I have just returned from Bali, where I spent five days with my wife on a small holiday.
We visited a few Hindu temples but spent much of the time chilling out and taking in the epic views.
On the advice of our doctor we didn’t want to do too much because my wife is in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Anyway, I wanted to share with you a beautiful moment I experienced that crept up on me out of the blue.
Since studying the art of meditation many years ago, I tend not to schedule meditation like I did in the first couple of years, rather just go with the flow and allow my consciousness to point me toward the pathway. That said, I know when I need time out to bring my mind home, and sometimes do promise myself an allotted time when I’m busy.
When I say meditation, people usually assume I am talking about lotus-position, temple-style meditation. But those of you who have followed my musings for some time will know I am not very traditional, although I respect the practice and reasoning .
But in this particular moment I want to share with you, meditation came to me.
My wife had popped off to spend a penny again – such is pregnancy – and I sat under a pavilion looking out across the vast ocean.
There was some kids playing football to my right, and some ladies selling scarves and manicure services along the beach pathway to my left.
As I watched the kids playing like they were competing for the world cup final, every ounce of energy used to beat the player in front of them, my mind spun back to my uni days, as I recalled fond memories of winning the university league with my team.
The sun beat down on the sand, as the kids’ voices echoed behind me across the breeze. The vast ocean pulled my eyes all the way to its horizon, until it drew a fine, perfectly straight line at the end of the world, and washed me back out to see the gentle waves caressing the shoreline, as a mother would a child.
Needless to say, I was feeling very peaceful
It was right in this beautiful moment, that unexpectedly my mind began to walk home.
I didn’t do or think anything. I didn’t try to meditate. I didn’t try to calm my thoughts, focus on one spot or one sound.
I was simply looking forward, out over the beach and across the ocean lining.
Gently, the left and right side of my mind narrowed, the sound of the children playing football and ladies chattering to tourists faded into the background, and my mind began to still itself.
I could sense thoughts trying to invade my space, but there was a shield effortlessly keeping them at bay.
I was totally immersed in the setting. As if my mind were afloat with the world and my body poised in absolute stillness.
I sat like this for about three minutes until a member of the hotel restaurant staff came over to ask – twice I think – if I’d like a drink.
It was an incredible moment. My mind literally walked itself home. Something that hasn’t happened for a long while.
No doubt this was the result of a number of things: the sun, the sea, the epic view, the childhood memories evoked by the kids playing football, my generally relaxed state due to being on holiday.
But it was a poignant reminder that you don’t need to be sitting crossed-legged in a temple, sitting in a class chanting mantras or even thinking about meditation to bring your mind home.
The most divine moments, when everything falls into place, when the grasping disappears and your mind is completely still, can creep up and consume you when you least expect it.
You just have to be present enough to accept them.