The British School of Meditation Blog

20Mar

Creating Balance and Equilibrium in Spring

March is the month when the clocks change as they spring forward to mark the beginning of British Summer Time.  It is also the month which marks the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, known as the March equinox (or vernal equinox).

The word equinox derives from the Latin words, ‘aequusm’ meaning equal ,and ‘nox’ meaning night.  It is a time when the Northern and Southern Hemisphere (which will be marking Autumn) receive equal levels of sunlight, and the length of day and night is almost equal in all parts of the world.   It is a time of balance.

As we emerge from the restful Wintering period, we can notice that nature is emerging too.  We may notice more birdsong, or spring flowers, or the buds on the trees beginning to burst with more energy.  We, too, may feel we have more energy, and feel a desire to connect with the  outdoors, and others too, as we shake off the hibernation of the colder months.

We may want to do more, see more, connect more.  But if we are not too careful this could come with a price, if we don’t recognise the importance of balance.

One way to feel a sense of equilibrium is through our meditation practice.  In meditation, we step away from the pendulum swing of the future and past stories of our minds, and instead, have present awareness.  In this place, the mind is not caught up with external stimuli, nor inner dialogue.  It is steady and calm, and not buying into the stress of the swirling chaos of the world.

Without meditation, we are on a constant pendulum swing of remembering the past or imagining the future, resulting in our mind and body becoming more vulnerable to the effects of stress.  We may feel unhappy, and our bodies may be braced, ready to fight or flight, or we may already have health and well-being conditions which impact our daily lives.

But in the present awareness of meditation  we can recognise the safety of the moment, and give the mind and body an opportunity to rest, thus allowing our body, our mind, and our spirit to be in equal parts of harmony.

In particular, when our mind is in equilibrium our brain waves can slow down, and our emotional response centre (the amygdala) becomes calmer too.  We can more easily let go of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and make more room to connect with the natural calmness which resides within.  This allows us to become more focused, and have better concentration and clarity of mind.

When our body is in equilibrium, our nervous system can switch to the calmer parasympathetic nervous system response.  Our breathing rate and heart rate can slow down, and blood pressure can lower.  Our muscles can unlock, as well as our digestive system too.  This can help improve our immune system response and have a great impact on our quality of sleep.

With these changes to our body and mind, we can make room for inner peace and serenity as well as feel a deeper sense of connection outside of ourselves. 

So as we spring to the brighter months, as we feel bursting with more energy, although it could be tempting to do more, see more, and have less time for rest, remember to come home to yourself and allow the wonderful benefits of present awareness to bring the perfect balance to your life.

 

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