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This week was interesting because I took a trip to the ocean to fish with an old friend. One day I meditated on the sand on a beautiful ocean beach with the sounds of surf and shore birds. The next day I practiced on my friend’s deck in an urban area. The change of place in some ways distracted me a bit but also it made my “journey” different and I learned something from it.
I am doing pretty much the same practice as last week. However I am constantly refining subtle elements such as body scanning, breathing technique and mindfulness.
Meditation is considered a practice because it is something that, for most people, must be learned and developed. The natural state of human consciousness is not tranquil and serene. One of our evolutionary inheritances is to be on guard against danger. Although imminent danger is absent from many of our lives, our atavistic memory can keep us in a slightly edgy and nervous state. To achieve calm and clarity of thought through a meditative practice is to rise above these instinctual tendencies. This does not mean that you become blind to reality. By first recognizing needless anxious thought and then redirecting your mind, you are actually becoming more in tune with the real world and gain the additional benefit of well being.
I took a 3 hour car trip and applied calm and alert thought practices while driving. Not only was the trip very pleasant but, in addition, my perception of time became elastic and I felt as fresh when I completed the trip as when I started.
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