Excerpt from: Meditation for Busy People, Accept the Ups and Downs
"One has to become more accepting of all the ups and downs in life. There is a rhythm: sometimes you will feel that you are in tune, sometimes you will feel that you are not in tune; that is natural. It is like day and night, summer and winter. One has to learn the shadow part of everything. If you cannot accept the shadow part you become unnecessarily disturbed, and that disturbance will make things more complicated.
"When something beautiful happens, accept it, feel grateful; when it doesn’t happen, accept that too and continue to feel grateful, knowing that this is just a resting period. For the whole day you have worked, and in the night you fall asleep don’t feel miserable because you are not able to work and earn money and do a thousand and one things, and there are so many things to do. You don’t worry about it!
"There are people who do worry. Then they start losing sleep, and they are not benefited by it. The person who has not been able to sleep in the night feels exhausted in the morning, more tired than he was when he went to bed. The person who forgets the whole day and accepts night as a rest, and goes into deep relaxation, will be able to live again in the morning with new eyes and new being. She will be able to accept the new day and welcome it, will be glad to breathe the air again and to see the sun and people.
"Remember always that everything has its rest period. And the rest period is not against the activity, the rest period gives it energy, vitality.
"Don’t Fight with Your Nature
"The psychologist Hans Selye worked his whole life on only one problem – stress. And he came to certain very profound conclusions. One is that stress is not always wrong; it can be used in beautiful ways. It is not necessarily negative – and if we think that it is always negative, that it is not good; then we create problems. Stress in itself can be used as a stepping stone, it can become a creative force. But ordinarily we have been taught that stress is bad, so that when you are in any kind of stress you become afraid. And your fear makes it even more stressful; the situation is not helped by it.
"For example, there is some situation in the economy and that is creating stress. The moment you feel that there is some tension, some stress, you become afraid that this should not be so: "I have to relax."Now, trying to relax will not help, because you cannot relax; in fact, trying to relax will create a new kind of stress. The stress is there and you are trying to relax and you cannot, so you are complicating the problem.
"When stress is there, use it as creative energy. First, accept it; there is no need to fight with it. Accept it, it is perfectly okay. It simply says, ‘The economy is not going well, something is going wrong, you may be a loser or something.’ Stress is simply an indication that the body is getting ready to fight with the situation. Now you try to relax or you take painkillers or you take tranquilizers; you are going against the body.
"The body is getting ready to fight a certain situation, a certain challenge that is there. Enjoy the challenge! Even if sometimes you can’t sleep in the night there is no need to be worried. Work it out, use the energy that is coming up: walk up and down, go for a run, go for a long walk. Plan what you want to do, what the mind wants to do. Rather than trying to go to sleep, which is not possible, use the situation in a creative way. It simply says that the body is ready to fight with a problem; this is no time to relax. Relaxation can be done later on.
"In fact if you have lived your stress totally you will come to relaxation automatically; you can go on only so far, then the body automatically relaxes. If you want to relax in the middle you create trouble; the body cannot relax in the middle.…." Osho
Meditation for Busy People is filled with simple, easy-to-put-to-use techniques and practices that can help even the most frazzled person rediscover their inner self, open up to a calmer world and experience a more fulfilling, less stressful life.
From basic tools on seeing the good in potentially negative situations, to short and simple (but very effective) meditative exercises, this book isn't designed to turn you into a Yogi, nor does it talk down to the average reader. What it does is offer advice and easily learned skills that will make you more aware, more open to happiness and less stressed.
Personally, between running from meetings to fashion shows to dinners with friends, and trying not to miss important deadlines, not to mention flying across the country every three weeks, I found the chapters on awareness and relaxation to be life savers. I learned that I needed to let go- to let go of control, of my worries, of my mind, if only for a few minutes, to allow my stress to release and my mind to clear. After a few minutes of meditation, I was better able to handle problems, deal with difficult people and get more work done; all while remaining calm and focused.
Written in a simple style and broken into easy-to-read chapters and sections, Meditation for Busy People doesn't make those of us that aren't Yoga Masters feel less-than-spiritual and it's not full of New-Age hocus pocus. What it is, is a down-to-earth reference and tool for everyone. An easy way to help bring more order, more peace, more serenity to your life.
I think I've just found my holiday gift for everyone I know next year!
- Jason Salzenstein
Style & Travel Editor, EDGE Boston