“The international problem today is not hunger, poverty, drugs, or fear of war. It is tension, hypertension, total tension.” (Swami Satchidananda)
Stress is purported to be a modern malaise. There always seems to be so much to do and not enough time to do it in; what one may call the hamster in a wheel syndrome. The speed of technological advances can help us with gadgets that save us time and stress, yet at the same time they compound it, e.g. receiving emails and phone calls wherever you are, so you never actually switch off and recharge yourself.
An antidote to stress and tension is clearly required in our society and one that will be effective in arresting stress related disorders.
One of the major goals and benefits of meditation is the equanimity it imparts to the spirit. Through meditation you gradually come to realize that most of the worries that plague us are mental illusions that we create ourselves, with little basis in reality, and that most mental stress is the direct result of mental vulnerability, just as physical disease is the result of physical vulnerability.
Meditation provides perspective on life that is impossible to find elsewhere because it creates a state of mind in which things are perceived differently from ordinary consciousness. One of those perceptions is the insight that nothing in the world is absolutely “good” or absolutely “bad”, completely “right” or completely “wrong”.
Meditation’s most basic lesson is that the only permanent thing in life is impermanence, yet we constantly behave as though our blessings, as well as our problems, were permanent. Meditation practice teaches us the lessons of impermanence and relativity and shows us how to flow with, rather than fight against, the currents of constant change.
Only after you have commenced a regular program of meditation will you begin to appreciate how difficult it is to calm the spirit, silence the incessant internal dialogue that constantly clutters consciousness and learn how to manage, or even tranquilize if needs be, the ‘playful monkey’ of mind.