Go gentle into yourself: allow meditation to help you cope with grief

Life and love are entwined by nature. From the time we are born, we are bound by attachments - to family, things, experiences, and relationships. Reality strikes us hard when we lose someone we love. Grief is natural and sometimes, there’s no way you can disregard it.

Everyone has their way of grappling with grief. However, it's also important to not let the emotion consume you. Simple truths of life help in moving forward. In such times, it is recommended to sit in silence for few minutes every day. Meditation can increase our ability to let go, and it surely helps to come out of grief. Meditation brings calm and peace to the disturbed mind.

Most common symptoms of grief:

  • tiredness and exhaustion
  • restlessness
  • aches and pains
  • anxiety attacks
  • difficulty in breathing
  • loss of appetite

Time will take care of it. If someone you love crosses over, grief overtakes you. But see it from a broader angle — we all have to go one day. Someone has taken an earlier flight, and we have to take a later flight. When you see the impermanence of everything, you will gain the strength to overcome the grief. Again and again, you have to put your attention on the impermanence of everything.

~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Overcoming grief in four ways:

1. Know that you are strong

Know that you have the strength. The problem has come, the grief has come. You can’t do anything about it. Meditation will allow you to cherish the time you spent with your loved one, making you lot lighter and happier.

2. Dwell on the truth of life

Realise that everyone is going to die one day. Everybody here will go under the soil. It will all happen in the next 100 years. Someone has gone earlier. When we wake up in the morning, for a second we feel everything is ok, but within seconds reality strikes and the mind begins to wander all over again. Allow yourself to do your regular activities - exercise, reading,  spending time with friends, meditation. Learn to nurture yourself. Allow all that you experience to evolve, connecting naturally while maintaining your comfort.

3. Connect more with family, with the world

Look at those who have greater troubles than you. When we see people, who have greater difficulties and start serving them, our problems will disappear. While grief is natural, it isn’t easy to cope with, sure. It can be helpful if you start sharing your thoughts with your family and friends. In such times, family members are more than willing to support you.

4. Meditation for grief and loss

It’s common for people to spontaneously reminisce the person that they have lost. This valuable inner connection can also be cultivated and nurtured through meditation. Set aside 20 minutes daily for yourself, close your eyes. Meditation during grieving or loss allows your thoughts to settle and makes your mind peaceful. Keep the focus on your breath as you relax more and more. Know that the Divine is with you. Offer your problems to the divinity and relax. We must have that confidence. If we are calm, then we can spread peace. If we are happy, then we can radiate and spread happiness.

Be aware of how you feel in this state of mind, allow the thoughts to flow, feel the warmth and peace from within. Be with the moment and enjoy being in that meditative state. You can learn more about this at the Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Program taught in The Art of Living.

Inspired by talks from Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

With inputs from Dr. Seema Thanedar and Dr. Shilpa Sabharwal, Faculties, The Art of Living

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