Are you ever at peace? By “peace,” I mean a time when your mind is at rest and calm. Perhaps you find yourself constantly thinking about what’s next or what has already happened. You may dream about the future or ruminate on the past. There is a place for all of this, but there is no place for it all of the time. Like your body. your brain needs a break; you must find time to be at peace.
For most of my life, I couldn’t shut off my mind. The danged thing wouldn’t ever leave me alone and I never had any Cranial Quiet. Frustrated, I would often have discussions with my wife Laura, and they would go something like this:
“What are you thinking about?”
“Oh, come on. You must be thinking of something.”
“Nope. I’m not.”
“That’s impossible. Surely you’re thinking about your day, our dinner, the kids…something!”
“Now how can that possibly be?”
“I don’t know. But I do know I’m not thinking of anything at all.”
(Silence. Cold shoulder. Minutes go by.)
“Okay, how ’bout now?”
Laura could live in the moment; she could close the door on everything else and allow her mind to be at peace. I’d never experienced it — not until I tried my first cigar at age 50. At that moment, my mind was changed forever. Distracted from my own thoughts, I paid attention to the moment…the aroma, the look and feel of the cigar, and the smoke rising lazily. I was living in the moment. My mind was at peace. I remember saying to her, “So THIS is what it’s like to think of nothing!”.
It was a form of meditation, and it was wonderful.
I don’t recommend smoking, but I do recommend meditation as one way to bring peace and health to the overly-busy mind. Do some reading about mindfulness. Like your body, your brain needs to take breaks. It needs to rejuvenate, to get away, to rest.
One cannot be at peace unless the mind is at peace. When your mind is working on the future or the past, you are not at peace. Learn what it is like to live in the moment. Pick up a copy of The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh in my recommended reading list. At the very least, read here how mindfulness meditation will benefit your memory and ability to learn.