‘Please mind the gap between the train and the platform,’ the conductor bellows in monotone every morning at 8.00 am. Shortly after a swarm of commuters push past, leaving me squished up against the tube window. As the doors open at each stop, people spill out of the train as if a pot has just boiled over.
While the busy rush keeps you on your toes, it can be comforting to take time out. But how, you might ask, is is possible to find calm in London?
Individuals have different ways of finding tranquility. Mindfulness is becoming very popular. It is the idea that you should live in the present moment and take time out to meditate and simply be. Yoga is another great way to relax.
However, it is not easy to switch off from daily qualms. I find it helpful to be in a peaceful environment.
Recently, I visited the BAPS temple in North London. It is a magical Hindu temple in the middle of Brent. One can visit for free. There is a fascinating museum to explore too which costs £2. Here you can learn about Hinduism a religion, which has a lot to teach us.
Hindus believe in Karma (the idea that our actions affect our destiny). Therefore we should act in a moral manner. The religion also teaches followers to see beauty in everything because god is everywhere.
Walking barefoot around the temple, one feels a sense of inner peace. People speak in hushed whispers. The intricate wall carvings provide focus to the eyes. Movement is slow, people sit calmly or wander along the coridoors.
The structure of the building is spectacular – made from 5,000 tonnes of Bulgarian and Italian limestone, which was hand-carved in India by 1,500 artisans.
It is hard to believe that you are in London.
By visiting the BAPS temple it soon becomes clear that space and mindset can really help transport you somewhere far far away. Either by visiting calm places or mediating, we can relax regardless of where we are.
Sometimes on the tube, I close my eyes and imagine I am sat on a sandy beach listening to the waves wash up and down the scenic beach. In this way instead of wishing I wasn’t on the tube, I make the most of the moment.
I would recommend visiting BAPS and using the time to reflect on the power of the mind. And also on the skill and ingenuity that mankind has to create such magnificent buildings from scratch.
What other things or places help you to relax?
I would love to hear your opinion.