“We have only forgotten; it is just a question of remembrance. It is there in the deepest core of our being. Call it truth, God, bliss, beauty: all those things indicate the same phenomenon. There is something eternal in our beings, something immortal, something divine. All that we have to do is to go deep, dive deep, into our own being, and to see, realize, recognize. Hence the journey is not really a journey. We are not to go anywhere; we have simply to sit silently and be.”
I’m now back to the peace and tranquility of Silicon Valley after a week in LA. It’s funny how quickly we adapt to our immediate surroundings and forget how it was to live in other places. I lived in LA for 7 years yet I’m caught off-guard every visit back by the traffic, great weather, and eccentric people. I really enjoyed seeing my friends, but I do feel more disconnected from LA as time goes on. It’s still a great place to live even though the culture no longer suits me.
One great thing I did in LA thanks to my friend Jeff was attend a 45-minute group meditation class. The class format for meditation was interesting and I enjoyed having the before and after with friends, but the real breakthrough for me was the length of the session. I’ve been meditating more frequently lately although it’s often only for 3-10 minute spurts. I fit in whatever I can when it strikes me with an app called Insight Timer. I’ve been averse to the standard 20 minute meditation prescription as that’s when I have quit in the past. After this long session I realized why the longer sessions make sense.
Meditation doesn’t need to be done by everyone, particularly if you have some type of physical practice that allows you to be present such as: golf, hiking, running, biking, yoga, etc. Even in these areas though we are often still running our mind constantly, but I do know some people experience a similar calm and present state from physical activities.
During the 45-minute guided meditation I was in and out of being present countless times as usual. The one thing that changed for me vs. my short 3-10 minute sessions was getting used to the constant shift. For instance when I meditate (pretty much always guided meditations with a narrator talking) I start to think about what I’m going to do that day, goals, sports, etc. Hopefully after a few moments I realize I’m out of it, and turn my attention back to my breathing or the guided meditation. With my normal short bursts I’m back and forth a few times, and then it’s done. With the long 45-minute class session I had a chance to get into some longer durations where I was just breathing. For me it’s very therapeutic, and I noticed an almost immediate increase in my ability to see my other unconscious behaviors afterwards (I regularly re-develop a bad addiction to scrolling for news on my phone).
On the meditation front I’ve also been making a habit of doing more yoga. Yoga incorporates being aware of good breathing in addition to some great movements. It isn’t intense enough for me to kick out CrossFit/weightlifting/gymnastics, but it’s an incredible supplement.
Back to the original Osho quote I have become aware again recently (why do I constantly forget!?) that I have everything I need to be happy, and I always have. I’m constantly striving to become smarter, more successful, and hopefully be a net positive in other people’s lives. With all of these efforts I’m always looking at the best traits/abilities of successful people and find myself naturally not stacking up to the combined uber-human that I fantasize of becoming.
While I plan to keep up my efforts of becoming better, I do hope to take regular inventory of how simple breathing, movement, and being relaxed in the current moment can provide all of the contentment I want.
Have a great week, and here’s a pic from one of my favorite local hikes (PG&E trail in Cupertino) where I regularly walk by friendly wild animals.