I’m back to my annual cleaning for Diwali, donating things I don’t use, arranging things, organizing, changing the liners in my cupboards and making space for good things to come in. I got this crazy idea synonymously. This is just the external environment we refresh annually; a lot of people do it for Christmas. Physically our bodies do it with the help of our kidneys and liver, which detox naturally (I just have to relate things to health after all). What about the mind? The mind works more and we are always using it. How about removing thoughts we don’t need? Arranging the limited thoughts that are useful and organizing them mentally (jotting it down). Making space for new thoughts to come in.
For all of us over-thinkers, I guess we’re just very materialistic in terms of the mind. Hoarding things is bad enough, we hoard thoughts, imagine how crammed our brains get. So the essential question here is “how” to de-clutter your mind and remove thoughts you don’t need?
I was at a point of time where a thought once held in my mind, it just got pasted there and won’t leave no matter what. It was like compulsive thinking. Feeling like a rat on a glue patch, I would go on attaching myself to it and all my idle time would drown me in it. Obsessive thought process is like a bald man buying too many combs and hair brushes. How did I come out of this?
When I was growing up I didn’t like yoga classes and I just couldn’t sit still. I can still remember the expression of Mrs.Dolly (my yoga teacher) every time I’d peek open my eyes in meditation. She had given up on me. It grew on me only recently, so much that I want to write about it.
I gradually moved into loving meditation since, one of the yoga sessions; we were told by our instructor, Deepti, to listen to different sounds lying in shav asana. The cycle bell went off, then I could hear a bus whizzing away till its sound faded in the distance. Someone was leaving, so the door opened and closed. It wasn’t like the usual relaxation but we were supposed to be actively focusing on things. It was annoying for someone who looks forward to the five minutes’ power nap. I realized only later that only my sense of hearing was active the whole time and the rest of the senses were on a holiday. Detaching the other senses made hearing smallest of sounds seem so natural.
Imagine detaching from all of your senses then. It doesn’t come naturally and takes years of meditation. There are Float therapies which put you in a sensory deprived state, yet to experience that one, for now I’m just incorporating meditating into my daily life.
I even had this weird idea that everywhere (at work, home, school or at the station) it would just be normal for people to stop whatever they were doing at a particular time of the day and meditate. Just like standardized time zones, living patterns, receiving newspapers, and many worldlier accepted habits, why not have a world over standard time for meditation.
I can only imagine how many people would still choose not to or not be able to, since it would be easier when everyone is doing it. It wouldn’t be something you need to teach anymore, since any child would see this from the day they are born and naturally want to imbibe it. Like how we can’t wait to start wearing watches and tell the time.
I picture my thoughts, like the yellow 3M post-its, knocking at my head. So meditating hasn’t stopped my thoughts or the knocking. Its just made it easier to hear the knocks and not answer the door. The knocking slows down and gets tired eventually. I now mostly let in (focus on) only the thoughts that help me live in a better way or become better at whatever I intend to do. Keeps my mental space roomy and airy enough to let the post its fly out when I’m done. This Diwali, or once in a while make sure you air out your mental space and use the right post-its to decorate your wall.
How to meditate has been answered by too many people but I’ve generally followed the Smile-and-sit technique for 10-15 min, also a few links bellow for whatever I’ve tried along the process.
Disclaimer: The cover photo is not clicked by @mycoffeeweather Its available on the internet and its just got it edited as relevant to the article.