The ability to act from a calm mind is one of the benefits of practicing mindfulness meditation. As the ability to objectively observe thoughts, feelings, and emotions develops, we are able to calm the urge to act. Our mind is then able to settle into a quiet and calm place.
Through practice, we are able to access this place during our daily lives. This is because we know how it feels to have a calm mind and we also know how to get there. This is through relaxing the body, calming the mind, focusing attention and allowing emotions to subside. We have now created the potential to take actions from a calm state.
Avoiding an emotional response
One benefit of this practice is that we are no longer at the mercy of our emotions. Our habitual emotional responses were developed over a long period of time. They are often formed during early childhood from observing parents or others that we respected and admired at that time. But who we are now, is not who we were in the past. The situation may appear to be similar, but we have changed. Therefore responses that may have worked in the past are no longer appropriate. Acting from a calm mind gives us the opportunity to clearly see the situation for what it really is. We can then choose a more appropriate action (or to choose not to act).
Seeing what’s important
Also, when our mind is calm, we are able to see the bigger picture and to question our motivation for the urge to act in a particular way. We have the time to remember what is important – what really matters. We are then able to let go of what is not important and formulate actions that will help us to achieve appropriate goals.
Coming from a calm mind also allows us to empathise with others caught up in the present situation. We have the opportunity to practice forgiveness.
Where to from here
Marcus Aurelius, a philosopher and the Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180AD wrote that “The nearer one comes to a calm mind, the closer one is to strength”. So remember – body relaxed, mind calm, attention focused on what is in front of us. We are now able to make wise choices from a position of strength.