I nearly fell off my chair the other day, listening to Mick Malthouse talk about the power of meditation and how he has come to value it as such an important part of his life, his game plan and his player’s performance.
Now I’m very pleased that the concept is even being discussed out there on a such blokey mainstream level, but had it not come from a such a respected sporting icon such a Mick, I can’t help but think it would be largely written off as a useless past time pursued by a bunch of hessian wearing hippies, who need to reach for the deodorant bottle.
And please note, on this misconception about hippies being a bit whiffy and furry around the pits, I would like to say I have met some beautifully dressed, non lentil loving types who appeared to be smuggling hamburgers, but let’s move on.
Meditation is actually becoming more and more a mainstream concept, and that’s great, because we westerners don’t spend nearly enough time shutting our traps and calming our minds.
Any wonder so many of us are ending up depressed or anxious! We don’t spend nearly enough time blocking out incoming verbal traffic. There’s a 20 car ‘thought’ pile up in our heads, which causes panic because the brain can’t process and file. It just gets jammed.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly the face of meditation, I have however slowly introduced versions of it into my life.
For instance a walk along Henley beach with my dog Marley, phone off and in the moment. Simply noticing the formation of clouds, feeling the breeze, and watching the sparkling of the sun on the water. That’s meditation.
Even in the shower, visualising the water washing away any bad thoughts and energy, and setting an intention to be grateful for everything I have, and for a great day ahead is now part of my routine. Taking time to check for negative thoughts that I may have carried over from the day before.
Silence is golden, and it’s becoming the fashionable thing to do. Silence retreats are popping up everywhere and yoga studios are everywhere. Anything that promotes quiet minds and breathing lungs is becoming uber-cool!
At the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month we’ve grown up taking a minute’s silence to remember our fallen soldiers. Think about the power we know that 1 minute can have?
Picture this then, on a little island not too far away, a place close to many of our hearts – called Bali – one day a year around Easter, the whole island is expected to be completely silent to honour what they call Nyepi. Nyepi comes from the Balinese sepi, which means “quiet”.
For a whole day and night everyone and I mean nearly everyone, goes into silence and seclusion. No TV, no cars, no iPods, no electricity, no travelling, no nothing. Not even any sex. No matter how quiet you might be. That falls under fun and fun is a no-no for a day.
The two beauties I see with this tradition is the full discipline of shutting down every distraction known to man, literally and pulling everyone into the vortex of reflection and peaceful inner dialogue.
The fact that this is a Hindu tradition but if Nyepi falls on a Friday, the island’s Muslim population is allowed to attend prayers but out of respect for Nyepi, will make their way to church quietly and without conversation which really gives a glimpse of a world in religious harmony. Can you imagine that?
Even the Christian Balinese have cancelled Sunday masses if Nyepi falls on this day and encourage their parishioners to pray quietly at home.
Hearing Mick Malthouse and the radio host talking about meditation the other day was exciting to me. Two very Aussie grown men thrashing around the power of ‘quiet’. And wonderfully from a man that has the ability to make the non-meditating types, actually shut up and listen.
ARE YOU A MEDITATOR? HOW DO YOU DO IT? HOW HAS IT AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?