I usually write "Hello" but I don't really think that is necessary anymore... if there is anyone out there, we're past the niceties... aren't we?
Today, for the first time in my life, I woke up and meditated. I have wanting to incorporate a meditation practice into my life for some time and with it being a New Year and all, I thought this would be a good time to start.
Now, let's get something straight. I didn't sit there in the lotus position humming "Om" until I levitated off the ground. I didn't hum or chant or any such thing. I have kept myself away from meditating for so long because I thought that's what meditation was. Sit still for hours, mind blank, back straight, chanting or humming, butterflies landing on my shoulder, floating six inches off the ground. Meditation doesn't have to be all that. I mean, that's cool if you can levitate, more power to you, if little winged creatures land on your shoulder, hey... far out... good for you. But it's not that for me and its mostly due to a book I read that helped me get my head around meditation called "Hurry up and Meditate!" by David Michie.
Michie helped me realize that the whole "blank mind" ideal some people (me) have or had around meditation is not all it is about. In fact he makes a strong case that blank mind is NOT what it is about, but I won't go in to that here. What Michie does well, is to break down all of the physical benefits of meditation, backed by scientific study, that people who meditate have known for ever. One is happier, less stressed, lower blood pressure, higher serotonin... all that good stuff. Then he provides step by step easy instructions to follow on how to get started.
So this morning, I started. I set an alarm for 10 minutes, got a pillow, sat down, closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing. I counted my breaths as they passed through my nose. Stuff came up... what time is it? How long have I been here? Is there enough money in the bank? What do I have to do today? Each time something came up, and broke my counting, I started counting again. Before I knew it, the alarm had gone off and I was done. I must admit, it was really wonderful to sit still for 10 minutes. Each time a thought arose, it had less traction than the last one until I could sense something coming and concentrated on my breathing and it went away.
Now, those of you who know me well, if you are still reading, may think, Jon's lost it, he's gone to the deep end. Jon doesn't sit still... he talks to himself so he'll have something to do. And that's the point. I don't want the constant concern of the monkey chatter of my brain anymore. I have too much going on to let all the little annoying thoughts that have occupied my precious brain space for so long, hold down that realty anymore. I want my brain back.
I believe that Meditation is the way for me to make that happen.
So, tomorrow I will sit again. I have no expectations of what it looks like, so I won't judge myself, I'll just sit and count my breaths and see how I feel when I am done. I gotta admit, today was a pretty good day.... and I have only just begun.
Tonight I am off to Pop Asheville, a super cool independent music festival / weekend multi-venue thing. It's cheap, great music at different bars... how can I miss out? I am excited to see some good music, take some pictures, have a couple of beers and hang with some friends. And who knows... maybe a butterfly will land on my shoulder.
Enjoy the image, I shot it yesterday in my studio. The sun light was bouncing off a window in the building across the street, coming in my studio window and gently laying across my floor. I couldn't resist. That's double diffused, reflected, super soft morning light... for those of you who aren't photographer's... That's some damn fine light.