This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson in each experience. Learn it and become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your faith. Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength.Sivananda
Yes it’s true.
You can use your life and the world around you to your advantage. It can be used as your greatest teacher.
What the Sivananda quote is saying that everything that happens to you or, that you facilitate in your day-to-day life can be seen as a direct learning experience or, at least a chance to be more mindful, a chance to meditate or, to just be aware of the NOW that you find yourself in.
The concept of everyday life being our greatest teacher is not a new one.
In fact it’s one of the cornerstones of Zen in which practitioners focus on turning a seemingly mundane everyday activity (such as doing the dishes) into a meditative experience by being totally mindful and present in the moment.
I always found though, that there was very little information around describing the types of lessons can be learned and somehow marrying them up with the everyday activities that we all perform.
So, with this in mind, I thought that it would be a good idea to use The Calm Life as a way to document the many lessons that can be learned from all of the different activities that a normal person would do in their day-to-day lives.
This is the concept of Everyday Zen. It’s got me thinking of what I’m doing today and what I’ve done in the past plus, what I have experienced over my lifetime and how that has shaped me into the person I am RIGHT NOW.
It also got me thinking about what lessons I had learned or should have learned from my actions and experiences and how, if I had this knowledge at my disposal back then, I could’ve acted differently in certain situations in my past.
Hindsight can sometimes be a wonderful thing.
What I’ve realised is that looking at your life as one continuous teacher rather than something that just happens to you, can better help you in your search for more meaning in your life.
It can better help you affect some much needed changes in your life if you feel stuck in a rut or, it can help you see where you are in life at this very moment with a much different perspective.
These realisations can go a long way in decreasing stress and increasing calm in your life by giving you the sense of control over how you react to whatever life throws at you or whatever situation you find yourself in.
In future posts I’ll be introducing you to Everyday Zen – Turning The Everyday Into A Learning Experience in which I’ll be deconstructing an everyday activity and the lessons that can be learned from it whether it be a direct lesson or a chance to create a mindful or meditative experience for yourself.
Let me ask you this… What were some of the lessons that you learned through your life and what activities do you think you could change from a chore to a mindful, meditative experience? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it.
In the meantime, be still and enjoy the silence.