In a society where everyone seems to move and think at a prodigious speed, acquiring a relaxed and serene lifestyle may seem extremely complicated, especially if you also have to immerse yourself daily in the swirling whirlwind generated by commuting, going from one public transport to another, from one office to another, with the occasional stop at a bar or other refreshment place. In short, if your goal in life is to achieve a certain degree of serenity and wellness, of calm awareness, it seems that the lifestyle and rhythms of modern cities are not exactly the ideal allies for achieving these results. Yet, even in the chaos generated by cars, trams and constantly moving passers-by, achieving a state of inner calm is not only possible, it is also perfectly attainable for everyone. What is needed is first of all an initial awareness of your starting state, the (probably restless or agitated) condition from which you are starting, and the goal you have in mind. Perfect serenity of mind cannot only be achieved by taking refuge in remote hermitages, at the top of lonely mountains or perhaps inside a melancholic lighthouse by the sea.
Calm in the midst of chaos
What many people do not know, in fact, is that these spiritual attainments are perfectly attainable even in seemingly chaotic or very busy contexts, such as the offices we work in, the trains we use to commute to work every day, or even on the street in the midst of noisy and indifferent crowds. To achieve perfect calmness, what needs to be trained is first of all the mind, which needs to be brought under control through a series of techniques that are accessible to everyone.
Before enumerating a few practical methods to curb the agitation of your mind – the Orientals called it the ‘monkey-mind’, precisely to make clear the state of continuous agitation that characterises the minds of those who have not yet attained serenity -, before enumerating these methods, therefore, it will be necessary to mention the two fundamental ingredients for the attainment of a calm and perfectly peaceful mind in every situation. The first is the desire to improve, to make significant changes in one’s life and in our perception of reality. Without a substantial change in our approach to the world, our mind will in fact remain in the same state as before, and will never calm down. The second is an essential element in achieving anything, not just serenity, and is strong motivation. Always ask yourself what motivates you to perform your actions, identify the why behind your actions. The stronger the motivation, the easier the ultimate success will be.
The first method we recommend is meditative practice, preferably done early in the morning or in the evening for at least thirty or forty minutes. You simply sit in a quiet place and try to clear your mind, keeping your eyes slightly wide open and your hands in your lap, ignoring any thoughts that will spontaneously flow in. The first benefits, if practised correctly and regularly, will be noticed after a few weeks. To calm your mind even in the middle of your day, do the following: if by chance you find yourself in the position of having to wait several minutes – perhaps in the supermarket queue or at the post office -, take the opportunity not to let yourself be caught up in the disappointment and to see the wait as a new opportunity to acquire useful information. Your mental attitude will change radically in this way.
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Through pure enjoyment, your mind will reach a truly unsurpassed state of calm, unattainable even for the most advanced meditators.