Some years ago, I saw a “Ziggy” cartoon in which he was sitting on a kitchen bar stool. His right knee was higher than the left and he was resting his elbow on it. He was also resting his chin on the fist of his right arm, vis a vis, Rodin’s “The Thinker.” The first frame showed his thought, “Sometimes, I sits and thinks.” The second said, “And sometimes, I just sits.”
I would add to that, I don’t “Just sits” enough. Anyone who has ever tried the spiritual discipline of meditation knows it is extremely difficult to not think when we are conscious. Some of us have worked (operative term) for years learning to have no thoughts when mediating. Meditation is an ancient practice of spiritualists, self-care practitioners, mystics and many more.
My favorite, overly simplistic, definition of the practice is “Doing just one thing at a time with one’s mind.” When was the last time you did that??? The easiest form is to just count one’s breaths, to four. Assume a comfortable position. If you are an Occidental, I don’t recommend the Lotus position! Close your eyes and “Simply” count to four as you exhale. Then start over. That’s it. Just do that for fifteen minutes without having another thought. When you can do that, please contact me so I can send you a plaque saying you are a world class meditator!
Medical researchers such as Herbert W. Benson, MD, Harvard Medical School, have done extensive research proving that meditation causes reduced blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and a sense of peace. Consistent practice over a period of time has many long term benefits.
I get it. Our culture doesn’t allow for just sitting. Yet all world religions, past and present, as well as secularists practice meditation. We don’t have to wear saffron robes, shave our heads—well, you can if you want to, or do any other special things. You don’t even have to buy special clothes or a twenty dollar water bottle. Just sit. And don’t think. Fifteen to twenty minutes twice a day can have profound affects. And your family will like you better—maybe. Go ahead, I double dog dare ya!