Many friends have asked me this question: “How are you able to know and have clarity?”
This is the key. This is the way to know. Quiet the ever-searching mind, the monkey mind, as many would say, and gain clarity.
To make it physically fit, we work out an exercise regime. For business success, we work out rules and procedures to follow strictly. For exams, it is always the rigorous studies and research work. So, we are achieving many things from the outside. But the ultimate aim of every human soul is, as you could have known from their last words – peace, happiness, harmony and freedom.
Robert Calder, on his introduction note in the most famous of all W. Somerset Maugham’s novel entitled “Of Human Bondage”, highlighted the author’s life-long search for freedom. This is an excerpt from the introduction:
“Maugham once commented that “the main thing I’ve always asked from life is Freedom. Outer and inner freedom, both in my way of living and my way of writing,” and at the age of 62 he wrote: “I have sought freedom, material and spiritual, and now on the threshold of old age, I am not disinclined to think that I have at last achieved it.” Examined in its entirety, Maugham’s very long life was indeed a succession of attempts to discover complete freedom – not merely physical liberty buttrue independence of spirit. On one level he sought to be free from personal obligations, financial dependence, and the constraints of time and space (which in part explains why he became one of the world’s great travelers); on another, he pursued intellectual freedom and emotional detachment.”
Even the want of a man of such undeniable intellect, the ultimate aim in life is to be free.
So, to my friends, I always say: “The way to freedom of the mind, is through meditation.” If Maugham would have known about meditation (or maybe he did), the realization of freedom or the awareness of freedom could have happened even earlier in his life.
The next question friends would continue to ask: “How long do you meditate? How often do you sit in meditation?”
I believe that when people ask these questions, they already set a preconceived idea of meditation:
- it is a religious practice;
- there is a certain sitting posture which is unattainable;
- the longer the better;
- need guidance to be effective;
- mind is too busy, so it is difficult;
- need to find time.
For me, I have re-defined meditation as “me-time”. This “me-time” is to spend time with myself and my Self. My small self, which is the physical me, and the higher Self who knows exactly what I want. To listen to my higher Self, I need to calm the ever-stressed physical self. “Me-time” is also a time to treat myself to rejuvenate, to remember and to rejoice.
So, if you think of “me-time” instead of meditation, how would you like this for your Self?
If you like sewing, immerse yourself, take one hour to sew something.
If you like to read, get yourself a comfortable corner, read for one hour.
If you like to cook, do it lovingly, for your Self.
Take time to walk in the park.
Take time to have a cup of tea.
The idea is not about sitting in the lotus position, it is about focus, having your mind centered on one thing – and one thing only. It is a practice for your mind to concentrate, that is where happiness is found. Unwavering faith in silence will lead you to doing nothing and realizing everything.
If you think that you need to focus on something, take an action, do it with all your concentration. Let yourself do the action for a while, until eventually, you need not do anything to focus, you will then be able to just sit and feel the bliss of having “me-time” – by doing nothing at all!
Doing nothing, is just fine.
These are the 3 reasons you need “me-time”:
- To internalize any New Thoughts your may have about working out a peaceful life;
- To gain clarity of what you truly, deeply, madly want;
- Take that New Thoughts and make them sacred, feel important about the changes that you anticipate, because New Thoughts are bringing in a new you.