Einstein’s theory of relativity states that light travels in the same speed in vacuum and air. It is not affected by the speed at which the observer is travelling. Sun being a constant and the biggest source of light, we took our relative movement in comparison to the sun and invented TIME. Earth is revolving and rotating and doing its dance around the Sun and the sun stands and watches; it’s light spreading constantly in all directions. If I say I’m forty years old, relatively I have moved that many times around the Sun.
What if I did not want to measure my life based on earth’s orbital show. What if I wanted to measure my life based on other things, being completely oblivious to time? What is the one thing constant in our body? Sun is a source of energy and we have a source of energy inside us too. If sun is producing light which served as a constant and common measurement for the entire planet system, then breath is the common measurement for our body and its microorganisms; the source of life. How many breaths did you take in the last hour? I don’t think you noticed.
There are at least five or six times I catch myself not breathing, in the entire day. Mentally so occupied that my involuntary activities stop being involuntary. That’s one way my body tries to get attention— “Let’s stop breathing and see if she notices the work that goes in to keep her alive.” Does that happen to you? Or is it just me who is being played at?
There was a time when I was meditating regularly, now I’m just not doing it (No reasons attached). Back then, I had very few moments of thoughtlessness and it felt awesome. It’s like someone put me on standby. My breathing would flow effortlessly and it was just that. Existing for a few minutes, no judgement.
What if we are born to do just that? Breathe and exist. We have all been trained to— “don’t just exist, live every second like it’s your last.” I see now why our dogs are not as stressed as we are. Hours of lounging around the living room, under the bed, under the dining table and at the door of the kitchen. We don’t do this kind of lounging. We are hustlers now, ruled by FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
There is cost we pay to hustle which is not being promoted as much. There is something called the flight-or-fight response and we are subconsciously always on fight mode. We are so used to putting ourselves through stressful situations that our body forgets to turn it off. The body’s response to stress is releasing hormones that help you fight; which has a tumble down effect. Increased heartbeat and breathing, rise in blood pressure and more glucose goes into the blood to release energy which helps us fight the situation. Answer to diabetes may be.
So is meditation the answer? To escape this ‘Fire-in-the-Mountain-Run-Run-Run’ attitude to life. Hatha Yoga has taught me so much and this too — being conscious in movement and to slow down; simple. Slow is the new fast, relax is the new hustle, letting go is the new FOMO. I still remember Dj’s(My Yoga teacher) words “Flow like honey”. A simple thing like brushing your teeth, you could bring your mind completely to it. The bristles dragging on the surface of your enamel and slow it down. Or chewing consciously every bite, feeling the samosa getting crushed and making its way inside. Just like how they talk your body into relaxing in Shavasana; you need to do that with smaller activities throughout the day, everyday.
Mindfulness is just that, to slow down life and let seconds blur out into minutes, minutes into hours. Going about your day mindfully will improve your concentration, save your brain from burning out, help you make better decisions and your reflexes will be better, you will also have more reaction time to any given situation.
While for the sages in mountains, who have given up worldly ways of living, days don’t even measure into hours. They are not dependant on the earth dancing around the sun. Their mind is focusing on the breath and its flow. In a world without ‘Time’ a recipe would instruct‘time-taken’as 79 breaths; the delivery will be done in 300 breaths and you have been using your phone for 154960 breaths. Would that make you more conscious of the way you want to use your breaths? Being unaware of our last breath, makes it even more important to salvage each one of them. We may not be ready to leave for the mountains yet, till then we should stop glorifying being busy and keep checking on ourselves ‘am I breathing?’
Sometimes you should just be:
I’m not saying meditation can now be evaded. We may not be able to sit and do it everyday, as diligently, so instead of chasing perfection just slow down. I even came across an exercise (picture) you can do in between work. It’s very effective and it’s like a quick charging when your battery is about to die.