Here is an article by Maya Yajnik in the Home News Tribune.
an excerpt is below
Meditation gives us the strength to gracefully deal with the complex situations in our lives. It brings peace, a sense of well being and a crystal-clear awareness that shifts our perspective. It makes us strong in the face of challenges.
Challenges are everywhere. Since we are fundamentally social beings, other people affect us, and this brings challenges.
Bullying in schools is very common. Aggressive behavior is common at work and at home. It is a form of violence that is woven into the very fabric of our society.
Have you noticed that there are some people who push your buttons? There are some people who get under your skin? Maybe the person speaks to you in a very condescending way, contradicts what you say, insults you and doesn’t give you credit for what you’ve done?
I’ve noticed that, despite my best intentions, sometimes when people criticize me or insult me, I feel a lot of negative emotions. Maybe someone says that the work I did on a project is worthless or criticizes my appearance. Fear comes up, anger comes up, and sometimes I feel hurt. My breathing becomes very rapid and my muscles become tense. My mind perceives it as a crisis and triggers a reaction in my whole system.
The tendency at that moment is to react by shouting back, insult in return or run away. From experience, I know that this does not always resolve the situation; although shouting back can give a deceptive sense of satisfaction. The intelligent way to respond is to remain calm and smile. Maybe it is wise to, in a moderate tone of voice, present my point of view. The question is how to remain calm and respond appropriately?
The ancient science of meditation can provide the answer. Meditation gives us the inner strength to stand up to stressful situations. Our deeper self is full of joy, peace and love. The tension in our systems clouds these feelings. Meditation helps us relax and let go of stress so that our deeper self shines through. The mind clears up. The body relaxes. It brings deep rest, allowing our system to rejuvenate. It brings a feeling of freshness. The world looks brighter, challenges look like adventures, and people look more beautiful. I feel better about myself. A weight lifts off my shoulders, and I feel I can move mountains.
Importantly, meditation increases awareness. We can impartially observe what’s going on inside us and outside us. This awareness is the key to intelligently respond to any situation. So when someone insults me, I can be more aware of the feelings rising up in me. The awareness gives me the choice not to react. I can wait until I am calm and make a suitable response that comes from a space of wisdom, rather than a space of fear and anger. I can be guided by my inner intuition.
Inner peace and happiness allow us to be kind and sensitive to others, giving us the wisdom to confront people in a constructive way.
We can embody the human values of compassion and courage. Peace in the world begins with each one of us.
Maya Yajnik has a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering and works as a researcher at a telecommunications company. She has been practicing the Sahaj Samadhi meditation technique taught by the Art of Living foundation daily since 2004. She is an active organizer of yoga, breathing and meditation courses with the Art of Living foundation (www.artofliving.org). Art of Living, a nonprofit educational and humanitarian organization, has launched a nationwide movement for nonviolence at www.nonvio.org.