Equanimity. Evenness of mind. Physical, emotional and spiritual harmony.
An appropriate balance between activity in the physical world and contemplation leads to these states of mind.
These states lead to joy and fulfillment.
The modern world is out of balance. We are too much in the material world and not enough in the spiritual. I say this is true of humanity in aggregate.
How we got here is a discussion for another time, as is compilation of a list of problems that have resulted.
Here I would like to suggest the remedy and suggest it is nearly universal.
Humanity in aggregate must increase time spent in contemplation. For humanity to attain this goal, each of us must develop our own capacities for contemplation. We should find the appropriate balance for ourselves. We should incrementally increase our capacity for contemplation to the most suitable, sustainable level.
That level would be where we find our optimal, personal balance between activity and contemplation. Of course, most of our time will be spent in activity and rest with a fraction spent in contemplation. The ratio may be, let’s say 23:1, or so, more or less. Each must find their own ratio according to their practice.
Contemplation or meditation gives us access to our storehouse of vital energy. That energy tends to be positive, but negative thoughts and emotions can arise. We can channel the energy into positive, selfless activity in order to stay in balance emotionally and spiritually.
This is an art form, perhaps the ultimate form of art: the art of living well.
In meditation, we move closer to the realization that we are integral with life, along with all other people, creatures, plants, earth and beyond.
By integral, I mean that without any one of us life would not be whole.
By life, I mean the entirety of existence.
Therefore, meditation builds our self-worth and security. It gives us meaning and purpose.
It leads us to selflessness, not overnight, but bit by hard-won bit.
Selflessness is not a state of self-denial. It is self-affirmation. It is the recognition of our true place in the world, a place of importance, but not of dominance. A place of freedom with responsibility. A place of belonging and duty.
This is a place of meaning and purpose in the scheme of life. A place of balance uniquely human: between activity in the outer, physical world and awareness in the inner, spiritual world.
Selflessness is a state of unity with all life. It is the right balance between activity and contemplation.