I started a 21 day meditation plan this week. I’ve done different types of meditation before, taken training in meditation practices and tried at different points in my life to include meditation as part of my daily routines. But it has been a matter of ‘should do’, rather than ‘want to do’. This time, it took me a couple of days to work up to the idea that 20 minutes a day engaged in meditation was actually possible (stage one) and then maybe even helpful (several stages later) for my busy brain. The thought was quite terrifying. How can I sit in silence with myself when there is so much to do, and so much to think about? Well, that’s the point isn’t it, the multi-layered point – how can I suspend my ego, my thoughts, my worries, my schedule, all those external motivators in order to spend some quiet time within? After struggling to even get started, I opened up the meditation app to see the mantra for day one. It reads: The struggle is over. I am in harmony with myself. Mmmm hmmm. Okay, I’m listening.
I would love to have a discussion about what it means to different people to be in harmony with oneself. One layer of this concept reminds me of a sound recording from the early 1990’s. Jim Wilson recorded crickets singing, and then slowed down the recording to reveal that there was more than chirping. The crickets are singing to each other and with each other in perfect 4 part harmony. I’ve attached it here for your listening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZsdvukCQFI
I’ve listened to this a few times, and so far, here’s what I’m learning from the crickets:
1) Slow down. Unless their song is slowed down to a place where the human ear can process what is happening, the beautiful intricacies of harmony and community are lost. How often do I rush through things to achieve some self-imposed goal, and what might I be missing by rushing?
2) Let it go, let it flow. The crickets are not following a printed score (Imagine!). They do not need a conductor cricket to direct them. They are not depending on external motivators to make music. They connect, they flow, and they rely on instinct and natural ability. Clearly human brain structure, consciousness and awareness are factors here, but what if we could quiet the doubts, rules and dependencies in our music making to just let it go, and let it flow?
3) Go outside. Soak up the sunshine, listen to the amazing music made in nature. Breathe, walk, connect. Be willing to make time outside a priority. My body needs nature more than it needs my iPhone. (Scandalous, I know!)
So, with the meditation, I’m trying. I’m investing in this as whole-heartedly as I can each day, tapping through the doubts, frustrations and resistance as I go, and loving and accepting all of the interesting experiences that are happening along the way.
Here’s the website where you can find the meditation app. I’m not promoting Oprah or Deepak, because like most public figures there are pros and cons to their work. But this is free, it promotes wellness, it was shared with me, and so I’m now sharing that this is available. https://chopracentermeditation.com/