw a significant spike of interest in holistic health and mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation, (not to mention that an increasing number of celebrities and eminent CEO’s were hopping on the mindfulness bandwagon).  And it’s a trend that is likely to gain even more momentum in 2014.  Apparently, searches for the term ‘meditation’ soared on Google in 2013.

So why the interest in meditation at this time?  Could it be that people are so exhausted with the rat race that they are looking for another, more peaceful and loveful way of being?  Are people searching for more satisfaction, connectedness and the real meaning of happiness?

In an increasingly peace-less world, the desire for peace – real peace – is also increasing at a comparable rate.  Yet where does peace lie?  Will we find it outside, or within?  It is ironic that wars are created in the name of peace, such actions can never create peace.  And in fact the real battle is not out there; it is within us, and the enemies are our negative traits.  We find ourselves in a deadlock with our old habits; they are not really that useful and yet we can’t get rid of them.  Real peace of mind can only come when we have conquest over the vices and weaknesses that are currently enslaving us.

Taking time to pause, reflect and recharge is becoming absolutely essential in a world that keeps exhausting our batteries.  Just as a gadget displays its weakening battery life, so too the soul exposes its weakening soul-battery by being out of control, tired and unhappy.

So if we know that meditation is good for us, how is it that we do not give it priority in our lives?  Making excuses, running away from the self or saying there is no time, is simply laziness.  Busyness is also laziness, it offers us an excuse to avoid looking at and spending time with ourselves.  If we are not comfortable being alone with ourselves, then we fill our lives with the buzz of the TV or radio, or we chat endlessly on any number of gadgets that allow us to substitute trivialities for real conversation.  Surely this is an assault on the self – to reject oneself by living a life devoid of a real connection with the self and with others.

Meditation helps us get closer to ourselves.  We get to know who we really are, and we learn to accept ourselves, warts and all.  We can begin to respect and love ourselves for the being that we are, knowing that we all belong to the One Creator, and that He gave us everything we needed before we arrived here.  We can let go of the false ego and come closer to others in a meaningful way.

Meditation allows us to discover a world of silence that is far from empty, but instead is rich, fulfilling, empowering, and full of the treasures that were previously hidden from our view.  But you have to try it to find out!

It’s Time… to meditate and forge a genuine connection with the self this year.  It’s time to stop saying you are busy – it’s an excuse and an assault on the self to reject the self in this manner.  Just 20 mins a day can make a difference to your well-being and you might just experience enlightenment along the way!

Share these thoughts! ‘It’s Time…’ is spreading far and wide! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source –
‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London

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