Friday, February 13, 2015

To learn to train the mind to be still

I'm wondering if you also have a wandering mind, tentacular... thoughts popping up in your brain when you look at a film, or clicking on links to learn more about this and that subject and in the end, you don't even remember what you were looking for or how you got there? I tracked my 'brainy wanderings', one day, back in October 2014 I think.

You may like or not like reading my wanderings. If not, which I can sure understand, scroll down for the rest of this blogpost (search for a little *).

My wandering started when I listened to a beautiful mantra, sung in sanskrit. It is a beautiful melody, the kind you don't need to understand what's said to feel good. I added it here so you can listen while reading, if you want.

I was curious to learn more about the bottisatva of compassion Avalokiteshvara and Googled a bit. I found out that his appearance was graceful and feminine, and that 'he could adopt 4 different apparences among which the apparence of a woman'. A few centuries later he is a she. In China she is the Goddess of mercy and compassion Kuan Yin. She's often shown with many arms. The first sentence of Avalokiteshvara's mantra, "Om Mani Padme Um" is the most pronounced mantra worldwide and best known even by non-buddhitsts.

This deity fascinated me already, because I saw a beautiful statue on Etsy made by artist Rose Youngsam and wanted to know more about her and stumbled on a picture of this marvelous head, shot by Hubert Steed, and I fell for the soft and gentle lines of her beautiful heart-shaped face. I would like to make a pendant with such a lovely face one day. In China, there are immense statues built nowadays. I am wondering why humans want to build huge statues, huge buildings.

YouTube always shows suggestions at the right of my screen, one of them lead me to a Chinese film called Avalokiteshvara. I loved the costumes, photography... some of the 'magical' aspects a bit less, but overall, I liked it a lot. It's in Chinese, but you can see it in its entirety with English subtitles, from the start, that is, when a Japanese queen sends a monk to China to get a statue and bring it back to Japan. She is convinced that the statue will make peace return amongst the populations tearing each other apart. I immediately thought: "what makes you believe that you can go to a country, take a statue -sacred for the people there-, and bring it back to your own country?" but that question got actually dealt with, beautifully.

Clic to enlarge and maybe you will also
see the "dragon" with Hawai
forming its wings
"Formose", seems to have had more temples dedicated to Avalokiteshvara than to the local great goddess Mazu. 'Where was 'Formose' already?' asks my brain.  

Formose was an old, colonial name for Taiwan, and still is the name of a famous Oolong tea. I love Oolong tea, and also the name Formose. I don't know why. The map wich I thought would show me Formose shows lines in the Ocean which reminded me of a dragon. That made me curious of its topography. Checking the map below shows so very clearly where Africa and America where attached to one another millions of years ago that on the screen of my mind I could see the earth opening up in the middle of the Atlantic; lava pooring, widening the cracks, modifying the structure of our natural amazing spaceship. I could also see the crust collapsing in the center of the Pacific and the continents come closer on that part of the globe... This is just my imagination, helped by documentary films seen on TV. But it makes me think that one day there will be nothing left from our countries and borders. The earth will have a completely different face. Will humans still be there?

I hope that there will be vegetation and animals and wise humans by that time... 
In that order.

Topographic image of Terra courtesy Service Cartographie
And then, I wonder if we couldn't do better and stumbled upon Amara Tia Ann's blog quoting a 12-year old considered to be a "Crystal child" whose incredible insight brought me back to where I am, here in my chair, in the middle of the room in my flat, town, world I'm part of. Insane too, yes, trying to make my life meaningful according to human standards while it is already meaningful in itself for the Universe. Who knows what still has to come, who knows if I have already done 'my share'... My hope was to be on the 'right path' and I suddenly realize that there is no path, only life. 

Then, even if I wanted to stop my wanderings, I stumbled upon Tina Turner's albums made in collaboration with singers from other cultures, for the benefit of the organization "Beyond". I love their message. It really touched me and reminded me that we all are beautiful if we want to.

And I ended up makin my own musical Mandala. This is the result. I might come back to make other mandalas. It seems like they're not erased. 


VoilĂ . This is just one of my busy brainy days and it could continue like this endlessly... But even though it was interesting to browse, play with music, learn more... it is NOT what I really want to do. A planned day dedicated to wandering, searching, browsing etc. might be cool, but not every day, not because my mind does what it wants instead of what I want. I realized that I needed to learn to be more in the present, to engage more with myself, to control my mind better, to get my time back for me. Because I don't want to waste time. In a world of so much information and funnies, I feel like I'm loosing myself.

More than one year ago, I subscribed for a series of 10 free guided medications  meditations online - they are guided by a man called Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace. I stopped medications due to irregular heartbeat and needed to find something to help me. These free short sessions made me feel much better and so I promised to myself to sell enough patterns to pay for a full registration and have access to everything on their website.

I finally could start their upgraded programme last month and I am thrilled. Not only is my brain clearer, less wandering, but I have more sense of humor, I see things more clearly, and, above all, have less and less mood shifts. Things still matter, but "I don't mind" so much anymore. I worry less. Exactly what I hoped. In fact, it works even better than what I expected. It has a positive impact on my relationship too. I'm more patient.

I recommend this to any person who would like to give meditation a try but got bored or discouraged. Visit their website. You might be surprised how simple it is. I think that they have the best approach and explain things so well that they really succeed to help anyone to become one's own friend and feel happy again.

Tomorrow will be Valentine's Day and because I love you, and am grateful that you read my post, and even more grateful for your support allowing me to do things like these guided meditations, you can have a 30% discount on all patterns listed. Only valid on Valentine's Day (February 14).

use code HEADSPACE30

Thank you for reading me!