The koi pond was filled with beautiful lily pads floating on its surface, providing a wonderful cover for the aquatic creatures below.
Standing above on a min- deck, I leaned over the rail and in a hopeful raid all the gilled swimmers clambered below me where the lilies hadn’t reached, their greedy little mouths wide open and pulsating in hopes of retrieving some yummy food. I stood and marveled at the shimmering colors: bright orange, blue-silver, white and black, an infinite mixture that marked each of them with their own signature patterns.
I noticed little black fry darting here and there, wary of everything moving, probably dreaming big of becoming a beautiful koi.
There was also a local turtle, a red-eared slider, gliding this way and that until the commotion on my end piqued his feeding curiosity and he quickly swam over, neck stretched to the limit so his turtle head could snatch anything first.
While the fast and furious dragonflies zipped and dived in and around the whole pond, I reflected on the beautiful morning’s enchanting rays settle into the little meditation spot, one of several on the grounds. I started thinking how little effort I’ve spent centering and focusing my mind. Instead, like the dragonflies, my head has been spinning and diving with rational thoughts streaming in at light speed, rattling my brain.
In other words, burn out. No different than a computer that has been running for days with tons of applications layered on each other and it suddenly locks up.
Yeah, that’s exactly what my mind needs.
Getting a good night’s sleep is usually a good way to clear the brain. Sleep allows the subconscious to take over the business of clearing up all the trash of useless thoughts that skid here and there and everywhere inside the mind.
But lately my brain hasn’t been shutting down properly. Instead, when the lights go out and my head hits the pillow, my brain has decided to go into hibernate mode and simply turn off the power but keep all the layers of daily living frozen in my grey matter.
Sounds good, right? I mean, no sifting around waiting to remember stuff, it’s all right there up front ready for use. So then where’s the brain power when I’m stuttering to remember the name of the person I just ran into? It’s bogged down with layers upon layers of (mostly useless) data from days before.
At this point I envy the fish as they lazily resume their random swim around the pond, accepting the fact that manna was not falling from heaven and into their mouths.
How zen of them.
I began to wonder, do fish meditate?
No, no, no stop it. The question is, when did I last meditate? Clearly not lately, since meditating is a huge factor in clearing the mind and actually resetting the brain waves for better function, something I have been lacking.
Again not unlike defragging a computer to clear out more data space and boost its performance, meditating allows the brain to efficiently compile all those thoughts ping-panging all over the place and file them in the proper noodle, so to speak.
Or delete them if necessary.
But it clears the pathways so the rest of the noodles can do their stuff. And meditating actually helps build a bridge from the left rational side of the brain to the right creative side where the best solutions to problems are found.
But wait, does one have to sit cross-legged in some sort of shrine engulfed in heady incense chanting incomprehensible words with the eyes closed to gain the benefits of meditating?
Just finding a quiet place to sit (anyway you like) and focus on the surroundings without having to label anything with words helps clear the mind. In fact, everyone should take a moment for health to meditate. It’s good to take deep breaths while sitting in quiet, being patient as the frantic brain keeps slicing up the mind with verbal garbage, until a certain lightness of being occurs and the words racing around simply stop, if just momentarily, and the electromagnetic waves cursing around start to click into another octave. Remember it might not happen in one day. But taking 5-10 minutes every day to stop and “smell the roses” puts you on the meditative road to health.
It’s actually quite addictive. Because once you get the hang of meditation and go deeper and longer. the brain starts entering certain states where bliss and joy and euphoria hang out. It’s something worthwhile to work towards. I glanced around and realized I was still alone, so I decided to sit and close my eyes and just be, letting my mind wander wherever, finding myself lulled into a nice subtle hum.
Soon my chin had nodded against my chest and I opened my eyes. The turtle was still wading around intently looking at me, but then it gave a snap of disapproval and paddled away under a lily pad, content to wait until the next person arrived, hopefully with some food.
Silly ol’ turtle.