meditation on street

Consumerism is rife in the modern world and capitalism is king. TIME magazine celebrates the richest men, and poor people are taught that the highest point of achievement is getting the new iPhone. At first glance, it seems that there is nothing about the modern world that could contribute to a calm and simple lifestyle. How, in amongst all the haste and greed, can someone be expected to live harmoniously, modestly, peacefully?

But when you look a little bit closer, there are loads of things in the modern world that are geared directly towards allowing everyone a little slice of inner peace. Here are just a few…


They might not be exactly as Nature intended, but back before people got a hand on things, nature made a lot of mistakes. Public parks are kept clean and tidy and there are no predators to come chasing you out of your happy place. Even in the middle of the busiest cities in the world, a public park can provide absolute separation from the bustle of modernity. Whether you’re somewhere big and beautiful enough to be home to ducks and deer, or somewhere that only has a small space for trees and grass, any park can provide closeness with nature.


Music is more accessible today than ever before in the history of mankind. Almost everything you could ever want to listen to is available cheaply – potentially freely – online and, once acquired, it is easier than ever to seclude yourself with music. Increasingly convenient gadgets exist that allows each person to take music with them wherever they might go, to make any place they choose to be their place to sit and be. Music is famously affiliated with all kinds of calming and meditative exercises. Whether you choose to play whale song or classical music or heavy metal, whatever puts you in that frame of mind for personal harmony, there has never been a better time to play.


So it’s the most annoying thing in everyone’s life, it’s the thing that distracts everyone from everything – from working, from cleaning the house, from meditating. But it’s got its good points too. There is a forum for everything, a blog covering every problem a person could have, a kitten picture to make you smile no matter what is getting you down. No matter what might be bothering you, the Internet makes it possible to find someone somewhere who is willing to listen, to empathise, to understand. When used properly, the Internet can be an incredible force for good. And if you don’t need it to find a shoulder to lean on, why not use it to be one?


There has been a lot of debate about the greatest achievements of mankind, and things like fire, the wheel and antiseptic usually rank among the highest. Though these are admirable things, people who think they are man’s greatest invention are wrong. The single most wonderful thing the humankind has provided for its kin has to be the head massager. No matter how stressful life might get, ten minutes alone with one of these beautiful objects makes the world feel infinitely lighter. Guaranteed. If human beings have created one thing that aids meditation, relaxation and inner peace, it is this.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.