I have been meditating for about 2 ½ years–long enough to notice its benefits. In the past my temperament let anxiety creep in, morph into fear, and plant doomsday thoughts in my mind. Now, mindfulness alerts me when anxiety approaches, and I choose to get into a positive mindset. I have also noticed that I rarely take things personally or get upset. And when I do, I can snap out of it fairly easily.
While most of these emotional shifts I have noticed over time, I felt it very clearly during a recent incident. In late November, while waiting in stopped highway traffic, my 14-year old daughter and I were making the most out of boredom, listening to music and humming along. Suddenly a loud bang jolted both of us, as I helplessly watched my car ram into the car in front of me; we realized our car has been rear-ended. In the next few minutes, all three cars managed to pull over to the shoulder. The driver’s side door was jammed, so both of us crawled into the back seat and got out through the back door.
Chances are we all have been in this situation. And I want to tell you how my mind processed it then.
There we were; three damaged cars lined up as the drivers figuring out how best to mend that situation and move on from there. The look on the face of the man rear ending my car already told me how sorry he was that this happened. We were still a bit shaken, and yet I felt no anger or anxiety at that time; in fact, all 3 of us heaved a sigh of relief knowing no one was hurt. The thoughts that crossed my mind were “this accident was one of many millions of permutations and combinations of chain reactions in our universe; and that, it wasn’t designed to upset my daughter’s and my lives; in fact, I felt gratitude that it didn’t turn out to be far worse for all involved. At that time, the compassion for all of us involved was more gratifying than a feeling of anger and a sense of betrayal I felt in the past in similar situations.
I strongly believe that equanimous mindset I felt then is a direct benefit of meditation, and that energy not only guided me, it helped the entire situation to get better. Mindfulness has augmented clarity in life, uplifted love and compassion. I feel conscious of the whole to which I belong.