I try not to bang on about meditation too much. It’s a personal thing that others will not necessarily find interesting. But boy, did it work a couple of days ago!
I very recently decided to stop the legal transcription training work I’ve been pursuing, to try and top up my journalism income. In brief, it pays £35 per transcribed hour. And it was taking me over two hours to transcribe six minutes. £1.75 an hour.
Of course, speeds improve with practice, but not by enough to make it worthwhile or to begin to fill the money gap in our lives. And it was making me unhappy, doing the training and waiting for the next job, knowing that it wasn’t going to make the difference I had hoped.
So I stopped the misery; said ‘that’s enough’. Huge sigh of relief, initially, followed by the inevitable self-questioning.
Thursday morning was sunny and crisp, so M and I tidied the back garden. Great to be outside, but melancholy had me firmly in its grip. Couldn’t get a happy thought that would last. Could hardly talk.
It was time to seriously move the body. When the mood is low, I automatically head north along the Essex Way towards Little Leighs church. I mentioned it in Blog 195.
The countryside looked implacable in the low afternoon sun.
But sometimes nothing can stop the flow of negativity. It takes just under an hour to get to Little Leighs. Couldn’t shift the mood. Until the first sight of the church. Somehow, it always comforts.
I’m not religious, unless you count a few Buddhist leanings acquired back in 2012-13. It’s the peace and quiet of the place.
There cannot be more than 12 people living in the vicinity. For some reason I also like how the boundaries between church and fields merge and melt into each other.
As for the graves, they don’t bother me one way or the other.
Here’s the bench I sit on.
It was starting to get colder: I pulled a woollen hat over my head; zipped up my coat. And then closed my eyes and dived in, letting the thoughts come and go. Silently chanting the mantra when I could remember to. Wildlife teems all over the place. A couple of times I was disturbed by the patter of squirrels’ feet, and a bird which was flying around the graveyard trees.
And then I was gone, spiralling, unawares, somewhere down towards the floor of my mind. Occasionally half-remembering the mantra. Gone from the body that sat in a churchyard. Into somewhere that goes by no name. Maybe a part of my unconscious. So comfortable. The quantum field? The collective consciousness? Did I dream? Or sleep? No idea. And then slowly coming back, maybe 25 minutes later, retaining many of the benefits from the comfortable place. Calmness. Satisfaction. Contentment. Clarity. Physical warmth. Fingers tingling with energy. Physically and mentally refreshed. And the stunning sight of the very low November sunshine still bouncing back from nature’s russet and golden bounty. Yep. That good.
And a different Kev Godier walked home. Absolutely adoring the scenery, carrying no worries, as the evening encroached. Saying ‘thank you’ more than once. Thanking the universe, the ether, the subconscious, the technique, myself, God, Allah and any other form of possible provenance.
Feeling serene. Despite the waxing moon. Anticipating, with gratitude, another delicious dinner prepared by my wife. And reminded of the electrical power underpinning our society, epitomised by the blazing floodlights from Chelmsford racetrack, a few miles away.
Why do we worry about the future? The present can be overpoweringly incredible, whatever the circumstances. Which can help in facing uncertainty. Still not sure if I would want constant serenity, as the Buddha apparently discovered, or whether the contrasts between high and low are equally good ways to experience a life.
It’s good to have a tool that can turn around the blues. So glad I did the transcendental meditation course. And that we moved into a rural location five years back.