You can’t turn the wind, so turn the sail.
Does this African proverb imply that we should “go with the flow”? Going with the flow, a frequently spoken about concept, is not always easy to put into action.
Doesn’t each and every one of us wish that one or another thing could be different from how it is? Perhaps life is grand, but still you wish for a different house, more money, a different job, different co-workers, or that your child or spouse would change in one way or another.
Wouldn’t you like to turn your sail to take advantage of the prevailing winds? Don’t you intuitively know that going with the flow is helpful but not always easy to do? Sandra and I believe that making this shift in thinking requires more than a switch in mind-set. It requires internal change.
In our book Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way we recommend meditation to change the internal world. We all need assistance if we are to go with the flow and maintain our equilibrium in spite of having heavy winds toss us about. Meditation is the perfect assistance.
We all (at least sometimes) make the mistake of thinking that the external world (the wind) needs to change in order for us to be happier or to enjoy life more. This simply isn’t so. It is the internal world that is calling for change, and meditation is the most effective technique by which to accomplish internal change. If we meditate we will be better able to set our sails to take advantage of the wind. The internal strength we secure through meditation will help us to not rail against the prevailing winds but to go with the flow!
In spite of all the meditation techniques that are available, we strongly recommend the Transcendental Meditation technique. We realize that different forms of meditation work for different people, but our primary reason for recommending the TM technique is that it has been rigorously evaluated for efficacy. In addition, unlike some forms of meditation, the TM technique does not require adherence to any belief system—there is no dogma or philosophy attached to it, and it does not demand any lifestyle changes other than the practice of it.
If practiced regularly, the TM technique will inevitably yield positive results. Research has shown that this technique works no matter what the expectations of the practitioner are. It’s a bit like holding a tennis ball in your hand and then letting it go—the ball will fall to the ground whether you believe it will or not. It the same way, the TM technique will affect your physiology whether you expect it to or not.
Because the regular practice of the TM technique affects the central nervous system it positively affects every aspect of human performance. Certainly it affects our ability to develop positive traits that disallow the seeding of a depressive mood. In other words, it helps us to set our sails to take advantage of the wind; to sail on with the flow and not get blown over.
A study analyzed the effect of the TM technique on the development of self-actualization. As defined by this study, self-actualization includes the following qualities: an open, receptive, and caring attitude; cheerfulness and good humor; a predominance of positive thinking; spontaneity and freshness of appreciation; self-sufficiency; loss of fear of death; and an acceptance of self, nature, and others.
Pick up a copy of Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way and read the chapter on meditation to learn more about how the Transcendental Meditation technique can assist you in setting your sails to take advantage of the wind! There is a fee to learn this technique. The training to become a teacher of Transcendental Meditation is a six month long residence course. However, no one is ever sent away and arrangements will be made if you wish to learn.
Contact the organization to find a teacher near you. TM.org
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