Like the calm water of a lake, a focused mind absent of distracting waves of thought becomes tranquil, allowing for an in-depth exploration of your true nature.—The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat
Walking from booth to booth, my eyes focused upon green and blue glaze blending down a coffee cup that made total sense to me. The opening was smaller on the top than the bottom, having more than adequate room for a warm soothing liquid of choice, along with a hand that would need to enter it to make sure it is clean for the next cup. It got my attention enough to lend my eye to all the other creations around it. A light potters bowl for soup or stir fry with two little holes close to the top to rest the ends of chop sticks in, making sure they don’t roll off the bowl when resting. A votive candle holder with leaves cut out and resting halfway on holes left behind, allowing the glow of the candle to shine out the side. Crazy faces with broken pieces of pottery used for teeth.
“What a smart idea,” I said as I held up a bowl with chopsticks.
“I got tired of them falling off,” replied the man who made it.
“Such a great way to meditate.” I smile.
“I don’t meditate,” he thinks he is speaking his truth.
“It is a great way to meditate”, His wife speaks up.
I look at him, “When you are spinning the clay on the wheel, don’t you have to focus?”
“Yes.” He responds.
“And if you start loosing your concentration, most the time it doesn’t mess up your piece?”
“Well yes, it does.”
“Well, that is meditation. Focusing on one thing for a period of time is the same as meditating. It is that simple.”
“Oh, I never thought of it that way.”
Many people think there is some magic thing they need to learn and do to meditate. I am forever having similar conversations as this, speaking to folks about how meditation is simpler then they realize and how it should be the focus of parts of every day.
When you are brushing your teeth, if you think of only your teeth and how the brush moves up and down on your teeth, up and down and nothing else, you can call that meditating.
When you are eating and don’t engage in conversation, TV or music, when you sit and focus on each bite going in your mouth, chewing it, how the flavor taste and the texture feels in your mouth, when that is all you do, fully focusing on your food only and not how your day is going or will go, then that is meditation.
When you walk for walking sake, nothing more, when you focus on the smell of the air around you and the sway of movement from your body, and only these few things, nothing more, then that is meditation.
Meditation is clearing the mind from over stimulation. When you clean out a closet, everything in there has a fresh vibe, it is the same old stuff but suddenly you can see clearly the things that are important to you. You want to make sure you don’t empty the closet and leave it in a heap in the bedroom. You want to take it someplace that will allow it to not enter your closet again, maybe a thrift store or orphanage. You get the point. It is gone, there is room for a deep breath. Cleaning out the minds thought is similar. You did not just rest that thought for a second, but you allowed it to have a clearing that will hold till the next clearing.
Meditation, as a part of your everyday activities, can change your life. Blood pressure stays in the happy number range, you avoid all the busy things you do that have no real value to your lives, and many things you thought were problems become obsolete.
Sitting cross-legged with spine rising, being in complete silence or repeating a few sounds or words over and over is a wonderful form of meditation to be sure, but know that it is not the only form of meditation.
Om Namah Shivayah