Recently, I decided to try out Headspace. I am on day seven of a the take 10, and I think I might get a subscription. Anyone else using Headspace? It looks like you can connect with people through it. If you’re on it, let me know.
I never took a sitting meditation class, though it’s sometimes part of classes on something else. I don’t think I’m new to meditation, as I’ve been practicing, in my own way, here and there. Of course, I’ve read books, and seen videos and movies, but I’ve never had a actual, daily practice. Practice is what it is all about.
I once took a Zen walking meditation class, but never took up the practice, though that class informed the way I hike, and even sit when hiking. One of the parts of photography I enjoy is the sitting.
I love the hike, being outside, and engaging all sorts of life. Part of that is being still, and silent. You’re awareness grows. Eventually, your mind quiets. Who knows how much time passes. Then something happens. A coyote crosses your path, or a grey fox, or bird, thunder. Magic. You snap your shots.
These pictures are from 2009. I was flat on my stomach at the river, watching and waiting for a Great Blue Heron to work its way towards me, as it fished the river. I was a bit hidden, but not much. I was letting stillness hide me from the Heron. That’s when I saw the coyote on the opposite bank.
He was looking for a place to cross. I rolled and turned, and started taking shots. I watched through the lens, and at one point he looked right at me, and then I thouhgt, maybe I should stand up, adn look at him with my actual eyes, and not through the lens. When you look at him with your own eyes, and not through the lens, he is much closer. About that time, he finished his crossing, largely ignoring me.
Two more things on Mindfulness. One is I hope the daily practice of meditation will help keep me focused on my goals and intentions. Secondly, I hope that giving myself more time as an empty vessel will mean more time with the default mode network, or make me more open to receive inspiration, however you want to look at it. I think this is one of the key treasures of meditating; being quiet, no distractions. I’m not checking my phone, I’m not watching TV, listening to music, internetting. I’m open.
These days, people are over-distracted. I love being home with no appliances on. Just the sounds of chores getting done. Try it.
Part of why people like being distracted is avoidance. those thoughts you rather not think. Think them. Don’t hold on to them. Nothing wrong with fear, it’s part of life, but don’t let it stop you. Embrace uncertainty. Take courage. As it was said in Jacob’s Ladder, the movie from the early 90’s, and I’m paraphrasing here, once you let go, your demons become angels, freeing you…
Staying focused is important. Staying open is also important, especially to creativity.
Another way I stay focused, in times of change, like when I’m starting a new diet, or breaking a bad habit, is I create a fetish to keep with me. To remind me of my focus, but we’ll go into that another time.
Actually, this was going to be a quick post about Headspace. I do go on.