Last night, I had a dream. I was walking up to the deli line at the grocery store, when I noticed that five people in line were wearing bathrobes. Then, I noticed I was wearing a bathrobe, too.
Now, many a psychologist might interpret this dream to mean that I'm clinically depressed, but I would have to disagree. Every day, I feel like I'm getting better and better in all aspects of my life, quite frankly. So, I find myself conflicted.
After some seated meditation, it hit me. You see, I've recently had regular access to (and have rediscovered the joys of) outdoor jacuzzi therapy. I love the therapeutic benefits, especially as a grappler. The sensation of cold raindrops hitting your face while the rest of your body is snuggled in a pseudo-amniotic sac of bliss is glorious.
I particularly love my sessions when it's cold and raining. I find myself checking the daily forecast and getting first-world-pouty when the forecast calls for rain at 9am ("Perfect, I can get a session in before I have to leave for work," I say) only to look outside and discover a damn-near bluebird sky.
I’m planning a trip to Fairbanks/North Pole and have looked into visiting an outdoor hot springs. I saw a video of a couple in the springs with snow-frosted hair and eyelashes. I could feel the Hygge just from watching the video.
The only problem is that I am really, really averse to being cold. All you polar plungers and Wim Hof people, I salute you. But I can't relate.
The thought of walking out to the jacuzzi/hot springs (especially in -20 degree weather, a distinct possibility in Fairbanks) wearing shorts, even for 30 seconds, is intolerable to me. So, recently, I bought a thick-hooded bathrobe. And I'm wearing it to the deli in my dreams.
Alright, so the main point of this post is actually about meditation. The aforementioned epiphany is just one example of a multitude of invaluable epiphanies that bubble up in my mind when I'm on the cushion.
The focus during meditation is not to ruminate on our problems, but to just focus on the breath. Yet, often times when I meditate, the solutions to problems I'm faced with seem to manifest out of nowhere.
Here's another example that will resonate with my grappling friends. I had been struggling with some particular nuances in the over/under pass and knee shield pass against high-level players. Just recently, during meditation I had an epiphany out of nowhere. It was so compelling, I had to get up and write it down before returning to my meditation. Later during the week, I tested the modifications I was struck with and found them to be sound.
As I'm sure many of you are already aware, neuroscientists have confirmed the benefits of meditation. Now, even the military and large corporations such as Google and Nike are incorporating the practice amongst their legions. I could go into "A gun is simply a tool, and meditation is simply a tool" tangent, but that's for another time.
However, it does kind of bring up a good point in that, if more people practiced meditation, we'd have a more harmonious society. I'm not about promoting the religious/spiritual trappings often associated with meditation. In fact, I prefer a secular practice. It's certainly more palatable to Westerners.
Nor am I going to elaborate on the specifics about how meditation can lead to a more harmonious society.
I do, however, encourage you to look into it. It's pretty magical.