Buddhism is almost completely void of supernaturalism. The Buddha Shakyamuni as we know him to be is wise, compassionate and probably the world's best self-help psychologist. He is not a divine being—no miraculous birth, just a man who reached a higher state of awareness through serious mind training.
Meditation is not a mystical and magical route toward some higher plane. It is a cognitive process for self-exploration using introspection. It underpins what western sciences are discovering about the brain and the way it works.
The Buddha taught psychology and the nature of mind 2500 years ago. According to Buddhist teachings, suffering and unhappiness are attributed to having the wrong view. We go about our daily lives thinking this is how it's meant to be. The Buddha said there is another way to live and it starts with having a natural curiosity to look at yourself, warts and all.
Meditation, even as a beginner, does remind us of how difficult it is to spend even a short amount of time with ourselves. Simply to sit and breathe, if only to hear footsteps and the sound of keys passing outside the prison cell. Here we are listening to the world rather than trying to control it. Instead, we live in a mind that's frantic, fragmented and emotions and moods race each other around.
The mind is one noisy place, but as the Buddha taught, this is not a permanent state of mind. There is a way out!
Daniel Troyak is a Mindfulness-based Therapist.
With his support, unpack and unravel the contents of the mind.
Learn the tools for emotional processing and healing so you can live a happy, calm and peaceful life.