07/365 – Focus on the Blue
Earlier in the week I attended a lecture where the speaker talked about how everything in nature, including the human body, regenerates over time. This means that we literally are not the same person we were five years ago or ten years ago, and we will not be the person we are now, a few years into the future. Despite this on-going renewal of one’s physical self, the emotional scars from past hurt and pain that one carries through each regeneration, ultimately results in each of us reliving the same patterns over and over again.
When asked by someone how to move past this, she said the answer was simple: meditation. The audience member followed up by asking which type of meditation works best, and I thought her answer was really lovely. She said that there are many types of meditation out there, but each person needs to experiment and find one that works for themselves. She said that people often get so caught up on finding the “right one” and mediating perfectly, that when they’re unable to concentrate, they get frustrated and give up. But she said the reason they say that one “practices meditation” is because one literally must do it over and over again to learn how to achieve focused concentration.
She said one of the simplest types of meditation is to just focus on your breath. Take in each breath gently and as you exhale, try to let go of something you’ve been holding on to. She said as you breath, your mind will wander, but to just let it be and gently pull it back to counting and focusing on your breath.
Easier said than done. The audience member nodded, but still looked unsure, so the speaker explained further.
It is as though you’re laying out on the grass, staring at the bright blue sky, and then you see a cloud come by and your eyes follow the cloud until another cloud enters your line of vision. Soon you’re just watching cloud after cloud and you’ve forgotten about the big blue sky. The clouds are like your thoughts and it’s easy to follow them from one to the next, but the blue sky- this is the quiet mind, the place you ultimately want to be. Her parting advice to all of us was to meditate every day, even if only for five minutes until eventually you can learn to “focus on the blue.”
As I got ready to depart from my lovely perch, high atop the Himalayas this afternoon, I couldn’t help but take one more look around and take it all in. The lush green lawn on which a gorgeous blue-green peacock wandered, not afraid of the humans who stopped to admire him. The terraced hillsides, filled with various trees upon which monkeys sat and watched for the right moment to jump down and grab the last little bits of food left on an unattended table. And finally, the bright, blue sky. And though I still saw the clouds, I was also able to take a minute to just focus on the blue.