breathe easy

My dear friends, I have so many subjects I would wish to discuss and share with you. But ever since we got up on land, time seem to rush and run away from me so much faster. It was all so different when we still were on the boat, close to nature, far from musts and obligations. I had more time for you then, it seems. I'm sorry for that and hoping to find a better rhythm and more opportunities to blog, soon.

Changes are enormous with the life we previously lead and the landlubber style to which we're now trying our best to adapt. Before I go ahead and list the major distinctions that I see of the two very different worlds, I would just like to point out how very much more important it is (for me) to take time for introspection and meditating, when one is suddenly swirled up into a busy and somewhat draining urban lifestyle again.

Some days I feel like my head is going to explode of all (most often) unnecessary noises and impressions that my view, hearing and senses are catching up around me, and I'm dying to get out of it completely to regain utter harmony and quietness. But then I remind myself of the importance of doing what we're doing here right now, and I need to instead find a way to cope with the clutter. Instead of reacting negatively at each disturbance, I do what I can to filtrate. I'm thinking of you, when I write this. All of you who are used to a hectic life with duties and obligations. Do you have a good way to slow down and gain inner peace in between it all?

Practicing meditation is something I began on the seas a couple years ago and it has grown to become a very important, almost every-day sanctuary for my soul and mind. Before I started, the word meditation had almost a pretentious sound to me and I thought it was something only weird people that just wanted to be a little different, were doing. Luckily I quickly realized that like with many other pursuits in life, it is what you make of it. Just like yoga or any regular training form, it can be made just the way that suits your own life and needs and doesn't have to be complicated at all. Quite the contrary, meditation has opened my mind and heart to the extent I wouldn't been able to reach without it. It has calmed me down and given me balance.

If you haven't practiced meditation earlier, I can quickly inform you that the point of it is to for a moment disconnect from all external noise and stress of your everyday life. It gives you a chance to find peace and quietness and lets you embrace a mental calmness that only comes from within your own soul. You can do it in the traditional lotus position, or just about how and anywhere else whenever you can take some time off to close your eyes and breath calmly in a peaceful and quiet environment.

I prefer starting my mornings with a 10-20 minutes laying down in bed with my eyes shut, right after I wake up. Other times, whenever I'm alone and I feel that I need to take a break from the computer or other work, I just lay or sit down somewhere comfortable for a while and let my mind get some rest.

The way to get started with meditation is to concentrate on a specific object or establish a point of focus, with the eyes either opened or closed. I prefer closed as it feeds me less disturbance, but open if I have the ocean before me, for its calming effect. We all know how easy one thought replaces the other in our over stimulated, fragmented minds. But to avoid this happening, you can silently repeat a word or a phrase, audibly or internally reciting a prayer or chant, visualizing and focusing on an image or object to hold onto. To follow your breaths and be an observer of bodily sensations are also optional focal points. Always make sure that your spine is straight in order to breathe easy.

When you've learnt to concentrate on your breathing or the mantra or object you've chosen as your way of meditating, the next challenge is to remove the very same thoughts, and ultimately find a gap in between where your mind thinks nothing. The more often you practice, the better you'll inevitably become at it.

Meditation not only teaches you how to manage stress, the reducing of stress and gain of harmony will in turn enhance your overall physical health as well as your emotional well-being. The idea of meditating is not to get anything in particular, but rather to look at and let go of anything that your life does not need.

Have a look at what David Lynch has to say about meditation, the transcendental being his choice:

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. 
With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” 
~ Thích Nhất Hạnh ~