It is 2:48 PM on Sunday afternoon in the middle of June. I’m sitting on my patio enjoying a very warm, fog free day. The animals seem to be enjoying it as well: there is a red-tailed hawk perched on a very high branch surveying the ocean while small birds chirp and flutter with a bit of nervousness among the trees. The deer were romping just outside the gate; I hadn’t noticed they were there until one bounded away, perhaps they were resting on the flat part?
Today, I’ve watered the garden, trimmed the ivy tree, done the laundry and dishes, straighten up the guest room, changed the water in the fish tank, and gone shopping. I’m expected to make dinner tonight and I actually like learning more about how to cook but what I absolutely detest is gathering the ingredients. I have no idea if we have nutmeg or can of pure pumpkin or not and I’m not entirely sure where many ingredients would be! So I have to buy them and it is like a scavenger hunt which I also detest. I did my research and was going to make pumpkin flavored tortellini and after 30 minutes of gathering the materials at Safeway learned they didn’t have the main ingredient – can of pure pumpkin!
So I just did a quick Google search on how to make cheese tortellini and the recipe has become 90% easier.
I’m now taking a break and as I said, sitting on the patio, having a nice glass of wine and plan to have a few glasses more. Maybe I’ll even make some phone calls which people do not seem to do anymore. This is a rare day when I have ‘me time’ and it is even rarer when I have two in a row!
But about meditation, this is something I’ve recently gotten into and am enjoying as an addition to my exercise routine. A fit body is only half of the equation, even more importantly we need to have a fit mind since it controls our entire life experience. I’ve found that with meditation I can dispel anxiety and bad thoughts; I become at peace with everything and everyone around me and am less easily agitated.
There are many styles of meditation but the ones that appeal the most to me are Zen and ‘mindfulness.’ I’m not an expert in this stuff so I’ll just explain what I understand and what I like. I like that Zen is completely emptying the mind, focusing on the non-thinking. Just as Debussy said that “music is the space between the notes,” I’m finding that truth/reality is the space between the thoughts and I like to ‘just be.’ I like that there is no goal, nothing to achieve – I just want to be in harmony with everything around me.
The second type that I’ve learned about – mindfulness – is just focusing on all that is occurring in the moment. The signals my body is giving me, the butterfly floating across the garden, a sound in the distance. There is no one particular focus, you just appreciate the moment.
To be honest, there is so much ‘noise’ in our daily lives that it was starting to give me a headache. I have work stress, stress of raising kids, stress of beeps, pings, notifications, news, and so on. Meditation puts me back into harmony with how life should be lived and stress melts away.
I find it interesting that I’m just realizing the power of meditation at 39. This should have been taught to me a long time ago and is something I’ll ensure my own boys do. Institutionalized religion is a corruption and should be avoided. There is no keeper of the ultimate truth as religions would have us believe. I think it exists ‘in the space between the thoughts’ and I hope that meditation will help me become more conscious in a spiritual sort of way.
And having said that I just read a New Yorker article that many great people such as Elon Musk believe we are living in a simulation and that the chances of this reality being the ‘base’ or ‘primary’ reality is about one billion to one really resonates with me. At 39 years old I too do not believe this to be the underlying reality – there is something greater, more fantastic behind all of this. Perhaps we are just some form of AI, perhaps we all have incredible VR goggles on, or perhaps we’re just lines of code that will fade away once we die. Who knows.