Elements of Life

Meditation is one element of life. To know anything is to know the elements of that thing. Knowing elements and knowing what to do with them, make us produce what we want. It is like, to have a tea to drink, we need to have the ingredients such as tea itself, water, heat etc as well as the recipe, which are the steps of how to make tea. If anyone has these elements then it is a surety to have tea. Rather it will be impossible not to have tea ready. So the key is to know what we want and what is needed to make that happen, combination of these two things are called “elements”.

Types of Elements

We must know what life is made of. Knowing the elements of life make us live better. There are two kind of elements, essential elements and optional elements. Essential elements are necessity. They are not based on choice. For example, food is necessary to get energy for body to function and survive. Whereas optional elements are either effects of essential elements or they are the choices we are free to choose. For example optional element “happiness” is a choice, similarly another optional element “laughter” is a choice. In this light, Meditation is an optional element of life. Though the reason why it is such an important element is because it directly impacts some of the main essential elements of life significantly. This analysis and understanding also helps in answering this important question, what can Meditation do in your life?

The main essential elements are:

  1. Time
  2. Thoughts
  3. Decisions
  4. Actions
  5. Interactions

Let us have a look at the main essential elements in a new fresh view:

Time: Time is life. Our life is what we do with time. Time is an empty container which can be filled with whatever we want. The more aware we become, the more intelligently we can utilize time. Wasting time is wasting life. Similarly doing the activities in our lives, which are not taking us anywhere is also wastage of time which means wasting life.

Doing meditation takes up some “Time” of our life. This is generally one of the biggest challenge we face while adapting meditation into our lives, as we have too many things to do and have very limited time. Though time given to meditation is a right investment as we get much higher return. It is a time given in sharpening the saw as Meditation results in higher productivity with better focus, much more improved quality of work, creativeness and a healthy, happy, fun attitude towards work.

Thoughts: Our thoughts start as soon as we wake up. The place they originate is our mind. They continue with us almost all the time. They are primarily of two kinds: good or bad. Good thoughts are inspiring, positive, constructive, productive and happy. Bad thoughts are disturbing, negative, destructive, counter-productive and unhappy. The reason of bad thoughts is imbalance which can be in mind, body, soul or the environment we are in. Meditation is like putting a dam on uncontrolled thoughts and harnessing the energy of now more controlled thoughts in a much more constructive way, which was getting waste earlier.

The bad thoughts are the constant reminders from Nature to do something which is needed to shift the bad thoughts into good thoughts. Meditation is definitely one important tool to help you not only move from bad side to good side, but also to keep you in good side by continuous practice. Meditation works for mind. For body a physical workout of your liking such as Yoga. For your soul, work which is your life’s purpose, is meaningful and which you are passionate about and absolutely love to do. For environment, the people you like to be with and the place conducive to your work with surroundings of your liking.

Decisions: Our living is the activities we choose from the moment we wake up till we sleep. Many a times, we are not so mindful and end up taking wrong decisions which result in unfavourable consequences. Every decision is a learning. From good decisions which result in betterment of life, we should learn what works and what to do in our lives. With bad decisions we must learn what does not work and what not to do in our lives. It is not just enough to know what to do, it is equally important to know what not to do.

Our mind should build right intelligent filters over the period of time which should prevent us in repeating the same mistakes. Avoid rush, be thoughtful and mindful and take right decisions. It is good to have life plans, professional, business and personal plans as they set a direction and it is easier to take decisions because we can gauge whether the choice takes us closer to our goals or further away from them. It is not important how much we do with the time, what matters is what we do with the time and that is a matter of decision. Meditation builds mindfulness. The non-reactivity we practice during meditation, builds patience and we get better to coolly, wisely respond rather than foolishly react. Meditation reduces mental clutter and significantly improves clarity so that we can take correct decisions.

Actions: Actions are imperative. We can not sleep all the time. Neither we can decide never to act or do anything. Even if everything is provided to us, still we have a living and we will be doing some actions. Many a times, we try to make safe choices and our actions try to ensure that we don’t get hurt. Everything what we get in life is because of the input of actions. If we take bigger actions which means sometimes more risks, our failures could be bigger but so are the chances of some bigger accomplishments. Though by taking very small measures, we guarantee a small, average or below average results in our life.

Meditation can influence our actions, which means impacting our lives directly. Because meditation brings mental peace, our actions are more peaceful. Because Meditation brings more creativity in mind, our actions are more creative. Because Meditation brings more love in soul, our actions are more loving. Because Meditation brings more clarity in our thoughts, our actions are more effective and produce better results. Because Meditation connects us to our deeper true self and helps us identifying our purpose of life, our actions become more meaningful.

Interactions: Interactions are unavoidable. Interactions could be distracting, harmful, hurtful, damaging, or interactions can also be meaningful, life altering, happy and healing. Again we have a choice, who to have interactions with, though we have to have interactions. These are our phone calls, emails, instant messages and face-to-face interactions. We must know and if not already known, learn how to have our interactions. Then it is extremely critical to know how far to go with such interactions.

Just like in Meditation we practice mindfulness, we can bring same awareness to our interactions. Consequences of our interactions could be grave, effecting our life forever. Meditation makes us understand our own nature, which also implies that we understand more of human nature. This understanding helps in knowing what we want and what the other person wants. If there is a conflict than it will make more sense to gracefully end the present interactions and any future ones. Meditation also makes us understand, who we are as well as how the other person is. Again if you observe that your value system such as honesty, integrity, work-ethics, value for words etc do not match with the counterpart, one can anticipate that the relationship will be a lost cause. Finally and most importantly the clarity of purpose of live revealed out of Meditation makes us take correct decisions to have right interactions with right people, building long term mutually rewarding and fulfilling relationships.

Knowing the elements of life, will make us more aware of our living. Meditation works on all these essential elements of our life and living. This is also very evident, that Meditation just not impacts our mind, but touches and influences all aspects of our life. We can change our life by applying these elements in right manner, in right sequence and mindfully with the practise of Meditation.

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