Life is a spiritual act — a state of activity and calm. It’s also a terrain for our many daily battles within. When you revere your mind, body, and soul, your search for life’s realities is achieved. You grow with wisdom and feel you are now just as much a part of the cosmos as nature is.
Wisdom evolves in a calm mind and body — not when you are agitated. Being serene is the gemstone in the crown of wisdom. It is the outcome of dogged efforts at self-control. It highlights a matured disposition and also empathy — to feel things with sensitivity and universal love. It connects us to the laws of the universe, its processes, and subtle thoughts.
You are calm when you understand your own feelings. All of us can achieve such a state without being Zen masters by accepting others, their sensitivities and sensibilities. Remember, our fellow beings are just like us, our likes, dislikes or idiosyncrasies, moods, anger, and affection. When you begin to appreciate all your internal workings by the action of “cause and effect,” you will also reduce your annoyance, worry, and lament. You will now reach a condition of “mindfully active” quietude.
You’d say that this sense of “perfection” is for ascetics — not for us, ordinary folks, for whom catching the 7:48am local train is everything that keeps us going. It need not be so. You and I, in our own little ways, can learn to manage ourselves and learn to adapt to others’ feelings. When you offer a helping hand to the infirm, for instance, it will enhance your spiritual strength. You’ll feel that you’ve listened to the song of your inner voice.
Remember, the calmer you are — without losing your touch with the varied demands of life — the greater will be your success, influence, and strength to be good and do good. Just imagine you are manning a bank’s counter. You have a nice, friendly smile enveloping your face. Customers will quickly realise this — they will prefer to deal with you, thanks to your warm, likeable temperament. This is pleasantly infectious; it spreads happiness around.
When you are calm, you are much loved and appreciated. You are like a tree, or an extended porch, during a downpour. Nothing matters, even the ups and downs in life for a person who carries, or reflects, calm feelings. You feel comfortable in their presence — because they echo nature’s sweetness, peace, tranquillity, and acceptance.
Our ancients — saints, seers, philosophers, mystics, and others — connected balance of mind, character and righteousness to equanimity. Even in our present age, the era of upheavals, serenity is considered the ultimate paradigm of culture, the summit of our spirit, or soul. It is, again, as valued as wisdom; it’s also more priceless than the most expensive jewellery. You cannot ever compare material wealth, without its spiritual element, to a life of calm — a life that dwells in the river of goodness, under quiet waves.
Just take a quick peek at the other side of the spectrum. It saddens and troubles us, looking at the growing spectre of psychosis of young, misguided souls, who are destroying their lives and wrecking everything that is pleasant. Blame it all on their ideological toxins and hatred. They are wacky radicals, or extremists — not ordinary folks like you and me. Luckily, it is a blessing of existence that there are many people in real life who are balanced and hold a gentle soul characteristic of the best finished product. Isn’t it time we — howsoever imperfectly — emulated their uplifting examples and controlled the tempests of our agitated minds?