The only constant in life is change.

Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, boom, life throws a curve ball. There is an ancient Vedic saying that goes: “Life flows like a river between the banks of pleasure and pain, you will bump into both sides, but the idea is not to get stuck on one side for too long.” 

Bumping into the pleasure side is easy. Things flow, everything looks bright. But somewhere in the back of our mind, we know that we will hit the other bank. It’s just a matter of time. And that’s how life flows.

So how do you not get caught up in the drama of it all? How do you remember that pleasure is temporary but also that pain is too? 

For me, meditation is the key. 

Meditation has taken me through it all; life changes, happy moments, moments of stress, painful times, and times when I’ve given up hope. 

Prayer can also take you there. But prayer is different from meditation. Prayer is doing something just like everything else. You are reciting words, or asking the divine for something or giving thanks but in the end you are still doing. 

Meditation is being, allowing, surrender. 

Recently, I was hit with a personal tragedy. Totally unprepared, this heartache left me in shock, numb and unable to deal with life. And yet, I had to, just like everyone else. People may think that teachers, gurus or those who live a life filled with meditation, yoga or an Ayurvedic lifestyle don’t have these experiences. Nothing could be further from the truth. But when tragedy hits, we have tools to deal with the pain. 

My meditation practice has been with me since 2007. It has been with me through thick and thin, like a faithful friend. I know I can go there when in need. I know my consistent practice, even when I don’t think I need it, helps me when I know I do. 

My teacher, Dr. Deepak Chopra, has said, “Prayer is you talking to God, meditation is allowing God to talk to you.” Whether you believe that or not is irrelevant. The opening that occurs in meditation is undeniable. The peace, serenity and unexplained bliss to me, is God. 

Wishing you a lifetime of peace.

Love, Michelle

Michelle Fondin is the founder of The Ayurvedic Path in Herndon, VA and a Chopra Center Vedic Master.