Simple things give the most pleasure
The simple things in life, for me, give the most pleasure. Being able to sit and listen to the morning bring in a new day, a sunrise coloring the clouds. Taking a few moments
just to let thoughts pass and allow the Soul to be refreshed by Life itself. And I am not a morning person by any measure.
The sound of rain falling can be a mixed blessing. It can be looked at as a dark, wet, and dreary time. It can be thought to be a renewal, a cleansing. Washing away the grime and trials of the past. Have you ever walked in the rain? No purpose, no reason. Just to do it? Give it a try sometime, be in the experience, not worrying about getting wet; just allowing Nature to touch and soothe you.
There are many ways to define relaxation. Too often we get caught in the trap of waiting for our bodies and mind being overcome with anger, stress or depression before we begin to make the effort to relax. And it is then an Effort. Others and ourselves make a big deal about how we need to relax, to calm down, to get over it.
Do you ever watch videos of people demonstrating relaxation techniques? I do, guess you could say its part of my job description. I have noticed that always the person has a calm and peaceful expression, an easy and pleasant voice and a natural rhythm. I really do not think that is them, not all the time. People are people and even the best have an off-day sometimes.
I have never had a day that I could honestly say had no stress, no anger, no regrets. Reaching that is impossible. I try and make do with staying as calm, as peaceful as possible. To do that I take many moments during the day to breathe, to identify stress points and allow them to pass away. To be relaxed is to know how you are reacting, to know where you are in the moment and place you are.
I am fond of saying that you can relax without meditation but you have to be relaxed to meditate. The two go together almost hand in hand. Many relaxation techniques are closely identified with meditation techniques. The biggest difference I have found is that meditation is more internal while relaxation can be external as well as internal.
Mindfulness meditation teaches that there are five core practices that are the foundation you should build upon. These are: breathing, concentration, body scan,
releasing tension, and walking. I’ve talked a bit about them all, here is a link to Building your Mindfulness Tool Box if you would like to review.
The body scan is a simple meditation where we take stock of our body and recognize physical feelings. It leads into releasing tension from the body. What if we redirect
that to our mind? If we take a few minutes to quietly examine our feelings, to identify the emotions and how they affect us; would we then be able to move toward releasing the tension inside our mind?
Here are several guided meditations, the body scan ones can easily be adapted to doing a mind scan just
by placing the focus on mind rather than body. I do like the short meditations, they provide the basic foundation and are easy to build upon when you are ready to fly solo.
Music is my favorite relaxation and meditation technique. I can choose the type, the length and the direction I wish to take myself. Play-lists can be made and edited quickly and doing so can in be a relaxing and rewarding pastime.
Another of my job descriptions could be as a searcher for music. My choices are based on my preferences, it is reflected in the music I write about and my personal play-lists. Sometimes my searches lead me down some pretty strange paths but sometimes I find something different.
Social media lead me to Dave Fidler, who describes himself as a British recording artist raised by wolves. That alone would catch my interest and seeing he had been doing a 30-day challenge for composing a new song daily, how could I pass it up? His August 30 video on YouTube includes a short tour of his recording studio. The music itself is light and up-tempo, the feel isthat you are hanging out with Dave for the afternoon. You can check Dave, his music and friends out, I recommend starting with Day 30.
One of my favorite products is the Indoor Water Fountain. These can range in size and complexity, all combine the element of falling water. I have two, a very large freestanding unit with bamboo styling that I had to take outside because of a leak. I guess 10 years and being moved from Japan to Illinois to Iowa could put a lot of stress on the joints.
The table-top fountain is also from Japan and, sadly, also leaks. So again, pleasure combines with business as I begin a search for a new table-top water fountain. My Wife is in charge of our home decor but I sometimes manage to find a new addition that she approves of. With a mixture of Oriental (mostly Japanese and Chinese) and American furnishings, add in the requirements of not being bigger than table-top, quiet operation, and a gentle babbling brook sound…
The search continues, I am looking for the perfect fountain that we can enjoy for years to come. As you can see, I am just beginning the quest for my new fountain. Some of the styles and types I am looking for are pictured here. All are available from Serenity Health & Home Décor and from Amazon.
Relaxation is possible simple by taking the time to enjoy the simple moments and events in our life. Watching a sunrise, a sunset. Listening to a gentle rain or being one with thunder and lightning. Simply being a part of Nature and listening for the subtle sounds.
All are perfect moments to allow yourself to just be in the present, putting aside the stress, the worries, and the pains of the day. Meditation does not have to be the chanting, lotus position but can be the moments you allow your mind to look inside; the moments you allow yourself to be and to consider the wonder all around you.
Man-made music and products can add to your relaxation and give added dimensions to meditation. If you wish to dance, to sing; then dance and sing in the moment, all for yourself. Let it be a celebration! If you wish to sit quietly and listen, let it be a celebration!
What are some of the simple things that give the most pleasure to you? Given a choice for meditation, do you choose Natural or man-made music? Do you take the time to relax?
Your comments, ideas, thoughts and questions are most welcome here. As always, I will get back to you quickly.
Walking the Path of Peace,