Sitting with Coleman on the beach, an overcast day. Rain will pour down at any moment as we await our daily shower. So refreshing to just sit-ocean breeze, sound of the tree limbs whistling, a solo bird gliding above, wind cleansing with each breath, not a soul in sight and yet more energy and life than words can describe.
Each day I come to appreciate the sights and sounds that I know for so long I’ve simply overlooked. After a night at work, I came to an evening of recognition. Here in the peace and solitude the mind is on it’s own journey. With no tv or technology to “quiet” the my mind after an evening shift it is silence and solitude that fill in. Now not having hung out with them in a while it’s a strange new company these guys. Rather than the long life friends of distraction and mindlessness that use to await me as I’d unwind from work, there is a new simple interaction.
A chance at the end of the evening to just be present. No voids to fill. No screen to watch. Rather just your five basic senses to bring about a show of life that is constantly performing around you. Of course I’ve looked for my old pals, for distraction is easy enough to find if you simply pick up a book and enter into a new scenario by following words you’re immediately out of your own mind of thoughts. Yet I’ve come to realize it’s time to give these new friends a chance. They keep knocking at the door and rather than avoid them the company of oneself must be explored, reunited, and essentially a friendship rekindled.
Without the distraction of mindlessness you come to embrace being mindful. My understanding of meditation is completely redefined. As if all this time I had been looking up the wrong definition. Meditation or mindfulness is not just a fad, an end to a good yoga class, and Indian tradition, a loners solitude.....rather it is that time you take to be with the one person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with--your good old self.
AMAZING how fast and sporadic the mind works as it sits with its self and trys to decompress and slow down. Like a car that idles too high in neutral, a lazy dog panting in the shade, a struggling child in the constraints of a high chair, an impatient customer waiting in line, hot kernels on oil popping with each heat wave, a busy train station with no schedules posted: as the mind races it all of the sudden wakes and has no direction, no sense of location and comes to feel overly exhausted and restless. Fighting through a struggle, then realizing it had no where else to go...so why not just be. Yet who is with you through this happening, who or what is the stimulus allowing and bringing about such a mix of thoughts and emotions.....just you and your mind.
You see you almost want to stop and tell the impatient customer waiting is part of life, yet instead you must talk to yourself. If you haven’t done that in a while it may be a bit odd or even challenging.
A friend gave me probably the best piece of advice and insight before we left. He said very causally and simply “What is interesting in life is that everything is only as hard as you make it”.
It was as if I had seen a shooting star, a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, a winning lottery ticket. Why had no one put it so straight before. How is this phrase not on billboards on every public highway? Really and truly just think- EVERYTHING is only as hard as YOU make it. Once again you being mindful and responsible for you. Your actions, motivations, challenges, choices, crossroads, difficulties, new journeys, daily occurrences....it is all what YOU make it.
Through all the beauty, romance, natural paradise, and adventure even in Pura Vida land there have been days of confusion, doubt, deep loss, isolation, frustration and continplation. Yet through it all I can simply remind myself who is the leader of the tribe and realize the driving force and therefore my temple is protected and the battle not so hard. The mind comes to meet itself again and through a happy reunion you see serious growth and the formation of a strong solid friendship. For the hard times do pass and rainbows continue to form.
I know how easy it is to just be with good old distraction and mindlessness. Believe me I’ve missed them on more than a few occasions. If they were as easily accessible here I wouldn’t have had to deal with issues right away. Yet apparently those old friends are sitting somewhere laughing and enjoying as I come to know and appreciate my new company.
So as the rain comes and the sun shines I find myself so at ease. Simply hearing the birds chirping, the water drops tapping, the lizards running, the waves crashing, the squirrels jumping, the mind slowing, the five senses awaking, and just being.