that’s not meditation
Hello to you on this January day. I’ve posted a short meditation video that’s inspired by this blog. Click here if you need a downshift right away or, read first for context, and watch it next.
We spend a lot of time at my parent’s lake house. A lot of time. During summer visits, one of my kids’ favorite things to do is to “Bomb PopPop” which equates to jumping into the lake near my father and splashing the heck out of him. Cannonballs, belly flops, jackknifes, off the boat, off the dock, off the huge trampoline tube. This is THE game of choice and has been since my children were barely toddlers in bulky life jackets that had them waddling toppling left and right.
I swear – a few days prior to each lake trip, at least one child calls up my dad and says, “PopPop!!! I’m going to BOMB you!!!”
And my dad laughs in a Santa-esque boomy way and says,
“No no no, you’re not going to get me!!!”
But you know they do. Every time.
And they each have their own way of doing it. John takes off running as if to a starter gun and then sets off a geyser explosion. Ruthie is all about the technique as she goes for catching the most air and the crispest, sleekest entry into the water. And for Nora, I swear I see the water shiver and giggle at her full force launch and S*P*L*A*S*H.
Concentric ripples bubbling outward.
And for every time they jump in,
they must climb out to start again.
(Because no way is just one “bomb PopPop” enough, right?)
Take a big breath, run, jump, splash, surface, swim, climb out.
huh… I see a connection here.
I feel a connection here.
You see, many people think meditation is about “quieting” the mind or “stopping thinking”, but those words don’t quite cover it.
Instead, the practice of meditation is the practice of choosing Now.
It’s the practice of choosing what you want to focus on instead of letting the loudest voice in your head (or loudest thought or emotion) hijack you with its flavor of the day / hour / minute / second.
It’s the practice of perhaps beginning with your focus on the breath. And then over and over wandering away from the breath, jumping into the bottomless waters of the well of creativity (also known as the brain stuff) and then realizing you are, in fact, underwater. And so, you swim upward, climb out and stand on the dock again.
With your breath. To begin again.
For a minute. Or a second. Or even a milli-second.
Before off you go once more flying into the waters and losing yourself in swirling, twirling, curling thoughts and wonderments and ruminations and worries and fantasies and “what if”s” and “how in the world’s” and “oh no’s…”.
You see, the water of the mind stuff is not a bad place to be. It’s colorful there and full of glorious imagination.
But coming up for breath is helpful and even necessary. If my kiddos didn’t come up for breath and out onto solid dock, then they couldn’t continue the game of bombing PopPop.
Big breath, run, jump, SPLASH, surface, swim, climb out. Repeat again.
Breathe, begin thinking, get lost in those deep thought waters, get SUPER lost in them, catch yourself somewhere along the way, return to the breath…
on and on and on and on.
A million times we go under. And a million times we come up for air.
Ah, the air and ah, the water.
Ah, my mind and ah, this place of real and alive life.
The contrast awakens my senses and renews me.
For this choice and for this remembering, I am grateful.
Now, click here for the short video meditation and to perhaps feel how little time it can take to feel better than you do right now. (Or perhaps to feel what right Now actually means.)
Take good care. And swim well, my friend.