The Quiet Within

Testimonial of an inmate from a prison in central Israel

Meditation means seeing and knowing how we think. And if we can see our thoughts, it can bring us relief. We always think about the past, about the present, and about the future, and that way we create feelings of happiness or sadness. It’s important for us to be able to sit down or stop sometimes to see how we think. Because the thought leads to a verbal or physical reaction that can be gentle or aggressive. Our reaction is usually directed towards the people around us: family, friends, society in general – the “outside world.”

Our thoughts lead to a reaction to ourselves. My thoughts may leave me irritated and suffering or they may leave me happy and wanting more. But I know that they’re only thoughts, and that I may have concocted a story that isn’t even true – my own invention, while the real story is completely different. If we practice meditation in our daily life, then to start to see how we think and not judge things as good or bad or assign grades.

As for our reaction – we can think about it from two angles and consider the outcome before we react. Then we can choose the proper and logical reaction. One possible reaction is not to use good and bad, but instead see what makes me and those around me happy rather than unhappy. It’s only natural that we suffer sometimes. But when we accept the suffering too, then at least it makes it easier.