Imagine for a moment that you are listeningto the sounds of a singing bowl and the sound stops. What do we experience? We realize that the mind had become still and was focusedon the vibrations. However, even after the sound stopped there was stillness which lasted for sometimeeven after the sounds had stopped.Music poetry storytelling painting or simply listening to the river flow brings a pause and a stillness to the ever chattering mind. This stillness is what we describe as peace and it awakens our higher consciousness where we experience a calm oneness with the universe.

In Japanese the word for such moments of awareness is called ‘satori’.

Research shows that along with practices such as yoga, zen meditation(the zazen sitting still shikantazameditation), the arts such as singing, dancing , painting writing have a magical effect on our mind and body and help in preventing and managing stress.

The aftermath of COVID, prize hike, loss of jobs and several other daily hassles and life events have raised the stress levels in most people.

For example, stresses from daily hassles such as travel stress, workplace conflict or electricity and water cuts can make us angry and we tend to bring out our frustration and anger on our children or spouse. Children learn by modeling their parents that violence is the solution to resolving conflicts or managing anger.

Anger stress and conflict lead to a disturbed mind which can lead to violence when not managed or prevented early on. It is so critical for our mental well being that we channel our negative emotions towards creative activities. When children are trained to do this early on it becomes a habit which they can use without effort when they feel negative emotions.

So the next time you experience a tightening of your muscles, irritation and annoyance over day to day stressors, you may want to turn on your favourite music or practice a few dance steps. When the mind becomes calm, the parasympathetic nervous system gets activated which is important for sustaining peace.