The pace of modern life continues to increase. Stress levels continue to rise, and many of us feel increasingly overworked and exhausted. We often feel impatient and frustrated. Eventually, as a result, our health begins to suffer. Though we often feel so busy that we don't think there is time to meditate, spending as little as 5 or 10 minutes a day can have a huge impact on how you feel, and help you overcome the stressful situations you encounter.

Meditation is a wonderful way to make our mind peaceful and calm. When we experience peace of mind we free ourselves from worry and mental disquiet, achieving a state of contentedness, true joy and happiness. When we lack this inner peace, we find it very difficult to be happy even if we were living under the very best of circumstances. By training in meditation we can gradually free ourselves from our worries, anxieties, and our suffering, which will be replaced by an inner quiet, a truly pure form of happiness. With practice we may cultivate an ability to remain happy all the time, even in the most trying situations.

The mind is difficult to control, it is like a wild animal unwilling to be tamed. We can observe and approach it, but it is difficult to take control of. If things go our way, our mind is happy, but when they don't, the mind shifts from happiness to unhappiness without our input. For example, when we get a pay raise or buy a shirt we really like we experience a brief period of happiness. But if we don't get what we want, we don't get the pay raise, we feel slighted and unhappy as a result. It's even worse when we lose something that we like, such as a prized possession being stolen or the end of the relationship. Then we may become downright angry and stew in our unhappiness for a long period of time. These fluctuations in our mood, both positive and negative, arise because we're too strongly associated with the external situation.

If we train in meditation, we can create an inner space, a space separating us from our external circumstances. In this space we may find a clarity that allows us to control our mind. The more we practice, the better we get at dissociating ourselves from the external environment, the less impact it has upon how we feel. As we come to understand our mind we can learn how to transform negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones. We are left with only peace and happiness, or "nirvana."