Meditation is gaining popularity these days. It seems like everyone is adapting this practice in their daily routines. The benefits are well-documented.
Improved mental health. Decreased stress levels. And simple enjoyment. It’s not for everyone but it has its fans.
One of the key practices in meditation is to stay present. To be in the moment. To be here and now, and nowhere else.
It’s easier said than done. Many times, thoughts about work and life in general would race around in my head. On and on and on.
It’s one thing to say to be present. But, it’s a whole another thing to actually do it. Many people always ruminate about the past and worry about the future.
But, sometimes I don’t see anything wrong with that. If we use our memories the right way, we can think about the past with gratitude and sincerity.
That can also help us develop a sense of well-being just as much as simply staying present.
Reminiscing about the good old days can garner a sense of appreciation within us. To know that yes, we’ve lived through good times. We know how it feels to be happy. To be peaceful. To be alive.
Even though we are not living in the moment, it’s still a good strategy to foster that sense of gladness in us all.
For example, I can look back in complete fondness of the places that I’ve been to around the world with my family and friends.
I am lucky enough to have had the resources to be able to travel around the world. When I was doing my MBA overseas in France, my friends and I visited Egypt, Spain, and the UK.
When I studied in Beijing, we similarly visited Harbin, Xi’An, Taiwan, and Mongolia. Traveling has been one of the main things I’ve been nostalgic about.
But, I don’t look back with the goal of grasping for something that I don’t have. I can simply look back in gratitude about the experiences that I’ve been a part of.
When you look back like that, there really isn’t much to worry about. It’s just a simple practice to generate appreciation for your past.
It’s really all about perception. If people look back at the past and yearn for returning to those times, then that might cause some suffering.
But, if we can just accept that those times are fleeting and already past, we can better appreciate the things around us and before us.
It’s quite subtle I suppose. But, thinking about the past doesn’t have to be a means to suffer in pain.
Our memory is a valuable tool that we can also use for inner well-being. It’s not exactly like staying in the present, but it can also help us attain some sense of happiness and fondness for our lives.
These days, mental health is a real issue - particularly in developed nations. Your guess is as good as mine as to why. When our technologies and comforts are better than ever, it seems like it doesn’t help much in terms of inner well-being.
So, think about the good times that you’ve been a part of. The places you’ve traveled to. The friends you’ve accounted for along the way.
All the experiences that you’ve been a part of throughout these years. And smile and be grateful for it all.
Even the challenging times in the past were an opportunity to grow as a human being. To become more resilient. To better understand the nature that is life.
Appreciate everything that you’ve been part of. And don’t see the good old days with a sense of yearning to return. Just see the good old days as moments when you’ve experienced enjoyment.
And be happy that you know how it feels to enjoy something. Anything. Whether it be traveling around the world. Enjoying different cultures. Different cuisines. Different people. And just being a part of something greater than oneself.
Be thankful for all the moments you’ve shared in the past. With others. With yourself. And see that we’ve all accumulated so much experience in our lives. It is truly wonderful to be a part of.
There is no need for anything to be different from what it already is and has been.