Taking a Mind Vacation with Meditation
Updated: Dec 16, 2022
We live in a disturbing world. Planes, leaf-blowers, lawn mowers, cars, electric drills, television, radio are everywhere, and they are just some of the noise producing instruments of modern life. In addition to noise, there is activity. We are always active, except when we sleep, and even then we dream. Is there someplace we can get away from all the noise and activity where we can have real rest? Isn’t that the reason for taking a vacation?
Getting away from home doesn’t necessarily solve the problem, because the whole world has become polluted with noise and chaos. I remember sitting on the beach in Maui hearing the buzz of jet skis in the water and of squadrons of helicopters flying tourists to see the sights. All that diminished the enjoyment for me. You must choose carefully to find a truly relaxing place for a vacation. Even if you do find a quiet and calm place, if you are like most people, when the outside gets quiet and still, you come face-to-face with another, insidious, source of disturbance: The incessant chatter and agitation of your own mind. Take a moment now and turn your attention inside. Do you experience the restlessness?
We are so accustomed to the mind’s constant blabber and jitteriness that we don’t notice it. Rather, we tend to identify with that noise as “me” and so don’t consider it a problem but rather as the smooth workings of our great intelligence. But the agitation is not you and it’s not necessarily intelligent. You are far greater than the endless prattle going on in your mind, and true intelligence is often lacking in the mental chatter.
If you have ever experienced the immense pleasantness and rest that comes from internal stillness, then you know that a peaceful mind is spacious, luxurious, and incredibly restful. When the mind is still, subtle feelings of the heart, promptings of intuition, love, and creativity can rise into awareness. A still and silent mind is a vacation with no necessity of travel.
The practice of meditation is a method to access the quiet within. That peace is already there, just beneath the surface. You just need a practical, systematic method to reach it. Many years ago, I was traveling home from a conference in another city and was feeling particularly tired and restless. To help find a little solace, I started practicing meditation in the airport waiting lounge while waiting for my flight. Nobody could tell what I was doing. Meditation practice does not require strange postures or sounds. I just sat with my eyes closed.
Quickly. the meditation practice pulled my mind into a deep well of silence. It felt so good. I didn’t want to stop. So, when my flight was called, retaining the silence in my mind like a hidden treasure, I boarded the plane with mouth closed and mind at peace. There was no reason to talk and being externally quiet helped preserve the inner-silence. Finding my seat, I wrapped my mind in the silence and maintained it even when driving home from the airport. My mind was still silent as I fell asleep. The next morning, I awoke feeling more rested than I had felt for a long time. Accessing inner-peace is a skill that has grown over time for me. At first it wasn’t easy. But once having tasted its sweetness, I wanted more.
The peace of a still mind is a true vacation in the very best sense of the word. It’s completely enjoyable, refreshing, and energizing—and you don’t need to buy a ticket.