In the realm of frenetic commercialism, those who wish to find a quiet mind must work to develop a sort of “materialistic immunity.” Just as the body can become immune to certain diseases, so, too, can the mind subdue the unwanted “noise” of the world.
It is hard enough, I've discovered, to find moments of peace without countless billboards pouring crap into my conscious and subconscious mind. Life, it seems, is challenging on its own, without omnipresent television screens with ego-filled actors telling me what I “need,” and how to be happy. And when I walk down a city street it feels akin to running a gauntlet of materialism, and I know it impacts us all deeper than we think on the surface. After all, that's the point of advertising, isn't it?
But peace can still be found. I try to become consciously aware of my surroundings, and take my power back by holding an internal place of focus amid the chaos.
The martial arts world, an argument could be made, has become increasingly commercial in recent years as well. Some dojos want to sell you what they have to offer, and many teachers and students flaunt their knowledge as if advertising their self-importance, unaware of the impact it may have on other students with whom they train. While most instructors and students I have met have been humble and approachable, there is always that one guy or girl who fails to check their ego at the door.
Again, we need to focus on ourselves. Martial artists train daily to cut out distractions, to breath, and to redirect the energy of an attacker. In this case, the attacker may be ego, materialism, or just unwanted attitudes of negativity. I just try to redirect the unwanted energy. I try to become immune to negative surroundings, and hopefully add a bit of positivity in the process.
It is my way of trying to find a quiet mind in a world that often seems out to confuse and distort what life is all about.