One of the things I think is important is to periodically spend some time sitting quietly. No music. No TV. No conversation. No sound other than what filters in from the street. Cat purring is acceptable.
It isn't a nap, sitting or lying down. You aren't trying to read, or write, or do anything. Just sit, and breathe. The idea is to let your mind drift where it wants to go. Let it explore deep stillness. Not forcing it to think about something, just letting it be. Daydream. Meditate. Relax. I picture my brain on a nice warm beach, between tall fruity drinks but not drunk or thirsty, watching the waves, listening to the breeze, feeling the warmth of the sun, smelling the sea.
I find it very refreshing. Usually I have a renewed sense of purpose afterward, knowing what I need to be up and at. My personal belief is that everybody needs to do this from time to time.
Last night we went to a performance of the Yamato Drummers from Japan. It's an amazing show, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I can't keep time worth beans, so watching the troupe do so while dancing, doing sit ups, and moving around the stage was magical.
The bigger drums produce a deep rich boom you can feel in your chest, and we were sitting near the back of the balcony. Keep in mind they've got 9 or 10 people on stage, pounding away on a variety of drums.
But a few times I dropped into deep stillness between the beats of the big drum. It seemed like there was all the time in the world between the booms. I had a chance to think about my book, and stuff that's going on. Watching the energetic and captivating show was mentally peaceful in a way I find hard to describe. Even though I've never seen Japanese drumming before, I knew what some of the next bits of performance were going to be, where the music was going to go.
People talk of being mindful, being present in the world. This was sort of an odd mix, simultaneously present in partaking of the performance, and yet present within myself, or alternating back and forth so quickly I wasn't aware of it. I'd like to be able to do this more often, but I suspect it's the sort of thing that just trying to do it is sufficient to prevent it from happening.
Has this ever happened to you?
Do you like to make time for stillness in your life?