I describe my work as the cross between a monk and an accountant. The monk explores the intangible wisdoms of happiness and wellbeing. The accountant wants everything to be tangible, systematised and measurable. You normally hear from the accountant. In this article, the monk felt compelled to say Hi!
Inspired by a recent coaching session, I have provided a paraphrased/adapted/condensed version of our conversation.
G: Dr G
C: “In terms of wellbeing tools, I have always wanted to meditate. I should probably meditate but I don’t really have a clear why. I know the benefits of running. I know the benefits of going to the gym. What are the benefits of meditation?”
G: “In the Western world, people often resort to meditation when they want to relieve stress or have better focus. This undervalues meditation. “
C: “What do you mean?”
G: “Meditation is a pathway to wisdom. It helps us understand the nature of our mind, life and the world. A happy by product (pun intended) of this is relaxation and focus. It’s a by product but it’s not necessarily the aim.”
C: “What do you mean wisdom?”
G: “Thinking makes us smart. There is wisdom in silence. I like to use the analogy of the sun and the clouds. The sun is always there. Even if you can’t see it, it is still there. Clouds often obscure the sun. The sun represent a deep and everlasting form of happiness, contentment and peace. The clouds represent our thoughts and feelings.
C: “Isn’t happiness a feeling?”
G: “Great question. Is it? In this analogy, the happiness that people often talk about is a cloud. The happiness that the sun describes goes much deeper than a transient feeling. It provides what I call a “deep knowing”. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe it. For now, appreciate that they are different things.”
C: “I don’t quite get it.”
G: “Honestly, I don’t either. But here I am, inviting you into my existential crisis.”
C: “Hahah” (Nervous laugh).
G: “When you meditate, the mind becomes quieter. As you have less and less thoughts, you approach silence…internally. As this happens, there are less clouds and it’s as if you allow some rays of sunlight to trickle through. This is a glimpse of the “sun” that has always been there. It is a very pleasant experience. It relieves stress, helps you with your focus and even makes you feel happier. Have you wondered why?”
A question for YOU, the reader. If a quieter mind is a happier mind, why is that?
Meditation has changed my life and continues to do so. If you take one thing from this article, I invite you to see past the superficial utility of meditation. It is a gateway to wisdom. The stress relief, relaxation and focus is just a by product.
I would like to thank Ajahn Brahm for introducing me to meditation. Words can’t express my gratitude.
If you would like to learn more about coaching, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to help people.
Much love to you and of course, myself.
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