Do you remember the times when you’ve observed someone getting all heated about something you know was either something so small, sometimes not even a big deal and possibly over-exaggerated? Of course you do, because it happens all the time, right?
What about observing someone going through depression who maybe thinks that no one loves or cares about them when you know full well there are many people who do? How about a teenager who thinks their social life is over because one person called them socially awkward but you know they make many people laugh all the time? Or what about a writer/author/blogger who feels that they don’t have anything to contribute in their writing, when really, you know they’ve touched the lives of more people than they realize?
These thoughts suddenly came up while I was having my meditation moments in the shower this morning. I realized how easy it is for us to observe other people’s situation and emotions, yet many of us cannot observe our own when we are put in the same scenario. It’s all about perspectives.
We have the ability to understand what we observe in other people during their moments of anger and despair. We also have the clarity to give some advice because we see the solutions that they can’t see. However, we cannot force them to take the solutions we offer; that is up to them.
Even though we cannot force upon anyone’s free will to adopt the solutions we give them, we always have the ability to adopt our own. We have the best of both worlds. We can both observe and take our own solutions to any anger or despair we may feel. The problem is that, for many, we allow the negative emotions to cloud the clarity we need to find the solutions. And that’s where meditation comes in.
Meditation allows you to workout the observer muscles in your mind just like the rowing machine at the gym allows you to work out the many muscles in your body.
The more you practice meditation, the stronger you become with observing yourself in any situation you come across. You become unshakeable to anything that doesn’t serve your highest good.
Like working out the muscles in your body with exercise, meditation has the same affect. The beginning is always the hardest because it hasn’t become a habit yet and you will usually feel the soreness from it. Muscle aches come up right away when you start exercising your body just like deep hidden fears, resentments and anxiety bubble up to the surface when you start meditating. You’ll always notice the “pain” and resistance of it all at the beginning but as you continue practicing, you’ll be able to master them.
When you master meditation, you’ll not only be able to observe others and create clear headed solutions, with an offer, to the situations they come across, but you’ll also have the ability to observe, create and adopt many of your own clear headed solutions to the situations you come across, even when they appear to come wreck havoc in your life.
Photo: Taken by me at the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple in Auckland, New Zealand