Responding to tonight’s tragedy, Berlin Police requested via Twitter that streets be kept clear for emergency services and that people ‘do not spread rumours.’ Good counsel. For as though the incident is not tragic enough, some of the stories we rehearse in our heads are worse.
Tittle-tattle poisons. Abetted by constant media chatter, swept along by an inchoate racket, we struggle with disconnected stories we tell ourselves. Fearful, we know we are living under par and seek quick answers. For the umpteenth time, we imagine apocalypse come upon us.
We must learn to quiet our rumours. Enter the universal gift of meditation – stilling over-active ‘monkey’ minds. Mental chatter is often no more than unconscious shrieking – ungoverned swinging from one thought-branch to another. Conscious observation is required.
Meditation to the rescue! As we learn simply to observe the fantastic tales authored in our heads, we equip ourselves to deal with the actual stories of life. Quietly watching the ticker tape of thoughts that do not require reaction or response preserves energy for those that do.
Meditation trains us in the practice of discernment. Imagined stories teach our brains to live in life’s real stories – but it is only the actual ones we need to act upon, not the ticking ticker tape. We are not required to know, still less to act upon teacher’s passing thoughts on her way to class.
We need not waste energy with rumour. Meditation keeps mental streets clear so that we deal better with real life. Anyone, anywhere, here and now. Universal – neither guru nor joining fee required – meditation affords the gift of quiet consciousness, and befriends it.