I played in doors today.
Sat on my “love seat” and urged the child to play a game called “Take Notice.”
Anyone can play. Just close your eyes, empty most thoughts, and simply “notice” what comes to your senses.
Today, it’s “Sounds” that play out for me, the child within. One comes from the chest of my youngest cat. It’s not a “meow,” but kinda like a purr that got mixed up with an involuntary human-like “ugh’ that felines make when jumping from the floor to a table. Not to be outdone, the older cat scratches a chair, extending her claws in some exercise routine.
I hear the budgie chirp, warble and make a noise I call a “chirtle,” which is a sound between a chirp and a warble. When he does it, the parakeet sounds like an orchestra of birds, all trying to sing different verses at the same time. What’s next? Well, one of his bells ringing! He can ring, chirtle and hop, skip, and jump all over his metal cage hanging from another room.
Ticking . . . A nearby clock softly comes into my awareness . . . Then a car . . . Outside the house . . . On the street . . . Then another . . . Which direction are they travelling? . . . Right to left goes one . . . The opposite direction for the next.
Wood cracks. You know, the sound that wood makes when you step on a carpet and the wooden floor beneath “moves” or “bends.” You hear it a lot in older houses like the one here in Conshohocken, PA (USA).
Now, the living room door creeks. Someone trying to avoid making noises is walking through the doorway, over the living room rug. They try not to disturb.
Silence comes. Could that be my heart beat, I hear inside? It usually only sounds this loud when other aural stimuli stop and I drift into my “zone” of peaceful meditation.
Oh, I forgot to tell you. There’s another name that most people use for this game. I try to play it least twice a day, if I can help it! It’s called, “Mindfulness Meditation.” It’s a game the child in all of us can win at playing.
What a wonderful way to describe meditation…thank you for sharing…God bless!
Nothing says holiday like playing at home and just sitting and just listening.
PS – Btw, I really liked the layout of this post, the font color and size. Very sharp design-wise and very readable. My two bits.
Thank you for that, Michael. “Monkey mind” is such a perfect phrase. Lately it seems that “my mind has a mind of its own”; sometimes I just sit and watch it do its shenanigans like a child having a temper tantrum or trying to talk me into something (it got very creative when I first stopped drinking and smoking!).
I guess that my meditation is something closer to what people usually think of as prayer (not that meditation can’t be prayer)…I’ll sit (or try to sit) quietly for a few minutes and just “listen”, and after a while I’ll just find myself chattering away to God (who is no doubt trying to get a word in edgewise 🙂 ). There have been a few times when I will suddenly have bliss wash over me, or when I swear that I can feel a gentle caress on the top of my head. And sometimes there are words (getting in edgewise).
But I need to work on what you’ve explained, to quiet my mind’s shenanigans. They make it hard to hear the words…
Have a peaceful night, Michael–
What a WONDERFUL post Michael J! So beautiful, and simple, and touching. And so right on! I’m looking forward to giving this a try soon.
I hadn’t thought of this for years, but at a Vipassana retreat I went to, one of the steps in mindfulness was meditation just like this, only it was in the context of a walking in nature and being mindful of the nature sounds. In your case, the “nature” is all within us, and I have to say, after a meal, it can almost be a symphony of sorts! 🙂 Do you suppose it’s OK to laugh out loud at some of the sounds, as long as you come back to the presence? 🙂
Laugh long and hardy.
But in a “mindfull” kind of way.
What is it with parakeets? Ours (one of whom I found in the park during a walk on the day when my husband told my son that he was moving out, and who I consider a gift from God because he helped our son get through the day with a happy distraction from the news) can sing about four incredibly different songs in different genres (including the ever-popular “chirtle) at one time–sometimes when they otherwise appear to be sleeping with their beaks tucked into their back feathers.
This is helpful for one as incompetent at meditation as I am…I tend to think that one is supposed to IGNORE all of the “distractions” around me as I try, but being mindful of them seems to make much more sense.
Nancy, aka Sara,
I try to focus on one or two senses soon after I close my eyes for meditation. I “sense” how my body feels as it touches the chair beneath my buttocks, the arms of the chair on my arms (or my arms against the top of my thighs, my hands resting on my lap). I let the warmth of that contact spread and I try to follow it. Mindfully.
At the same time, I feel for the slight bit of air — perhaps a breeze or even a heating “puff” , that softly “kisses” my exposed skin — my face, ears, neck and even the back of my hands.
Now, I got cool and warmth together. Stay focused upon.
All are helping me to keep my “thoughts” at bay. By focusing on my body, I can relax and not worry about “thoughts” thrown at me by that “monkey mind” that wants to do nothing but bring out just about everything, nothing of which is ever really important.
Come to your “senses” next time you meditate.
They’ll help to nudge out the chatter of the mind.