Travelers from a distant shore
Starting a blog tends to be the hardest part of the process, I’ve been told that once you get past the 1st hurdle, it gets easier.
Well, getting past it has been harder than usual for me. Started my WordPress account 2 weeks back, and still nothing comes to mind, no topic of discussion, no idea, nothing at all…
So I decided to start with Nothing, and work my way up to Something.
Nothing, that has been the focus for mediation for many people, as we’re told to empty our minds, not to think of anything. However, as human beings, we can’t do that. Our conscious minds always gets in the way, it fills up the ’emptiness’ with chatter, observations, criticisms and such. The only time when we usually reach quietness in our heads is usually when we’re asleep. However, that’s not really the case at all, we’re not in our heads when we’re sleeping. We’re usually dreaming, and everyone dreams, even when they can’t remember it.
So going back to Nothing, since we cannot deliberately shut down our consciousness, we need to distract it with ‘Something’. Magicians do this to us all the time, by tricking us to focus on something else, so that we won’t see what has been done right in front of our eyes – a trick. All these are diversionary tactics to get the audience to focus on something other than what the magician is actually doing.
So in order to meditate, we need to trick our brains to focus on Something that will quiet down the chatter in our heads. So what is this something? Mainly its words that mean something to the person, that may be part of their core belief system or it can be a statement that is positively uplifting to them. Notice that these are something that the person would take in as a positive aspect to themselves. The reason being, you cannot meditate and focus on yourself when you’re angry, furious or in an all out rage.
Meditation doesn’t always need us to be in a lotus position, we can be walking, lying down, ironing our clothes, mowing the lawn, jogging, playing sports, and even swimming. There are so many ways and means to meditate, but there must be a reason to do so.
Dancers, Athletes, Soldiers and Martial artists have the most compelling reason to meditate while going through their training and competition, that is to get into the Zone (which is basically a Meditative state where thought and action are one). Familiarity with meditation will allow a person to fall into this Zone quickly and also on demand. This is mainly because they would be familiar with being in the Zone, knowing what their capabilities are while in it. Meditating helps us to focus on reaching that state, by shutting out the chatter or self-doubt, laziness, injuries, and fear. Once all these are out of the way, the conscious mind can focus on specific instructions to act, react and define a course to reach the goal, leaving the subconscious mind to move the body. This is the slow motion or time awareness sensation that one has when in the zone, where our perception is operating faster than our bodies.
For people in vocations that don’t require physical action, meditation can help in providing clarity in focus. By removing any mental chatter, our minds are able to perform more efficiently in thinking through a task, decision or action within any vocation. A reduction in self-doubt and data digestion alone would provide a person with an improved work performance, as there would be less processing and deliberation needed in their mind.
We’re living in the information age, where information overload is a reality, and our human mental coping mechanisms are barely coping. Our ability to multitask activities, conversations, and thoughts have expanded, but our ability to focus have not been refined. So meditation is needed more than ever in this day and age, as we need to ensure that our minds are given an opportunity to quiet down and rest. When we’re meditating, we are able to be a Human ‘Be-ing’ as opposed to a Human ‘Do-ing’.