Daily Consumption: How to Redefine a New Passion
Around January I incorporated yoga and meditation as a lifestyle. In the same way we eat and drink for our bodies and mind, I've incorporated these two... —well what do we call them?
They're not tasks or rituals, and I wouldn't like to give them the title of practices. Eating and drinking are things we do daily, because that's what we know. We'd never group them into a category of practice, ritual or task. So how do we define new introductions into our lives that become second nature to us?
I eat food because I'm hungry, I love the various tastes, it gives me energy, and it makes me feel better. I drink water because it's healthy, it makes me feel better, and it's a necessity for life.
Meditation and yoga for me are separate. Yoga is a physical workout for me, just as weight lifting and calisthenics are. The end result leads to a healthy mind and body. Meditation is my mental workout, the end result also being a healthy mind and body. I practice yoga and meditation just as much as I practice fitness, eating, drinking. I don't need to prepare myself, I just do.
From August 20th, 2000 until around somewhere in 2007, 2008 I was a Born-Again Christian. I spent a lot of time praying, which in retrospect is meditation—although I don't think many people viewed it in that light. As I reintroduced the most common version of meditation into my life, I began to see the parallel in early struggles I had with praying. This awareness keeps me grounded.
Prayer is difficult if you don't know what you're looking for. A lot of my prayers started as saying "thank you" for the basics of life, family, and looking for better tomorrows. Two minutes here and there and I'd be done. I was easily distracted also and my mind would always run off on tangents. Eventually that changed for me. The more I read and learned, the more prayer became sustenance for me.
And I think that was the word I was looking for earlier.
Prayer became something I needed throughout the day to keep me alive. I searched for clarity in my life, my decisions, and my experiences. In prayer I wanted to let go of my grounded frustrations, fears, and doubts. I wanted to entrust them into my God. And although I lost prayer specifically, I found the larger umbrella of meditation.
The first two weeks were filled with frustration. Poor circulation to my legs, off rhythmic breathing, scattered brain thoughts, and no ocus. Each meditation session was five minutes or so and I had my fill. I felt decent but I didn't understand it yet. It wasn't life for me.
About three weeks ago I went for a morning jog under a cloudy sky and the rain began to drizzle lightly. My morning runs have always been a way to liven me up. My run starts with me heading south and the sun shines bright on my left side. On my return up north, I even out my well-needed tan tone. When I feel complete I head to the shore do some yoga stretches. I close out by transitioning into a beginner's lotus position to meditate.
I always take my keys, ipod, headphones, shades, and socks off and place them into my sneakers which I usually place next to me or behind me. One of my earlier mind tangents was the thought of someone sneaking up while my back was turned and taking my belongings. I have always had good senses, and I reiterate this to myself but I always opened my eyes to peek. On this rainy day I didn't.
I did a sun salute because I knew it was there regardless of the clouds and I held it a bit longer than usual. The rain intensified and I felt connected to earth and sky. I dug my feet deeper into the sand and stretched higher into the sky. I was the median. I was the bridge between earth and sky.
I sat down into lotus position to begin my meditation and the rain lightened up. As I sat, my focus was on the raindrops touching every part of my body. My lower back, knees, shoulders, hair follicles—every part of me was connected to everything and everyone.
It began pouring.
I took myself mentally away from where I was. I thought about the Astral Plane and that was where I brought myself. Freely floating around, away from earth and sky but in the Universe as a whole.
I came back from my journey after an unknowing amount of time and slowly headed home, spiritually exhausted from my journey, but excited about what I experienced. I knew humility.
Since that day I've truly understood what mediation was. My aura has changed and my approach to living has opened. I feel different when I walk. I exist more than I ever have.
Food, water, exercise, yoga, and meditation are sustenance for me. They are the things I crave at any given time. They are keys to my life that I will find a way to satisfy. Sometimes it's trail mix, sparkling water, calf raises, or even a quick walk to the pier during work to take in some deep breaths and watch the sunset.
Now when I meditate, time is not a factor. It ends when it ends. At times I still battle with my mind. Just the other day I decided to focus on a particular subject, however my mind wanted to focus on nothingness. Mostly I want to focus on nothingness and my mind picks a topic. It's funny that way. But, I flow with it.