Next to those who eat a bunch of leaves with an abundant topping of 8 nuts for a meal, I have a healthy respect for those that can meditate. Meditation seems to be the new hot social topic these days. Yoga, muscle-tearing exercises and zero-carb diets have stepped aside for this new champion. When my friends were ready to swear on a stack of invisible Gitas to convince me of the power of meditation, I was convinced enough to give it a shot.
I confess that I was a bit smug going into this business. After all, how hard could it be? If dumping all thoughts from the mind and being in a zombie-like state is meditation, I felt pretty confident about it. If you are acquainted with me, you would know that I walk around in exactly that state most days anyway. So one day, I warned my family to not disturb me for a while, rolled my shoulders and closed my eyes. Just so you know that I was not fooling around, I even switched off the TV.
Thus began my personal epic journey. Well, more of a mini trip to the kitchen pantry, if you must know. Who knew I had so many active gray cells in my brain? My mind, apparently, was a giant monkey on steroids. It jumped up and down, side to side, upside down and any other direction I have neglected to mention.
Okay, so it was not going to be as easy as I thought which only meant that I had to try harder next time.
Posture could be the key to this, I figured, and tried to sit crisscross on the floor like I had seen sages do in the old movies. Let’s just say that I had to ad lib the plan at the last minute and forego both the floor and the crisscross sitting. One challenge at a time seemed wise. Next, I dug into my treasure box, unearthed a couple of sandal incense sticks and lit them. Ambience is half the battle, after all. There, I really felt ready this time. Finally, sitting comfortably in my very red, very designer settee, I closed my eyes and tried again.
I brought to my mind a white jasmine flower that I had seen in a pot in the back yard the previous day. Did I tell you that I had decided to use a prop to focus my mind on? A secret weapon to tame my monkey mind, so to speak. I had a good feeling about this already.
I remembered the day a dear friend brought a cutting from her jasmine plant for me saying that it thrived in her garden and gave her many blooms. I wanted it to live and thrive in my garden too so I gave it to my husband to plant and water. If you would stop being judgmental for a second, I will tell you why. He is the protector of plants in my house. The one that who shields them from my very black thumb.
When I peeked in yesterday, it had so many buds ready to bloom. I wish I had learnt how to string a garland out of flowers. It would be nice to wear a string on the hair one evening. The last time I wore a string of jasmine on my hair was last year when I had gone to India. Both my mother and mother-in-law would insist that I keep flowers in my hair whenever I visit home. I am eternally grateful for having those two in my life. They are such kind people. I remember going to a wedding when I was there last year wearing more flowers than what my fragile head had called for. It was funny how people kept asking if age had mellowed me into a shy person since I had my head down most of the time from the weight of the flowers. Hah!
Wow, wait a minute! That’s not meditating! I just took the fastest trip to India and back and still managed to make a few gigantic detours to LaLa land. Okay, may be that prop was a bit too stimulating for the mind. Time to zoom in on something dull that is bound to not kick start my mind into overdrive. What could be duller than a bowl of oats, I thought and went in search of a new room, a new chair to begin my next mini epic journey.
If you are thinking that focusing on a bowl of bland oats would put any mind to sleep, you would be entirely wrong. My monkey mind jumped up and down with excitement and decided to devise many recipes that would spice up the dull oats into a culinary pleasure. Oats mixed in a coconut, vegetables and green chilies gravy; oats slow-cooked in almond milk and sweetened with a dollop of honey; oats mixed in a hot cup of pepper rasam and more. I realize that I don’t have a full handle on meditation yet but I do know that one is not supposed to drool in the process.
Do you possess the ability to rein in your mind so it is not bouncing all over the place, even if it is only for a few minutes a day? If so, you are my new hero replacing an elderly uncle with no teeth that I once met who could still eat a plate of murukkus with gusto.
I always whine to my husband (because he lets me) that I haven’t gotten ‘THE CALL’ yet. May be, if I tame my mind enough to listen, I might hear Him call.
How do you meditate?
How do you meditate?