The truth is that we live in a society that consciously or unconsciously promotes the belief that if people can change their outsides that their insides will follow suit. Unfortunately, this view on how to cultivate peace and happiness is focused in the wrong direction. As a result, the world is full of individuals fixated on trying to control themselves and others in a futile attempt to mold the world. As many who practice meditation know, however, true movement toward happiness comes through establishing a mindful and meaningful relationship with self. In doing so, not only does a person’s life change for the better, but one’s external environment also tends to shift in a similar direction.
Rebecca Meany pens this recent Idaho Mountain Express post on meditation teacher Swami Pragyapad, also known as “Smiling Swami.” According to Meany, Swami Pragyapad focuses on the practice of meditation as a way to quiet the mind in an effort to correct a person’s responses to external events that seem out of control.
Swami Pragyapad, a Bangalore, India-based senior international teacher with the Art of Living Foundation, said meditation is a tool that can be used to strengthen our minds and sustain happiness even in light of life’s demands.
He has taken the foundation’s philosophy into violence-wracked schools, tsunami-ravaged areas and prisons to alleviate stress, anger and violence.
The swami told the gathering that too often, we try to resolve the conflicts happening outside of us, thinking the conflicts inside will resolve themselves afterward.
“It’s like telling the doctor, ‘I’ll take the medicine after I become all right,'” he said.
If happiness and peace exist within us from the start, he said, then fear, anxiety, depression and insecurity can fade away.
He said meditation helps strengthen the mind, which in turn helps us to not be affected by negative external situations.
Read more from Meany and Swami Pragyapad on using meditation to cultivate happiness from the inside out here.