Day 12: On Calmness of Mind
Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.
—James Allen 12
If I asked you to show me a symbol of self-discipline, you might think of a Buddhist monk, capable of sitting still for hours on end with an empty mind and only a hint of a smile on his face, content simply to be .
Such self-control feels like a superpower in today’s busy and fast-moving world, in which distractions lurk at every corner and buzz in every pocket. A person who’s capable of maintaining calmness of mind is a rare individual — but fortunately you can also become one, if you’re only willing to put in some effort.
Implementing some kind of a meditative practice in your weekly schedule will not only help you increase your self-control and develop more patience, but also reduce your stress and make you feel happier.
The most common practice to learn how to calm your mind is to meditate. However, meditation isn’t the only habit that puts you in a meditative state.
The key to developing everyday calmness is focusing your attention on the present moment or on a single activity that you’re performing. Engaging in a high-focus sport like yoga, rock climbing, or boxing can be a good way to tap into this state — and so can be something as mundane as gardening, dancing, or knitting.
The more often you put yourself in a meditative state, the calmer you’ll become in everyday situations. Cultivating calmness will lead to even more self-control, and that will lead to an ever-heightening ability to control your state of mind and prevent emotions from clouding your judgment.