Clearly, there is a noticeable divide in the country today. And it’s causing problems and communication issues on a personal level for many Americans.
The chances are that regardless of your ideological views, in the past few months you’ve been subject to:
- Awkward conversations
- Uncomfortable family dinner
- Tense exchanges with acquaintances, colleagues or even longtime friends
It’s not a pleasant situation, to be sure. It’s frustrating for so many people that there’s a newfound awkwardness with so many people that we know and love.
Some people report that they rarely follow Facebook anymore because they are tired of charged or political posts.
And families and friends are reporting a growing feeling of separation as different individuals lean towards one viewpoint or another.
But regardless of our loved ones’ different viewpoints, they’re still at their core the people we appreciated, befriended, and admired in the first place.
And it’s easy to forget these fundamental attributes when political discourse rules the discussion.
We Need Meditation
This is exactly why we need meditation now, more than ever!
Meditation helps us change the dynamic of seeing people with conflicting views as the opposition.
It also helps us get back on track to recognizing the actual individual.
So remember before an upcoming gathering that your meditation practice will help you navigate the tricky landmines of conversation in more ways than one.
Meditation Keeps the Conversation Calm
A reason why so many discussions turn adversarial these days is that both parties on the side of an issue get frustrated and angry.
Words can hurt. And it’s easy to see another person’s assertions or views as a slight towards our own values and beliefs if we’re not too careful.
But meditation helps us put these words into perspective, without getting tense when the conversation gets heated.
By staying calm and rational during a conversation, the flow of information stays calm as well, allowing a potentially heated exchange to remain a more beneficial and productive exchange of ideas.
And that’s a benefit that everyone in the group can enjoy, regardless of their point of view.
Meditation Allows You to Focus on What's Important
When a conversation or a social media posting heats up, it can be hard to remember that a person who disagrees with you isn’t doing so just to make you mad.
Rarely – if ever – do people hold on to a belief to simply anger another person or cause harm, which is a fact that can get lost when aggressive language comes into play.
But meditation helps us look past the chatter and distractions and focus, instead, on what’s important.
- You loved ones may have a different viewpoint but are they, someone, you can count on?
- Have you had years of good times together?
- Have you always been happy that they’re family, and in your life?
By concentrating on the big picture items instead of little tidbits or statements that are just a minute fraction of who a person is, we can keep our attention on the good, and maintain friends and family relationships in the months and years to come, despite our differences.
Meditation Allows Us to See Different Points of View
It’s been long documented that people who practice mindfulness meditation have a greater and more enhanced sense of compassion, and that’s exactly what the world needs right now.
It’s hard to see certain situations or issues from another perspective, and especially when that perspective is so opposite of the one we have.
As a result, instead of engaging in conversations where we can understand where another person is coming from, too many discussions revolve around bumping
Understanding is key to resolving any differences – whether it’s a disagreement over who picks up a check at a restaurant, or a complete disagreement ideological views.
People who practice meditation, however, have a better ability to approach topics and situations without judgment.
And with ample compassion, which tends to turn a potentially dead-end conversation into a real discussion. Best of all, when other people notice that you are genuinely listening, and trying to understand their perspective, they’ll likely do the same.
Best of all, when other people notice that you are genuinely listening, and trying to understand their perspective, they’ll likely do the same.
There’s no easy answers to the polarizing viewpoints that seem to be abundant today throughout the country and the world. And it does seem, at times, that there’s a divide that may never be bridged on a larger scale.
But people who meditate can do something about potential conflicts in their own life, by using their inherent tools of compassion, calm and perspective to build a better conversation.
And if more and more people followed suit, and embraced the practice of meditation, chances are we’d end up with a much more productive and courteous world.
Having a professional teacher on your side will go a long way in getting you started. Once you’re on the path, you’ll be amazed at how far meditation will take you.