An article by Martin Wetherill
© Martin Wetherill
Website: Deep Focus flow photography
‘IF YOU CAN’T GO OUTSIDE – GO INSIDE’
This statement has never been more relevant than for todays social confinement and business restrictions. By ‘Going Inside’ I mean finding a deeper connection within yourself via a meditation practice in your home, away from the external world.
Humans are used to ‘Doing’ — used to activity and yet right now we can’t be busy with our normal work life, but we can remember to reconnect with a deep sense of ‘Being’. After all we are Human Beings. I think the current outside restrictions we are all under gives us an excellent chance to go within.
To experience pure being you don’t need to do anything, but you might need a simple meditation practice to remind you of how to reset your mental focus. Think of this as an inner RETREAT TO RESET.
We are mostly distracted from a sense of pure simple being by our daily busy ness, and mainly by the internal mental activity going on inside that external activity. Meditation is designed to disrupt the internal busy ness of the mind, to calm the mental activity down and enable you to reconnect with your sense of being (I won’t try to explain what this experience is) rather I would like you to just experience it by this meditation. It’s from a book I wrote in 1993 called ‘Inside the Eye of the Storm’.
The first part of Retreat to Reset is to get up earlier than normal. By dedicating a time in the early morning before the rest of the household has woken up, you will find that you occupy a quieter time zone without distractions. LIGHT A CANDLE — a gesture that denotes the start of the practice and adds a sacred significance to the meditation.
Sit on a chair (not too comfortable or you will fall back to sleep). Adopt a symmetrical body posture (with this the brain detects order in the physical body and lets the mind relax).
Tense and then relax all the muscles in your body — do this from your feet to the head systematically (this releases any unwanted tension in your physical body).
Take a deep breath and as you exhale close your eyes slowly.
Become aware of your breathing — using a gentle focus from your mind follow your in breath and then your out breath. Don’t change your natural breathing rhythm, just observe it as it is. This is important. Pay attention to it just as it is naturally.
As your natural breathing rate begins to slow down it becomes softer and at times barely perceptible.
What will inevitably disrupt this calmness is your thoughts. When you lose your focus and realise that you are no longer paying attention to your breath, just come back to your in breath and your out breath.
Some distracting thoughts will stir up emotions. When you realise you are being distracted in this way breath a little deeper, until you settle down emotionally, then simply return to your inhalation and exhalation.
You will notice that thoughts come in waves, and as Mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zin says ‘You can’t stop those waves but you can learn how to surf’.
Meditation is a kind of thought surfing.
You will also notice after some minutes that your breathing will eventually slow down and become almost undetectable. When this happens a sense of deep stillness is felt. Just feel it in your mind and in your body. Forget trying to follow your breathing — just BE with this inner peace for as long as it lasts.
Before you come out of this meditation allow your self to feel a sense of GRATITUDE for a few moments. Then open your eyes and step back into your day.
Time wise you might spend 1O-15 minutes for the whole meditation. Some days when you deeply connect with the peace and stillness of Being, maybe a little longer.
Commit to this for 3O days as a practice.
Reconnecting with this inner sense of being will allow you to feel more empathy and more interconnectedness with all things. And when you do go outside you might just find your self being more present to the world by paying more attention to the colour of a flower in the garden, the shape of a cloud in the sky, and more importantly at this time of uncertainty — the people around you.
The global slogan right now is ‘Stay Connected’ but first reconnect to your inner self. Take advantage of this down time to just be.
If we are going to come out of this global challenge with a new perception of what it means to be a Human Being, then I believe we will all have to experience a: ‘Retreat to Reset’.
A Danish Prince called Hamlet once said — ‘To Be or not to Be’.
But don’t hesitate – just meditate.
Categories: Meditation and Wellness