A sense of serenity opens up infinite doors of possibility. When things can no longer upset the apple cart of your mind, all options will remain available to you and you will also have the clarity and focus you need to choose the right door. Serenity is often the goal of a spiritual practice but it can also be the byproduct of it if the goal is something else, like devotion, for instance.
Whatever your main objective, serenity can never be achieved without some kind of spiritual discipline.
The chatter of the human mind is known in Eastern philosophy as the monkey mind. This inevitably evokes an image of hundreds of little noisy monkeys jumping about inside the mind. And isn’t this exactly how it feels a lot of the time? You lack focus… You can’t go to sleep or we wake up tense instead of rested after a night’s sleep. You can’t seem to complete any of the many projects you have started… All because the mind is running amok with you.
So how do you go about taming the monkey mind? I’m glad you asked because I happen to know…
Seven tried and tested ways to become (and stay) serene:
- Set the intention to become the Observer. Affirm to yourself several times a day that you are not your thoughts.
- Start a meditation practice which allows you to connect with your higher mind which is The Observer and learn to let worrying thoughts go until you reach the point of stillness within. Be disciplined about your practice or you will set yourself up for failure. Buddha didn’t meditate because he was Buddha – he became Buddha by meditating!
- Deal with repressed emotions or your subconscious will be brimming with repressed energy that is looking for the first opportunity to come out to play (often in dreamtime). Check in with your body regularly to see if you are tensing up anywhere – a sure sign that you are in the process of repressing an emotion.
- Turn every worrying thought over to God. Make your life a living prayer. Stop yourself as soon as you realise that you are going into stress-mode (which is when become reactive) and start praying for God to show you the most appropriate response. The more disciplined you are with doing this, the quicker you will stop yourself and eventually you will stop being reactive. Because, let’s face it, reactive people suck to be around.
- Consciously minimise contact with toxic people, addictive substances and drama.
- Always see the best in others and always look for the beauty in all things. Doing so creates harmony in your environment and a harmonious environment induces serenity – not just in you, but in all you come in contact with.
- Always choose the best and most joyful/peaceful thought before going to sleep. Yes, that’s right – you get to choose! When your mind is brimming with thoughts and begins to look like the A1 during rush hour, slow the traffic right down with slow and controlled breathing and choose only one vehicle to focus on. Make it the best and brightest one – the one that will take you furthest.
Coincidentally, 2016 is the Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey. Get ready for quick change-overs, smooth-talking and people vying for control, pulling out all the stops and using any means possible (including magic tricks) to get their way… It will be more important than ever to keep your mind serene and calm like a lake on a windless, moonlight winter’s night.
Enjoy the smooth ride! Feels good to have your sh*t together, doesn’t it?