How many of us crave for something more?
As I grow older, I am increasingly confronted with an underlying feeling of emptiness within myself.
It’s often in the stillness of the night under the shadow of darkness, in the moments before going to sleep, that we become most aware of this deep emptiness. We are confronted with this feeling that there is something we are missing, a craving for something beyond our mundane lives.
In today’s society, we try to fill this inner emptiness through external means. We are enamored with narratives of friends, fortune, and fame. As a result, we structure our lives to make the most money, to have the best body, to get the most attention. We even post our successes on social media in hopes of receiving external validation for that which is internally unfulfilling.
This starts when we are young. As toddlers, whenever we are cranky, fussy or sad, we are almost immediately shown TV screens and iPads, reinforcing a mentality of seeking external stimulation whenever we feel the slightest internal discomfort. Again, as we enter into adulthood, we emulate similar behaviors – seeking newer jobs, cars, relationships whenever we encounter that internal dismay.
Hence, despite being in an era of all the newest advances in technologies and being part of the “most connected” generation, we have more than 300 million people around the world who are affected by depression. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Today we have access to all kinds of knowledge, entertainment, and external stimulation that people in the past could have only dreamed of, and yet still we remain empty and unfulfilled.
So what is it that we are missing?
Engaging purely externally, we have forgotten about the world that is within ourselves, we have forgotten the home that is within our hearts. When I first started meditating, that is the one truth that I began to realize. The emptiness that I was feeling was a craving to feel whole again, a craving to find a home within.
We may spend our entire lives trying to fulfill that craving externally, but it is one that can only be fulfilled by what we already have within ourselves.
To me, in its very essence, that is what yoga is about. In Sanskrit, the word yoga translates to “union.”
Union with what? With that which is within.
While so much of our lives have become externally focused, yoga is a practice and a philosophy to bring us inwards, to reunite with the original source of fulfillment within ourselves.
So, take a step with me, and take this Yoga Day as an opportunity to re-connect with yourself. Take that craving for something more and use yoga and meditation as an opportunity to step back, close your eyes, and feel whole once more.
About the Why Meditate? Series
I began to meditate over three years ago in June of 2013 and have been teaching heartfulness meditation ever since July of 2015. For over three years, I’ve had people ask me about how I meditate, why I meditate, and above all, how meditation has helped me. So I am starting the Why Meditate? Series, a series of blogs hoping to give an introspective and versatile taste of the many answers to that very question.
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This post was originally published on the Heartfulness Blog.
I am a student, a traveler, an activist, a meditation instructor…. and a blogger!
Come join me on my journey.