What meditation has in common with vacation; and why it is true relaxation of the mind; vacation means free-time and relaxation; meditation can have the same effects for the mind: it means to let go of one’s thinking and problems and to make one’s mind calm.
Last summer in Greece… Have you also lately thought about the last time you were on vacation and how you miss these days? To flee the hectic day-to-day life, to follow one’s passions (in my case delicious food, swimming, and spending time with family), to just have a relaxing time.
We decided to spend two weeks in Mani, Peloponnese – and it was amazing. Not only did I discover my passion for Greek food (stuffed tomatoes and souvlaki being one of my favorites), but I absolutely loved being in and connecting with nature – far away from home and the struggles of daily life. To enjoy and truly relax – in the middle of Mani’s wonderful nature.
One thing, in particular, caught my attention. It was the spectacular view from the top of the mountain. The wide ocean lying underneath, calm and serene in a most beautiful light.
The sun was shining brightly and reflecting on the water before it began to dawn behind the ocean. I feel the warmness of the sun, the calmness of the ocean, and nature around. All of a sudden, my mind becomes just as calm and wide.
This moment reminded me of what true meditation is about. And that meditating doesn’t necessarily mean to sit on a cushion. We can meditate anywhere and anytime. It simply means that we go into quietude with our mind. At that time, our mind can truly relax. It is like a vacation for our mind. Whether we are really on vacation or at home, it doesn’t matter.
The calm ocean in front of me reminds me of a teaching of my Buddhist Master Ji Kwang Dae Poep Sa Nim:
„Water without waves is automatically quiet. And the mirror, when it is not obscured, is automatically clear. The mind is similar, meaning that whenever obscurity is eliminated, clarity appears. Happiness is not to be a struggle that has to be sought after. And happiness appears as suffering is dispelled.“
-Daily Sutra #8367 By Ji Kwang Dae Poep Sa Nim, May 7, 2015 Lotus Buddhist Monastery-
In my experience with meditation I recognize that the more thinking disappears, the more we can be here in every moment, truly enjoying, truly relaxing. Difficulties and insecurities at work or other areas of our lives can be overcome and a positive mindfulness sets in.
And as the meditation deepens, our perspective, our mind becomes wider – like a great wide ocean. This helps us not to get caught up so easily in everyday situations and not to waste unnecessary energy. Thus, we can concentrate and focus on the essential things, progressing in our work, relationships or other situations of our lives.
The good news is, we don’t have to travel to a vacation destination. But simply use the method of meditation to give our mind some vacation.