Meditation helps you fulfil your personal and spiritual development goals. In particular, to connect with your true nature and Self. Your true nature includes: peace, contentment, spaciousness, joy and love.
Some people say, “The purpose of meditation is to connect with peace and stillness”. I’ve been hesitant to go for that one, preferring to say, “Meditation helps you to evolve, personally and spiritually”. I still think that’s correct, but may now declare the first sentences in bold above.
In my explorations of one’s true nature, I’ve found that connecting with peace is the easiest first step toward recognising the others.
But, when we are stressed, and particularly when we have chronic stress, it can be hard to connect with the peace inside. Let alone, to know it’s your true nature and always there. With stress, people’s minds are often angry or emotional or indignant. Certainly, that cynicism that sometimes comes with a stressful mind can get in the way. But there is a way back to peace of mind.
You Can Not Always Choose
Personally, I don’t like it when meditation teachers or others say, “You can always choose”. You and I know; if you have chronic stress, there really is not much in the way of choice. You may want to choose tranquillity. But what happens is your mind and emotions take over, leaving you with no peace. Leaving you focused on anything but the calm. So it is not right to say, “You can always choose”.
Your Inner Peace Is Always There
What I’m trying to say is that just having the notion, “Maybe there is peace underneath that stress?” and attempting to connect with that peace, is a start.
It may not come for a while, but my advice is to test this idea, “Maybe there might be calm underneath the anxiety? Is it true?” and try it again and again. Notice — definitely take notice — whenever you have a glimpse of any space or silence underneath everything else, behind your thoughts and emotions. In this way, we do start to experience calmness.
For some, it might not take that long. You will eventually recognise the peace is always there.
Because it is always there, we have no choice about our true nature. However, the more stressed a person is, the louder everything else seems to be, so it is harder to perceive. Even if we do not recognise any personal stress, we have not had any practice in noticing our true nature.
Once you start to glimpse the peacefulness, the calmness, the space (whatever terms work for you), then continue to notice it again and again. Eventually, even when you feel your mind is particularly wild, you can decide to ask, “What if I choose the peace?” and focus your mind towards the quiet, still calm that is underlying everything.
You can say to yourself, “I choose peace”, or “I choose calm”, or “I choose stillness”. Of course, since you do not have a choice — the calm, silent contentment is always there — you could declare, “I choose to perceive my .…”, or more accurately, “I am ….”
In this way, you are actually choosing yourself; you are championing your true nature, the Awakened truth of you.