the volume of demands
to the grace of
~ Mary Anne Radmacher
Does the pace of the world ever seem frenetic to you?
Do you ever find yourself struggling in order to keep up with emails, texts, blog posts, facebook posts, on-line classes, and phone messages?
Do you ever find yourself filling every moment of your day with the many forms of communicating and social networking that are now possible?
While driving or at stoplights do you talk on the phone, text, check email, or surf the web?
Do you ever feel inundated by too much information and too much stimulus? Perhaps too many offers to participate in this or that teleconference or amazing life-changing workshop?
Do you ever take time to just sit?
Do you ever take time to just think?
Do you ever carve out quiet time?
Does the idea of quiet time seem far-fetched, because of the demands of your life?
Is quiet time something you long for or is it something you would dread?
This piece started to percolate in my mind after reading that a favorite author of mine by the name of Brene Brown was struggling with being on all the time. She was finding herself checking emails or the web at stoplights. She was filling every moment with communicating in some form or other.
Just the thought of doing those things sounds crazy making to me. I wondered, when does she get down time, quiet time, time to just think? It made me wonder how other people balance out being busy, with taking necessary time out for oneself?
Once a week, for work, I have an hour drive out of town and then I turn around and do it again in the afternoon to return home. While the drive can sometimes get stressful due to driving conditions, for the most part, I use this time to simply listen to music and think thoughts. I may come up with a new idea for an article. I may ponder something. I might imagine a new painting. I may try to work out a problem in my mind. The idea of using that time to communicate with others is not at all appealing. This for me is a perfect time to be unreachable.
Is quiet time at all important? Are we humans missing out on something if we fill our days with constant stimulation such as pinning pictures, reading status posts of friends and family, texting till our fingers are numb, talking on the phone at all hours, or signing up for every teleconference that hits our in-box?
In wondering about this very thing I came across this quote by the Dalai Lama:
“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation,
we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”
Why would the Dalia Lama believe such a thing? Would a violent free world really be the result of all the children meditating? Would meditation really change them and our world that much?
Cynthia Dawn, a writer, children’s meditation facilitator, raw and vegan food enthusiast enthusiast, and co-creator of The Intention Tree Project, shares this about meditation:
“Meditation is a powerful adeptness for anyone and we are learning (remembering really) that when we have this modeled to us as children the reverberations are profound!
On a physical level, scientific studies have found that meditation:
* increases levels of immunity
* prevents and/or reduces cancer and autoimmune disorders
* improves hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders
* alleviates respiratory disorders and digestive problems
* reduces the severity of asthma and panic attacks
On a mental and emotional level, experts have found that meditation:
* encourages a healthy sense of self
* promotes well-being and self-esteem
* increases focus, concentration and problem solving skills
* fosters awareness and creativity
* instills connection, understanding, and compassion
On a Universal level many believe that meditation is a large part of the solution for world peace. When we are at peace with ourselves and no longer fighting a physical, mental, or emotional war ~ we can be true peacemakers within our world.”
The sentence that really impacted me from above is:
“When we are at peace with ourselves
and no longer fighting a physical, mental, or emotional war ~
we can be true peacemakers
within our world.”
I also came across this report about meditation in public schools:
“A University of Michigan study concludes that two, ten-minute meditation sessions per day in a public school setting reduces stress in children and teens and promotes emotional stability. Participants within the study group were found to exhibit less verbal aggression, anxiety and loneliness. Based on this study, a growing partnership of Detroit area parents, teachers and physicians are now calling for schools around the country to offer meditation breaks each day. ‘It wouldn’t be difficult,’ a spokesperson said, ‘and it requires no expensive equipment, no special outfits or footwear.’ Since meditation is not a religion, proponents claim that meditation would be an appropriate stress reliever in the schools.”
It seems that with meditation or even just the practice of getting quiet regularly, allows you to center yourself.
BJ Gallagher at the Huffington Post wrote a brief post titled Buddha: How to Tame Your Monkey Mind that explains more.
Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. We all have monkey minds, Buddha said, with dozens of monkeys all clamoring for attention. Fear is an especially loud monkey, sounding the alarm incessantly, pointing out all the things we should be wary of and everything that could go wrong.
Buddha showed his students how to meditate in order to tame the drunken monkeys in their minds. It’s useless to fight with the monkeys or to try to banish them from your mind because, as we all know, that which you resist persists. Instead, Buddha said, if you will spend some time each day in quiet meditation — simply calm your mind by focusing on your breathing or a simple mantra — you can, over time, tame the monkeys. They will grow more peaceful if you lovingly bring them into submission with a consistent practice of meditation.
Do you long for more peace in your heart and mind?
Are there things that feel unsettled for you?
Do you feel content and happy most of the time?
Do you have time in your life to just be, to dream, to imagine, to just breathe?
What would it really take for you to start a meditation practice of your own?
What would it take to simply ensure that you get quiet time regularly?
“If we have not quiet minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.”
~ John Bunyon
“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly…spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.”
~ Susan L. Taylor