January 1st, 2016. I wake up in my room in Ribadavia village in Galicia, Spain. It is an early morning, and I can still feel the spirit of the New Year’s Eve pulsating in the tiny village streets. People have gone out partying and some are just now returning home. The village takes a deep breath, but I want to rise early; start a new day, and a New Year.
When I went to India, it was a must to see Taj Mahal. Now that I think: I didn’t spend there more than an hour, just roamed around and clicked some photos on a very hot and humid day, and honestly – I liked the view from the back better.
The reason to close our eyes in meditation is to block ourselves from external images. This way we actually open our eyes to a new world that lies within.
In our daily life, we are used to look outside. We open our eyes and notice the neighbour’s new car, our colleague’s new promotion, our friend’s trip around the world. We open our Facebook and scroll down the images of our friends doing things that we would like to do to or being in places where we would like to be.
Probably you have faced that feeling when you are in a meeting or taking a public transportation, but your sitting place does not feel comfortable. If you can, you immediately adjust your position, but if not – you may keep sitting, but not feeling fully relaxed with that discomfort itching your body. Same with wearing uncomfortable or inappropriate clothes. All that is on your mind: how to sooner change it.
These are very small details, yet if we don’t start with making small adjustments, it is more difficult to make bigger adjustments in life. If we think more profoundly, we take a sitting position with everything we do. At a kitchen table, in the office, in a café, in a conference room, home, workplace. Eventually, we want to feel comfortable also about our mental sitting position, meaning our role in a family, work, among our friends. If in any of these cases we don’t feel comfortable, it can create mental tension just like physical discomforts create physical tension.
When my parents saw me meditating, their reaction was: how can one sit like that doing nothing. It is not far from what we do in meditation or how it may look from aside. Yet, this “nothing” is actually a very careful practice that helps to clean the mind from contamination (thoughts, stress, negativity) so that it can perform better and be more efficient. Sounds easy, right? It is. And it is not. Meditation is something that perfectly describes the balance that happens naturally when we follow the principles from the meditation guide.
Now that I am guiding meditation sessions for others, I have understood that this mindful “nothingness” that we sustain during meditation, this balance between comfort and concentration actually teaches everything that we need to know about life. Though meditation guide gives very simply instructions, every part of it contains a deeper meaning. Adjust your sitting position, close your eyes, take a deep breath, find your centre and maintain the focus there, do not have expectations… As we read through these words, they are not complicated at all to follow. Yet, we tend to have both good and not-so-good meditation experiences, good and not-so-good life experiences.