Thursday, January 7, 2016

The gym and tiny meditations

A magical thing happened the last time I was at the gym. I zoned out while running, and sort of did a brain-purge of all the pesky thoughts in there. Rather than the usual battle to keep arms and legs going in a somewhat organized fashion, I just... ran. My mind chilled out on its mental highway, and I came out of it feeling decent, which is unusual at best.

Generally, I get on the treadmill, get going, struggle to stay with it and then get off, red-faced, wobbly and in a bit of pain. Each time I don't fall on the way down is pretty much a huge accomplishment. This was different.

I think - I'm pretty sure - I had what I'll call a tiny meditation.

Tiny meditation: Momentary pause of the brain cycle to allow for universal appreciation of life; Can last seconds up to even a minute; Generally unpredictable and fleeting. 

I hadn't really thought of the gym as a place for meditation before. All the signs point to "no": The mass of people, the pop music blaring over loudspeaker, the constant chatter. And yet, it's possible that I found my moment of zen in the midst of that chaos. Maybe the chaos is the white noise my brain is looking for. Maybe the mass of people signaled to my mental state that "no one will notice if you zone out just a bit, for a second here".

I get these from time to time, and it's usually at a point when I'd rather be somewhere else. I'm in line at the grocery store, or waiting for an oil change or waiting in the car at an endless red light. Sometimes I wonder if that's when these tend to show up most often, like being annoyed is some kind of signal to the Universe.

Anyway, it got me to thinking that, in a world where we sometimes think we don't have a second to relax, I think maybe we do. Those pauses are beating their wings at the edge of our consciousness, a tiny meditation waiting to land.

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