I was in Montreal a couple weekends ago to learn a particular yoga practice from an Isha teacher on Sat and Sun. It was an incredible experience paired with agonizing pain. I stayed with my friends in an Air BNB and I ended up staying up late on Friday night dancing to club music. After I got back home on Sunday, I was tired and sore and thought alright I am going to sleep, and I will restart my practices tomorrow. I will meditate and do yoga twice a day starting tomorrow. It has been more than two weeks now. I have not been able to meditate for a mere 15 minutes and forget about Yoga. I have been practicing meditation for more than two years now and it took me a long time to just sit still. All the perseverance and hard work I had put in, to build my insides to a point where I could actually meditate and forget I existed in this world, was crashing. I could feel it. Every time I sat down thinking I will meditate, I found an excuse not to. And when I did sit my ass down, I could not shut the world out. I could not believe a 4-5 hour dancing to ratchet music could do this to my sub-conscious. And then I got a text from my sister this morning saying she was unable to meditate as well. So I felt it was time for a post.
The meditation technique I have been practicing is to tell myself I am more than just this body and my mind is not everything. I am beyond this form and I focus on my breathing while doing this. Easy right? Let’s see. I close my eyes. I breathe in. I think, I am beyond this body ‘OMG today is Elections day. Who do you think is going to win? What is going to happen if Trump wins?’ I breathe out. I breathe in, ‘Will you please focus Rathi? Geez!’ I breathe out. I breathe in. I am beyond this body. I breathe out, I am beyond this mind. I breathe in ‘see that wasn’t so hard was it?’ I breathe out. I breathe in ‘I can’t believe my meeting this morning went so bad, what could I have done differently?’ I breathe out. I breathe in ‘Recollecting all YouTube videos watched before meditation’. I breathe out, I am beyond this mind. I breathe in ‘The movie Trolls was so good! Omg why did I have to eat that popcorn, why can I not just control myself, why am I so excited about eating junk, I am going to get so fat’. I breathe out.
You get the idea right? All this happens within the first few breaths. I do not think I am the only one on this boat.
What are we going to do about this, I thought. First of all, we clutter our minds ON PURPOSE. It’s like one of those memes where the brain tells the stomach, you are not hungry you are just bored! We are just bored, so we watch all these absolute worthless shows on Television. The Game of Thrones (one of my worst addictions), The vampire shows, zombie shows, then there is the weirdest of all – Reality shows. News channels don’t help a bit, and I used to say the best thing about media are shows like the Ellen DeGeneress’ & the Steve Harveys’, the people who spread cheer and joy and help others live better lives. Yes! It is incredible to make a choice to stop watching garbage shows and start watching TV shows that mean something, that help us stay positive.
But I have realised that there needs to be a line even there. Those Ellen games have interrupted my meditation sessions as well. Is that bad? Absolutely. You know why? Because we end up watching all these shows, mostly because it is someone else doing all the work and you getting to feel better watching them spread joy. Here is the reality of it, YOU, yes, YOU can be your own Ellen. Do you know she meditates regularly? What have you done for yourself in the last 24 hours (or 48 or 1 week or month?) that is of any use to you? Are you helping anyone by watching these shows? Sure, we all need a picker upper now and then; we are after all just human. But do we make – watching someone else make a difference our comfort zone? Is that going to make you a happy fulfilled person? We read innumerable no. of books, watch all these shows, listen to motivational podcasts, GREAT! That is waaay better than Zombie/Vampire/Reality shows. But do we need to do it, to a point where it becomes nothing but noise inside of us? Do we need to clutter our minds with that noise, to a point where we forget WE DO NOT NEED ANSWERS from the outside?!? All that we are trying to achieve from the outside, is already inside of us. But there is so much static around it, we fail to give it a chance to speak, we fail to listen.
I gave up my TV privileges 7 months ago. But I got hooked on Youtube and that is the biggest noise in my head right now. I am going to promise myself, to reduce the noise from the outside, and start chopping the static around my inner voice. I am going to make it a point, to close my laptop screen, when I start watching Youtube videos.
I am going, to search within. We got this people. We do not need a 100 books and a million Ellen shows to tell us this. We got this. Just, sit still, and listen to your insides. Good Luck.