Meditation can play a vital role in your everyday life because it can help you make better decisions.
Because when you notice you’re lost in thought or being swept up by an emotion in your meditation practice you’re training yourself to become more aware.
More aware of when you’re lost in thought.
More aware of when you’re being swept up by an emotion.
And when you have these moments of awareness you’re creating space between YOU and the thought or emotion.
And by creating this space you create an opportunity for you to choose how you wish to respond to them.
You have an opportunity to make a better choice.
And these moments are what I call a ‘crossroads‘ moment, because you’re creating space in your mind which allows you to see the other roads available to you.
So you can choose a different path go down.
For example, if someone says something hurtful to you, your normal reaction might be to snap back and say something hurtful to them.
It’s like an automatic response that’s been programmed into you.
You get hurt. You snap back.
The untrained mind tends to run on autopilot; blindly reacting to the world around it, meaning it continues down the same path it always goes down.
In this example snapping back, because you allow the emotion to choose your response rather than you.
Whereas with a trained mind you’re more aware, so you’re able to notice when you’re getting angry or upset.
And in that moment when you notice that you want to react to the emotion you’re experiencing, you’ve created a space which helps you see that there are other roads for you to take.
That you don’t have to simply react to what you’re experiencing. That you can choose to take action rather than having a reaction.
Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.Deepak Chopra
So what might happen is that rather than snapping back, you try to find out why that person was saying the hurtful things they were.
You start a dialogue with them instead of snapping at them.
Or maybe you take a moment to reflect and you realise they were being hurtful because of something you said or did. So instead of snapping back you choose to apologise for your behaviour.
Or perhaps you simply sit with the anger or hurt for a few moments. Notice the thoughts and emotions that arise and give them space to breath before choosing to let them go.
Now, rather than reacting to every thought and emotion so that THEY dictate how YOU respond, your meditation practice has provided you with a crossroads so that in every moment you have the ability to choose a different path to travel down.
So you can make better decisions.
You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond.Joe Lurie