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Meditation for modern living

What Is a Beautiful Mind?

Which qualities of mind do you prize most and how does meditation fit into this?

What does a "beautiful mind" mean to you? It was a question that came up in an interview a short while back and it got me thinking how other people might answer that same question. So what qualities of mind do you prize the most, and which ones best reflect this notion? Here are a few ideas to get you started, but all suggestions welcome! A beautiful mind is...

Calm–Imagine a mind which is perfectly at ease with itself, with everything and everyone around it. It's a mind which is tranquil and serene, no matter how busy or quiet life may be. That's what it means to have a calm mind. Meditation simply gives you the necessary tools to facilitate this process, in a natural and effortless way.

Grateful–It's so easy to spend life chasing after all the things we haven't got, the things that we want, the things which we think will make us happy. Sometimes we're so busy chasing that we forget to notice the things we already have, the people in our lives and the fortunate circumstances in which we live. But there's nothing beautiful about a mind which is always craving more. So use meditation to develop a healthy sense of appreciation for what you have right now.

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Clear–Take a moment to picture a perfectly still pool of water, with not even a ripple on the surface. The water is so still, so clear, that you can see everything within it, even those things right at the bottom. This is the clarity of meditation. It's having the ability to see the mind, to know the mind, exactly as it is. Free from judgement and self-criticism, it's a mind which simply "knows."

Spontaneous–Sometimes life can feel repetitive, as though we're stuck in a rut, like a hamster on a wheel, unable to get off. When you feel this way, life quickly loses its magic, creativity and excitement. It's as if you are caught up in an internal dialogue, unable to get free. Meditation shows you how to step out of that dialogue, how to be present, living moment to moment with a natural spontaneity.

Caring–It's important to be happy, to know how to be happy yourself. But just as important is the ability to bring happiness to the lives of others. How can you live with any sense of genuine happiness when those around you are unhappy? Meditation is a way of letting go of our own self-serving, self-interested desires, making way for a caring, compassionate and beautiful mind.

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A beautiful mind
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This blog was originally posted on the Headspace Blog.

Why not get some calm and clarity in your mind by trying our free Take10 meditation programme? Or take advantage of the fantastic Psychology Today reader offer of 3 months free on the Headspace Journey? Thats 365 days of bite-sized meditation delivered to your smartphone so you can get your Headspace here, there and everywhere.  

Andy Puddicombe is a Clinical Meditation Consultant and the co-founder of Headspace, which aims to make meditation simple and accessible through its website and app.

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