The one who says meditation is for the old or someone who sits at the foothills of Himalayas probably needs to revisit the thought. Meditation is like a kaleidoscope. Every time you change the angle of the kaleidoscope, you get a different, beautiful picture—an experience. This is what meditation brings to one’s life. It’s the small shift that one needs to make within; then every day you see life as a better picture the kaleidoscope shows you. It’s not that by doing meditation your life will take a 360 degree turn overnight, but it does start the journey of the turn.
It has become very necessary to steal time out of our daily schedule for ourselves. The competition today has compelled the mind to exercise 24/7. The body is at rest when it’s sleeping but the mind and memory are still playing their games by bringing in the thoughts and dreams. These dreams and thoughts tend to wake you up from your pseudo sleep and you look around anxiously only to realize it was all a dream. People access their emails as the last task before going to bed. The question arises: when do I give a break to my mind? That happens through meditation, because meditation gives deep rest to the mind.
As a regular meditator, I have observed that not only do I feel calm after meditation but my practice also makes me mindful during my day-to-day activities. And because I am mindful, I am more focused and tend to enjoy them even more.
Although mindfulness is a natural outcome of meditation, we can also practice mindfulness meditation by ourselves. And our daily practice of meditation makes it even easier. Any moment in which our mind is in the present moment is a mindful moment. It can be anytime – while cooking, playing our favorite musical instrument, driving, watering the plants, while drinking our first cup of tea in the morning, or even at work. The idea is too involve completely in the activity and come out fresh. How often do we do these chores as mere chores and don’t involve completely? If we are submerged in an activity, we are naturally mindful and that leaves us fresh. The best part about doing your chores with mindfulness is that you tend to do it very effortlessly and naturally.
Nature and mindfulness
For me, morning walks are the best way of being mindful. This is the time I feel one with Nature, as deep within I know I am made of the 5 elements – air, water, space, earth, and fire. This knowledge helps me connect better with Nature; in other words, I am in my element.
I am greeted by the chirping of the birds, which otherwise are eclipsed by noises of the city once it comes to life. The first rays of the Sun make their way to Earth through the leaves of the trees, kissing the frost on the blades of the grass. The day has already started for the squirrels as they run down the barks of the big banyan tree in search of food. The pet dogs of fellow morning walkers are chasing away the butterflies.
Each and every step of mine takes me closer to infinity. For my mind, body, and breath are aligned with the surroundings and the happenings in the surroundings. This reminds me of a beautiful quote from the movie Peaceful Warrior, which goes, "there is always something happening, you just need to see it."
Time comes to a standstill. I sit with my eyes closed after a couple of rounds of the park to catch my breath; the sweat trickles down my neck. Now is the time for the mind to stumble into infinity. I subconsciously observe the thoughts as they bombard on the membrane of the mind, and with each breath the thoughts dissolve like bubbles in a glass of water. At this stage, the mind is steady, body is relaxed, and breaths are as light as the flowers in the park.
I open my eyes to the world of reality—the mind takes its own time to identify the real world, for its confused which is the real world, the world that I just experienced with my eyes closed or what I see with the eyes open.
I leave the park fresh with the experience because I know that tomorrow is going to be different again—another color of the kaleidoscope.
By Pranav Desai