This post was written earlier this year when the author was a high school senior. It is republished here to give readers an opportunity for inner reflection as part of this year’s holiday. Happy Thanksgiving.
Where there is gratitude, there is joy, and desire is silent for a moment. It is in our human nature to worry and hold fear in our bodies in order to protect ourselves. When I meditate, I feel those worries and fears lift away for a few minutes. When I become fully present to my body and lose all judgment about my reality, I feel utter peace and gratitude. I breathe and feel grateful for life. I feel it in my body, not just my mind. I become lighter and my perspective broadens. I feel as though I can see myself from the sky, as a tiny part of something much bigger, as a part of infinity.
Earth, a place where everything and nothing matters at the same time. I also know, however, that this place I am in is just as much a creation of my own consciousness as it is an actual reality. The world as I see it is created through my senses. The smells, colors, sensations, sounds, and vibrations… They are all created in my head and while they live outside my mind, I will never know simply how they are without looking through my own eyes. The closest I can get to that is by silencing my bias and myself. There’s a voice in my head that automatically has an opinion about everything, even subconsciously. When I turn that voice off, that is the closest I can get to the reality that exists beyond me.
Shannon Lee is a 19-year-old freshman at Lesley University studying holistic psychology. She is also the daughter of Michael Lee and Lori Bashour, co-founders of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. She has recently become interested in Buddhism and meditation and tries to enhance her life through practicing mindfulness and gratitude. She plans to continue to engage practices to support her own awakening to be able to better serve others.