Do you ever wonder why you can be so peaceful on vacation but can’t keep that feeling when you get home? Is there a way to take your vacation ” to go?”
Once immersed in the warm ocean water of Florida and sinking my feet in the brilliant white sand, decades of Epic Fail meditation training suddenly kicked in. My mind slowed down and blanked until all I was aware of was my immediate place in the cosmos: spinning on this planet, swimming in jade water and walking on a tiny silken thread of beach.
Is there something I can drag from this experience to my daily quest for and practice of peace? There are 3 elements of every successful vacation that are, in fact portable that we can click and drag with us when we are ” back on the chain gang”.
Doesn’t the view at right make one’s concerns not only seem small, but ridiculous? The problems are still there: what happened?
We focused on something beautiful, instead of something scary or vexing. We also focused on something happening right now, something right in front of our eyes; not a phantom or something we created in the future with our minds.
… And what else happens after a great vacation? We can’t wait to get home. Why is this? Because we remember what we treasure most, and with renewed focus, we return home with new zeal. We can do this without a plane ticket because distance isn’t a physical destination.
2) We step into our proper role. Our thoughts and emotions are like the storms portrayed in these pictures. If we watch them objectively, they simply peter out on their own.
While on vacation, I was able to view these magnificent storms from the proper perspective: that of spectator.
There was nothing about this storm to threaten anything I have or am: it was simply a wonderful and transient piece of performance art, to be watched and enjoyed. This storm brought every person on the island to his or her balcony at the same exact time to revel in what was going on. It wasn’t menacing, It was spectacular!
In a matter of minutes, it was gone.
This is how our crises are most of the time. If we drill right down to it, 8 times out of 10, what we are driving ourselves mad about is something our thoughts have created: there is danger to our precious concept of ourselves: our wealth, our power, our beauty, our youth, our creativity, our freedom: all of which are mental constructs!
Who we are has nothing to do with these things. Life is not the sum total of our challenges, neither are we. Life is an adventure and a teacher, not a sentence to be endured.
We cling to these fears because we think they are part of who we are, but they are just a storm of the mind and the heart.
3) Limited Time Only! Who on earth would waste a perfectly wonderful vacation obsessing for even one minute about what could be going on at home? These storms and life itself only last briefly. Why contaminate one transient event with another?
In his book, the Untethered Soul, Michael Singer uses the example of someone who has always dreamed of hearing a certain piece performed by a certain orchestra live. Then it happens. Transcendental peace occurs in a few notes. The point is made to illustrate that peace isn’t a miraculous set of circumstances all coming into alignment like the planets every eon.
We can do this any time; the key is the same transcendence that occurs on vacation or when hearing this favorite piece played: we become fully engaged in experiencing what is actually happening— life itself, and all that is good in it and, sometimes without our knowing it, peace creeps in.
If we do this, then peace becomes portable… until the next time we need to press the reset button. It’s a practice, like reading the Bible or meditating, not a transitory event. Thank God!
It’s 100 percent optional whether and how often we decide to reset and begin again.