Modern life can be pretty hectic, and the requirements of daily life can get in the way of some of the things we do for our own benefit and well-being. Mostly, I’m referring to my study of Zen Buddhism and meditation. I have to admit that the past three years have derailed a lot of the self-discipline and routines I had in place for myself. once of the biggest gaps I have is the ability to sit in relative peace and quite and meditate, uninterrupted. Think about it… When was the last time you’ve found yourself able to find some total silence?
Even as I write this, I can hear vehicle traffic, engines revving and the sound of my own house’s air conditioning unit droning away. Silence? Yeah, right… I’m sitting in relative peace in my garage to write, but silence still eludes me. And finding time to meditate can be difficult, if you live a modern life. There’s work obligations, familial obligations and overall life obligations. It can make it difficult to find one’s inner Zen. And if you’re not careful, you can find yourself trying to find an alternative to the bliss of Zen.
Meditation can provide countless benefits to the body and mind. Not only is it relaxing but it can improve concentration, blood pressure and heart rate. It can aid in the healing of injuries, mitigate pain and provide benefits for a proper sleep cycle. So why WOULDN’T you meditate? Haven’t you been paying attention as you read??? BECAUSE LIFE GETS IN THE FREAKING WAY!!! When you get used to meditation, the lack of it can leave a pretty noticeable hole in your existence, and people will often try to substitute.
I have to admit that I’ve been guilty of this, myself. Indulging in a smooth cigar, having a couple of strong drinks or some other calming vice can often seem like a good idea. But the bad usually outweighs the good. And regret always sets in. And if you guys know anything about me, it’s that I don’t believe in regret. So, what’s a person to do?
The ideal solution would be to find an hour that you can allot for yourself. this can either be first thing in the morning before the family wakes up and your daily routine starts up, or lastly before bed. This also has the added benefit of sending you off to slumber with a relaxed body and mind, which can promote a better night’s sleep. The bottom line is, this is one of those situations where “there’s a will, there’s a way.”
There’s no alternative to Zen. So even when life gets in the way, it’s incumbent on you to find the time to make it a priority. There’s always an opportunity to make it happen. Meditation has been a staple of my life for over twenty years. When life gets harsh and difficult, it’s been one of the best coping methods imaginable. So maybe I need to put down the cigar and step back into meditative bliss. Food for thought… ☯