Meditation is not what you think!

For International Day of Peace (September 21, 2022), as part of the United States Institute of Peace’s challenge of ‘Say it, do it, share it’, we are writing about meditation. It is our understanding that inner peace leads to outward peaceful actions and make this world a collectively happier place. Meditation leads to inner wellbeing and calm, bringing about peace that is becoming increasingly rare to be found in this day and age. 

In our wonderful western civilization, our life has all the privileges and yet so many discomforts that we are possibly not even aware of - unlimited screen interruptions, comparisons with others, doom scrolling on social media, polarization of ideas, confusion of our own individual values, difficult-to-swallow news all the time, fear about impending climate change, disappointment in no gun control, pressures to perform for capitalistic goals, and so much more. 


Our strong yet delicate human mind is not evolved or optimized to deal with such distractions and attacks all the time. Fatigue sets in and takes over our mind’s capacity to function well. Our mind needs boredom, rest, relaxation, and stillness, to function properly. Constant stressors not only affect our mental wellbeing but also physical health. Many times, physical ailments’ triggers can be tied back to a highly stressful time in one’s life.

Some ideas to slow down the effect of the world around us for the benefit of our mind and body:

~ Boredom can happen when we don’t overbook ourselves. 

~ Rest can come with sleep. 

~ Relaxation can happen when we do activities that our personality likes. 

~ Stillness can come with meditation. 

Life. Unperturbed.

In Sanskrit, the word meditation can be translated into three progressive stages:

  1. Dhaarna - immersion or involvement
  2. Dhyaan - concentration or focus
  3. Samadhi ( or Saiyyam!) - meditativeness or being in a different dimension of human existence than our senses can experience. 
  4. Yes, I said three but there’s a fourth lesser-known stage called ‘Shoonya’ or absolute nothingness. Let’s face it, less than 1 in a hundred million people get to this stage!

Our recommendation at Saiyyam Arts is to use some of our privileges and our abundant resources to create a peaceful and meditative room (or corner) in your home or office. Ideally, there would be a space in both your place of work and inside your home. This should be a place where you physically spend time, drop everything that you’re carrying in your mind about the world and others, and just BE. 

Stillness. Surrender.

You don’t need fancy couches or incense sticks to make this happen. It can be a nook that has ‘less’, because ‘more’ stuff will just fill up your mindspace. Place one thing that reminds you of joy (for me, this is my son’s photo playing in soil), and one thing that inspires peace. 

For photos that you can place in this meditation nook, please visit our gallery here. These photos have been composed with deep discipline, patience, commitment, and an insightful eye. The experience offered by these photos is one of dropping your mind’s chatter and basking in some peace.

Our understanding of meditation, and meditative photos, are inspired by the Isha Foundation. All opinions expressed are of Vanita Rao, and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of other people or organizations mentioned on this website.   

#internationaldayofpeace #peacedaychallenge #sayitdoitshareit #innerengineering