Oakville Zen Meditation

#306 The MEANING of SERENITY by Angeline March 14th 20

                                                   The Meaning of Serenity

Serenity is defined as a state of being:

Calm, peaceful, untroubled, restful

Gentle, easy-going, quiet 

Free from disturbance or nearby state of agitation, unpleasant change, or violence. 


Little motion or activity

A disposition that is morally, mentally and ethically elevated.

 The word serenity refers to environments as much as people. 

A serene sky is free of storms.

A serene moon is shining bright and steady.

A serene expanse of sky, sea or light is unclouded.

 The sky and sea are continually changing.  Weather or violent explosions may agitate them into action for a time, but serenity will inevitably return.  It takes time and a steady current to wash away the debris.

Being human is like that.  We can get clouded by different life events, trauma, attachment and fear.  Time taken for loving self-awareness puts us in a cleansing current moment.

Serenity is transferable.  If I observe a calm stream, a bright moon, a clear sky, or a happy person, I’m likely to feel serene.  After a long walk in a natural environment that inspires reverence for life, I can easily extend that love to people I encounter. 

However, if while walking I hear aggressive honking, or a person cursing at another, I may feel reactive fear, anger or worry.  Even if nothing on my walk is shocking, I may carry with me suffocating sadness over loss I have or will likely soon encounter.  I can let stress blind me to the beautiful space I’m in entirely.  My mind is too cluttered with possible outcomes to see magnificent blooms pointed out to me.

With mindfulness, I can be objectively aware of my emotions, and the actions they ask me to take, knowing that it will all pass.  My response may be a little less impulsive or frozen than it would be otherwise. 

We train the mind with self-love in moments of meditation, therapy, exercise, nature, art appreciation, creative expression, and philosophical study.  Awareness weaves into our identity.  The ego aligns less with circling thoughts, and more with seeking balance.  Instead of reacting to what others are doing and thinking, we seek to observe and respond with mental calm.

If I walk along the lake on a sunny day, I can see many tiny sparkles on waves and nearby rocks.  The water surface isn’t still, but the depths are so calm, that I can see light shining clear to the bottom.

Serenity is like that.  Serenity isn’t a permanent state or place in time.  It’s not just freedom from agitation.  It’s the ability to be deeply clear when your life is unstable on the surface.