livinglifefully.com

August 28
  
Fishing provides that connection with the
whole living world.  It gives you the opportunity
of being totally immersed, turning back into
yourself in a good way.  A form of meditation,
some form of communion with levels of yourself
that are deeper than the ordinary self.


Ted Hughes

  

Today's Meditation:

Personally, I'm not a fisherman.  I enjoyed fishing when I was a kid, but it's not something that I've stuck with as an adult.  But the important part of Ted's words here isn't the part about fishing, but about having an activity that allows a person to be completely immersed in the moment, focusing only upon that particular activity and not thinking about the other things in life that tend to get our minds going 'round and 'round without being able to stop-- which is definitely one of the main causes of frustration and burnout in people.

When you have forms of meditation of your own, when you have activities in which you can become completely immersed, then you have ways to deal with the hectic pace of life.  You have methods for calming your mind and finding clarity.  You have a strategy for breaking out of the rat race and defining your participation in it on your own terms.

I've got many such strategies for meditation, and none of them involve sitting quietly in one place for hours (I always fall asleep when I try it that way!).  I bike, I run, I do dishes, I shovel snow, I wash my car, I read good books, I go for long walks, I listen closely to music that's playing.  Anything that keeps my mind occupied on one particular task and keeps it from going off on all the tangents that it so loves to explore is helpful to me, and I finish those tasks feeling refreshed and revitalized, ready to face the world and deal with it on my terms.  When I neglect doing these sorts of things, I find myself getting stressed and feeling frantic and frustrated, and I don't like feeling that way. 

What will do it for you is obviously up to you.  You are who you are, and you have your own interests and abilities.  Perhaps drawing or painting, or cleaning the house, or ironing clothes.  Anything that keeps you focused fully on what you're doing, keeping your mind occupied on something you're doing, can be a very helpful and useful part of your life.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things do you do that make you feel refreshed and make your mind clearer when you're done with them?

Why do we focus so much on what we think other people want us to do instead of on what we know is good for us?

How might we discover new things to do that are forms of meditation?

For further thought:

Through meditation and by giving full attention to one thing at a time,
we can learn to direct attention where we choose.

Eknath Easwaran

More on meditation.

   

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