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Calmness of Mind and the Calm Center of the Cyclone

When you are calm, your emotions are under control leading to better and effective energy management. And you don’t burn yourself out.

Quotes by Dr.Norman Vincent Peale and James Allen

Quotes by Dr.Norman Vincent Peale and James Allen

"The Cyclone derives its power from its calm center, so does a person"

When I came across this quote forwarded by a friend, it made me ponder.

It was difficult, at least for me, as the quote is paradoxical, citing Cyclone as a Metaphor for a calm center and then likening it to the calm mind of a person. Research on this topic did not yield much. So, I was at wit's end but since I was drawn to the quote and had decided to write about it, I did not give up. I did a lot of thinking and reasoning based on what I read from books on spirituality and some body-mind science and somewhere something clicked. Yes, found a plausible, or you can say possible explanation on the metaphorical quote.

Actually, I loved this quote and had decided to write something on it. But the thought hounded me for days together before I finally settled down to write about it, at least to satiate my curiosity. Before I proceed, it is necessary to understand briefly what a cyclone really is and what is that calm center.

Image of a Cyclone

Image of a Cyclone

What is a Cyclone and What is the Calm Center

In meteorology, a cyclone is a large-scale spiraling air mass that rotates around a strong center at low atmospheric pressure. So as to say, a cyclone is a low-pressure area and this strong center of the cyclone is, in fact, the main topic of the article, that has been likened to the calm mind of a person.

This center of the cyclone is often known as the ‘eye’ of the cyclone. Now, this ‘eye’ of the cyclone is the area of lowest atmospheric pressure and has been referred to as ‘Calm Center’. It is believed to be calm because the strong converging surface winds can never reach it, as the wind is caused to rotate around the center of the hurricane, LEAVING THE EXACT CENTER CALM. Hence the calm center of the cyclone. They say outside this calm center or eye it is hell on wheels.

Now let us set aside the Cyclone for a moment, and explore how it is likened to the calm center of a person. Well, in simple words, the calmness of a person is a mental state, that state of mind that we should all be striving for. Viz, that inner peace that lessens the grip of anxiety, worry, excitement, tension, troubles, etc.

Now coming back to the cyclone, the calm center or eye of the cyclone does not allow outside strong turbulent wind currents to enter into the calm center.

A quiet mind does not mean that there will be no thoughts or mental movements at all, but that these will be on the surface, and you will feel your true being within, separate from them, observing but not carried away.

— Sri Aurobindo

Being calm does not mean you totally avoid stress. In fact, we face negative stressful situations every day in our life. Well, that is the time to extend compassion to oneself. Tell yourself, yes, it is time to feel bad. But with the new state of mind that you are in, you will be able to manage stress, emotions intelligently. You now have the energy, the mindset, and support from those around you to face and handle difficulties.

calmness-of-mind-and-the-calm-center-of-the-cyclone

Stability and Beauty

The world is beautiful outside when there is stability inside-Quote

Stability inside means being equanimous, which is calm and composed in adversities and in joy. A calm minded person is not affected by the disturbances or chaos in the outside world. Not that he is not concerned, but instead of getting emotionally upset, angry, or stressed, he translates his concern into response than reaction. So, for such a person the outside world is always beautiful in any situation.

Message of Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita echoes this message beautifully in Verse 6.7, chapter 6

jitatmanah p rasantasya
paramatma samahitah
sitosna-sukha-duhkhesu
tatha manapamanayoh

Meaning that, for one who has conquered the mind, the supreme soul is already reached, for he has attained tranquility. To such a person, happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same.

calmness-of-mind-and-the-calm-center-of-the-cyclone

So, such a calm person is in control of all external situation because he is in control of himself, not giving way to anger, hate, and other negative emotions.

This explains the quote mentioned at the beginning of the article. An equanimous person too derives power from his calm center. Only when a person is in control of himself can he manage and control the outside world.


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How to instantly calm the mind?

Listed below are the traditional or popular tips to attain calmness:

  • Deep breathing. Inhaling slowly and deeply to a count of 8, holding the breath for a count of 4 exhaling to a count of 8 is known to instantly calm the mind.
  • Take time out to listen to soothing music and let calmness descend on you. Emptying the mind of all thoughts and just enjoying the music can soothe the nerves and release stress and tension.
  • A soothing warm bath or just soaking in a warm bath for a while has an immense calming effect on the mind.
  • Start journaling. Write down your thoughts and experiences of the day in a journal. Make a list of the things that are causing stress and the steps you can take to address them.
  • Meditation has been proved to relieve stress and make a person calm apart from numerous other physical and mental health benefits. So, it should be made a part of our daily routine.
  • Peppermint tea, valerian root tea, kava tea, warm mild, etc., are some of the calming drinks which can help you relax.
  • Chanting a mantra is also known to calm the mind and bring in tranquility and peace.
  • Technology fasting is imperative to connect to one’s inner self. Stay away from mobile phones, laptops, notepads, iPad, etc. for some time each day and see the calm settling in.
  • Create or indulge in interesting activities like drawing, painting, sewing, dancing. This gives relief from stress and makes one calm and productive.
  • Exercising regularly is known to keep the mind calm and the body fit. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming are the best forms of exercise. Dedicate some time each day to yourself, read a book, talk to a friend, watch a comedy. Compassion for oneself is very important.

Unique tools to achieve calmness

Calmness leads to peace, happiness, and success in life. What causes lack of calmness or agitation in our minds.

Negative thoughts, a wandering mind, fears, and anxieties are the main causes of unrest and unhappiness. The fears and anxieties caused by our evolutionary predisposition of flight or fright increase the stress hormones in our body. In the long run, this is harmful to our physical and mental health. So, to attain a state of calmness, we need to make peace with our inner battles. Shri Krishna has expressed again and again in the Bhagwat Gita, that a state of equanimity is essential for attaining eternal peace and happiness. So what are these unique steps to attain calmness and happiness? They are as follows:

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1)When you wake up in the morning, send silent gratitude to God for letting you wake up in good health that day and to all the people in your life who have helped to grow. This will make you focus on what is most valuable to you in life.

2) When you are in the middle of a stressful situation, take a minute away, and remember the people who love you and whom you care about. This will help you recover quickly from despair and try to find solutions to problems.

3) We have a finite time with everything in our life. Meet your family each day, when you reach home at the end of the day intentionally, like you are seeing them after many days or months. Because novelty beats love. Be genuinely interested in what they do and appreciate their work, their interests. Praise their creativity.


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4) When you meet people outside don’t be judgmental, which we often tend to do. Engagement with people is important. When you see someone for the first time, align your heart to wish that person well. Looking at the world compassionately is necessary for survival. Whole life becomes better for everyone.

5) Try to do one good deed a day like help an elderly person getting groceries or their prescription filled, a physically challenged person to cross the street, give a food parcel to a homeless person. Service to others fills us with a calm and satisfaction that no other material accomplishment can.

6) Enjoying the work that you do, as if it is a service to god and towards a bigger goal or advancement brings a lot of joy and satisfaction. It fills you with calm and a sense of achievement. Simply doing work as a means to an end neither brings satisfaction nor joy of accomplishment.

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Higher Order Principles of Life

Calm people achieve greater success in life. Neuroscience has proved that calm people are healthier and happier. By following the higher-order principles, we find purpose in life, make us calm and composed, make life meaningful. The higher principles of life like:

  • Gratitude
  • Compassion
  • Acceptance
  • Meaning
  • Forgiveness

Make these principles the main principles of your life and never compromise on these. This will make life more meaningful and bring calm and lasting happiness. The transient nature of life makes it imperative for us to live in harmony, peace, and compassion and to stay connected with each other in times of joy as well as sorrow.

Science and Spirituality

When we are faced with stressful situations in life, getting into a peaceful state of mind helps to tide over the difficulties and find solutions. Positive affirmations and visualizing successful outcomes help in overcoming any adversity and accomplish goals. The calmer a man becomes, the greater is his success. Self-control is strength and calmness is power.

When science meets spirituality, it creates transformation. This is timeless wisdom which our sages have told us from time immemorial which now scientists also believe. If we do that, we will create a wonderful world for our children and that is what they need.


© 2020 VIDYA D SAGAR

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