In our daily newsfeed, love and kindness don’t seem to exist.
Most people are completely fed up with all the Corona talk, the news, the negativity, the fear, all the opinions and the expert views?
Plans getting cancelled, urgh… over and over again.
Corona has catapulted us into a completely different world.
I often ponder over the question: how did we get here? Just 6 months ago, everything was still normal and look at us now with our new abnormal… wearing facemasks, socially distancing, being afraid to hug each other and not knowing what’s coming next.
Pulled in different directions
There’s fear, anxiety, and insecurity and at the same time there’s hope, full on confidence that we will get through this and trust.
Many people lost their jobs, entire countries are going towards economic catastrophes and the worst might still be to come.
At the exact same time, many entrepreneurs have successfully transformed their businesses, the online opportunities seem to be endless and we finally had time. Time to connect, time to do yoga, time to read and to be at peace with what was and still is happening.
Patanjali? Who? What?
When we go back in time and check in with Patanjali’s ideas, we might just find some inspiration to help us deal with this new world we live in.
Patanjali is the author of the Yoga sutras, a scripture dating back 200BCE.
Very practically, you can see this scripture as a guidebook for creating more peace of mind.
Patanjali advises us to explore and train the mind in order to tap into that specific state of mind where the fluctuations of the mind are stilled.
In other words, he wants us to train our minds. To get a grip on our thoughts and examine what pushes our buttons so much that it can throw us of balance.
Offence, defence or pause?
The very first step in any mind training is to be fully aware of the concept of non-violence and … to apply it on every single aspect of your life.
Non-violence is all about leading a meaningful and ethical life where your full intention is to act with love and kindness towards yourself and others, for the benefit of yourself and others.
This quote, attributed to HH the Dalai Lama pinpoints the essence of non-violence:
“Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And, if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
It’s incredible how quickly we feel attacked. Someone says something to you that remotely might feel like an insult and your ego fires off in defence mode. They are wrong and you are right, not even taking a minute to consider if they could be right. Or, deep down realising that they are slightly right but you feel hurt because you didn’t want them to so easily read you and know this about you.
When we feel insulted or hurt, if we could just have the mental reflex to pause, to reflect for a tiny second on what is going on before mindlessly reacting, our response would be different. We might ask questions to understand the situation a little bit better instead of relying on our good old fight and flight mechanisms.
Love and kindness: Flex your mind
To be able to build in this little pause, we need to be conscious of what’s happening. And, we need to have the stability of mind to relax. This is where meditation steps in.
Just 5-10 minutes of mindful breathing can give you the necessary little break that you need.
A more regular practice will bring you clarity and insight on how your own mind functions.
You will understand why you are upset when people act in a certain way and become more aware of the moments when you feel attacked. It will become easier and effortless to choose love and kindness over frustration and anger.
If you want to start or restart with meditation in the easiest way possible, check out this site.
Every single day at 7AM London time, you have access to a 30 minute guided meditation session.
If there was one point in time, designed to start or restart with focusing on your mental wellbeing, that time is now.
Why not give it a go, for the benefit of yourself and others?
Rachel Bonkink is the founder of Revealing Vajra. She’s an expert in teaching people how to get into a daily meditation practice and has hosted over 80 yoga and meditation retreats. Her book, Flex Your Mind, transforms yoga philosophy into very practical guidelines for daily life.