As random as it might be, I’ve lately realised what it clearly means to “look out of the window” by looking out of the window. I’ve spent years working in a small office spending lunch breaks on my own. Half an hour only, enough to buy a little something and sit at a park right behind the office. For about 9 years. In this little half hour were fifteen minutes to call my brother, think about my next holiday, plan my to do list for the week or simply meditate. I don’t know much about meditation, judging by the books I don’t read or the research I don’t do about the subject. I guess that I don’t want to influence the way I do it. Meditation is supposed to be something personal and I don’t want to become a master at it. I’ve tried to practice different Yoga styles but none brought me what I find in my own meditative way.
There are many ways for me to be in a deep state of meditation. All of them occur actively by themselves, it isn’t something that I force myself to do. I think I could, but I believe that it’s way more natural when you can achieve a deep meditative state when your body decides it. A few months ago while sitting on the couch I found myself looking out of the window and realising that it had been for more than ten minutes at least. Not thinking about anything in particular, or maybe switching so fast from one subject to the other that they all blur out into one empty thought. I realised that it is indeed a good way to meditate but that feeling was familiar to many other circumstances. Here’s what I concluded on when I can easily be in a meditative state of mind:
It’s not that I like to clean the dishes or ironing but when I do, it really gets me somewhere far, far in my thoughts. It’s these systematic, mechanical movements, the repetition of actions that makes my mind empty itself. Of course I need to be alone doing it, and it has to be on the kind of days where I’m not bothered by anything. Otherwise, I can drift around like crazy and analyse a major personal concern or issue in its tiniest detail. I would like to know what cleaning ladies think about it…
Creative Forms of Expression
That’s a basic one, of course if you’re a musician or painter or you simply like to be creative, experiment and craft some DIY things, you may already have experienced moments where you don’t realise how time has passed by so fast. I play many instruments and all of them brought me into a different state of mind while drifting around for the sake of practice. On the drums it always feels more like a gym session. They also don’t really allow me to play unfocused, otherwise it would sound too much like Jazz music. On the piano, I could spend hours playing and meditating on precise subjects, playing melodies sounding like Yann Tiersen. Finally where I can disconnect and probably lay like a potato (haha), being in my most empty state of mind is by holding a guitar. I don’t even call it playing since it’s mostly just scratching softly some strings with one hand and holding a 1 or maximum 2-chord position with the other hand. For me it’s the key to fly away.
On The Place of Your Dreams
It sounds obvious and most people might tell me that they haven’t found their heaven on earth. Maybe they felt great at their last Hotel Resort in Cancun, Mexico but it doesn’t mean they were fully connecting with themselves. If you have the chance to travel, you might experience beautiful places, but you don’t need to go so far to find the place that literally talks to your heart. It can be your backyard facing the forest, the local skate park where you spent your youth at, your grandmother’s place, the small local park around the block. A country is quite vague but you’re maybe kind of obsessed with one, or a region. Personally, I’ve found an unpredicted love for the island of Crete a few years ago. As I described a little bit in a previous article, Crete has some sort of energy that I haven’t experienced anywhere else. Yet. Where we usually stay is quite remote and this isolation is felt pretty strong when I look into the emptiness. Between the mountains, what you wake up looking at is an everyday gift of nature. It is more than easy for me then to disconnect and meditate at peace.
Playing a game
I’m going to be really specific on this one since all of these examples are about personal experiences and that I am not a big gamer. Lately, my older brother convinced me to try a quite popular game called Minecraft, which I tried a few years ago and totally ditched after not even five minutes of playing. It’s about bricks with huge pixels, as if the developers of the game don’t use technologie to make it look better. That’s at least what my first thoughts were. Then I found out the game is great, and easily addictive. On a huge world made out of cubes representing nature, such as forests, oceans, mountains, hills, deserts etc, you can dig each one of them and create buildings or make tools, using your creativity to survive in it. It’s not heaven, because at night, the zombies and monsters come out, but if you go to bed just in time, the next day starts with a beautiful pixel-sunrise. What I like the most is the infinite possibilities and solutions you find to create your own little space. Once you set up your goal in the game, like building a huge tower randomly on the peak of a mountain, dig the floor to find a gold mine, ride across the map on a horse, swim in the water to find an underwater temple, you lose track of time and you can be focused on other thoughts. The game is highly creative and really well done. I remember one day when playing with my brother, we rode our “horses” for exploration through this digital world. My brother told me to look up at this massive mountain because it looked so beautiful. Someone at that same moment would tell us “come ON, that’s just a pile of pixel cubes“, but when you discover that in the context of the game it’s a whole other story. A major imagination boost and creative bliss.
Concentration is required at its best, but if you have the chance to do a road-trip, highways can be a perfect meditative place. You’re forced to look in front of you, constantly. A few glimpses on the sides and maybe to the back but in a small fraction of time. Road-trips are great, they make you mind look forward to see something but it takes time with no distractions for hours. In a plane you watch movies, on a train you can read or be on your smartphone, but not while driving. We did it already a few times and it’s always a great moment to really brainstorm, as we are totally focused.
I hope you can relate to a few of these examples. Maybe you have some other technique that makes your brain disconnect from the rest of your body and explore your inner soul. Feel free to share your experiences, I’d love to read about them!