The streetlamp outside the bedroom window casts a gentle glow about the room and I look at the way the light recedes; a bright halo, then soft light, then near darkness.
I focus on the light, the way it moves into the darkness and is swallowed and I try, too, to move into the darkness; into sleep.
But sleep doesn’t come.
Turning away from the window, I try something I’ve never tried before:
“Waterfall, river, stream.”
I recall the article inwhere I had read about the power of meditation; about this man who entered into a quiet place for ten days and he had used this mantra.
No phone, no eye contact, no verbal communication.
And as he sat those first few days, his mind roared like a waterfall; emotions and thoughts just pouring chaotically out but this, he knew, was part of purifying one’s mind.
So I too, try this simple exercise.
Waterfall. I see an image of Google calendar’s screaming schedule at work, how I need to write an article for an upcoming deadline, how I wish I had time to exercise more, read my textbooks for the next semester, find a bookshelf for my office… and then, I slow.
River. I think about my relationships, the smiling faces I encountered throughout the day, my dog sleeping in my lap, the small daisies springing cheerfully through the graveled road… and still, I slow.
Stream. Peaceful images fill my mind; images of me fishing under the bridge as a child and I can hear the water chuckling as it plays over smooth rocks. “He leadeth them beside the still waters…” The words enter slow, my mind wrapped in warmth and… I remember no more.
I sleep until 10:30 the following morning. I’m embarrassed but I’ve never felt so alive all day and laughter spills easy and I get more work done in six hours than I do in ten.
So I research meditating.
The Bible says God isn’t found in the wind, earthquake, or the fire but instead, God is found in a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11)
Another scripture mentions how one’s beauty is found in one’s inner self and the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:4)
And of course, how He leadeth us beside the still waters. (Psalm 23)
I see now, a fresh perspective of why I need to meditate, whether this be in the morning with a cup of coffee and a Bible or in the evening, sitting silently on a park bench watching the day fade.
Because this is a time when we can step away from the world filled with communication and simply communicate with the One within us. How we can align our souls with the One Who breathed Life into our very souls. And how we can learn who we are in His eyes, the One who was in our past, in our present, and will be with us in our future.
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.” – Buddha
I think there’s a park bench calling me now.