My Aha Moment and How To Meditate in 4 To 5 Minutes
By Rene Bastarache, CI
I got up early this morning so I can get away from work for a while, relax and go fishing. Those of you that know me will understand that fishing is my way of getting out into nature and meditating. It’s my way of quieting my mind, leaving the office behind and letting go for a little while. Here’s what happened…
This morning I had an “aha” moment. I had to run several errands before I could go to the fishing hole. Since Raluca was still sleeping I popped over to McDonald’s for an iced-coffee and breakfast burrito. My excuse was I didn’t want to wake her by making noise cooking breakfast for myself.
My second errand was I needed to fill up the truck with gas and then go to another store where I can buy some worms to fish with.
Now, my errands were finally finished and I could take the time to relax and enjoy the scenery while driving. So I pulled out of the store driveway and started picking up speed all the time noticing that my speedometer needle wasn’t moving as I accelerated. Now I was getting concerned why the needle wasn’t moving and wondering if it was broken. Then suddenly I realized I wasn’t looking at the speedometer I had been staring at the gas gauge needle all the time.
Where was my mind? I was still so caught up with everything I had to do when I got home later on, the errands I was just running and about 15 other things going on simultaneously that I didn’t even realize I was looking at the wrong gauge. Of course once I realized what was going on I laughed to myself and thought “this would be a good story to share with you all about letting go.”
After that moment of awareness I was able to let go of everything else and focus on what I was actually doing. Has something like this is ever happened to happened to you? Do you find that there’s times when you’re doing certain tasks but you’re not really present?
I find it amazing that we as human beings are designed to live a linear type lifestyle which means we continue to move forward, one thing after the other however many times we find ourselves living in the past or living in the future never even taking time to notice the present.
Of course meditation is all about being in the moment. It’s about letting go of the past and the future and just allowing things to be as they are; to quiet your mind. We have a tendency of trying to make things too difficult especially when it comes to letting go and meditating. I hear people talking about all the steps that they have to take to meditate or the objects they need to focus on or background music they need to listen to. Many people complain that they don’t have a half an hour to an hour to meditate. These are all the ways that we choose to complicate something that’s very simple.
How do I suggest that you meditate? Just sit somewhere quiet and allow yourself to experience it. Try to quiet your mind but don’t get discouraged if you still have thoughts. Notice them and let them go for until later; they’ll still be there for you.
Many years ago I trained in meditation at a Buddhist monastery with some monks who used to call this the “monkey mind”. They told me that thoughts were like monkeys swinging from chandeliers in my mind always keeping me busy trying to get my attention. So now instead of trying to quiet them down which can be impossible I just observe them.
You don’t need lots of time to meditate; you don’t need equipment or a special type of spiritual setting. All you need is a couple minutes to sit and be still. Try it; just take 4 to 5 minutes and sit somewhere quietly trying to be in the present moment. You don’t really have to have a blank mind or concentrate on nothing because while you’re concentrating on nothing you’re still concentrating. Just be in the moment and observe the sounds and scents surrounding you. If you can be still enough you may even notice the air currents as they brush against your body; even if you’re indoors.
I’d love to hear your stories about how you meditate and any interesting insights you may have had like my moment of awakening this morning.
Thanks for reading and have a spectacular day.