“This is the true athlete – the person in rigorous training against false impressions. Remain firm, you who suffer, don’t be kidnapped by your impressions! The struggle is great, the task divine – to gain mastery, freedom, happiness, and tranquility.”
Epictetus, Discourses.

 

Many writers on mindfulness meditation speak about training the mind in the same way as training a muscle – a mental muscle – so that it becomes stronger and more responsive with practice. When you need peace and calm, your prepared mind is ready to shut out all the distracting things that are not in your control, and to overcome the false impressions that may have become a habit.

 

Getting into shape – mentally as well as physically – takes practice and self-discipline, but the end goal is worth it. Why not combine the two – condition your mind whilst conditioning your body? After all, mens sana in corpore sano, as Epictetus may well have said.

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