bliss, contentment, focus, joy, walking
I am sitting on the hilltop of the bird reservation, surrounded by water on both sides of the narrow path that brought me here, immersed in the sounds of geese calls and wrens, the silent flight of a pelican, the occasional screech of an orange-breasted blackbird, and more. An almost warming breeze blows from the East as the sun reaches high enough in the sky to cast a shadow longer than me on the bench in front of me. I try and pick one element to focus on, to let it all absorb me on this Friday morning, perhaps to even fill me with contentment.
It isn’t happening. My senses are all over the place.
A pair of great white egrets takes off from the western side of the marsh, flies within a few dozen feet of me, and circles around to the eastern side of the waters, gaining height with every flap of their four foot odd wingspans, and disappears on the far side of the marsh where the forest is thick and they perhaps have nests with babies. The swathe of their wings and their soundless flight helps with focus, as I only engage sight and sound.
Getting closer to contentment?
There are a couple of humans on the far side of the western marsh, towing their ten thousand dollar camera rigs with zoom lenses as big as the egrets that just flew by. The day is perfect for their excursion, and I am sure they are doing better with focusing in their own activity than I am. You can tell the ones who have been there for a while, the experienced photogs — they seem a lot more relaxed than the newbies.
Maybe I need to just relax and contentment will follow?
A pair of geese emerges from the waiter into the grassy shore in front of me, chaperoning their five newborns between them for safety. I don’t know how much of contentment they have, but they have surely have parenting work to do. How can parenting, or any type of ‘work’ bring us contentment? Maybe I digress.
And so goes the morning. More water fowl, more music, more light, another pair of pure white geese floating by, geese pairs in various stages of nesting and resting, and so much more. I could stand on this hillock all day long, keep writing, keep absorbing, keep taking photos, and keep renewing the heart — and maybe some day I will just do that.
The work of relaxation, of focusing on the heart rarely ever gets old because of the result is the feeling of contentment that one feels within. Sometimes, the work involves detours. My regular Friday morning trail was closed due to all the rain this week – and so I decided to come to the bird reservation instead. As I walked back, as slowly as I possibly could, absorbing it all like i do at the end of every morning meditation, I am filled with gratitude that this nirvana exists, is accessible within a few minutes of where I live.
It is said that if we can focus on what we truly want in life, if we develop a single over-arching spiritual purpose or goal in life, contentment will want to be with us and within us. Maybe that’s the question from today’s walk for me — can you primarily focus on one thing at a time, maybe even for all time? Would you be content with That?
P.S. join us for our weekly twitter chat, Sunday May 7 at 9amET / 1pmGMT / 630pmIndia in #SpiritChat. Namaste – @AjmaniK
Research suggests that we can only focus on one thing at a time and that the problem is switching away from the one thing to another instead of staying focused on the one thing. The studies were about whether it is possible to multi-task and the conclusion was no, we can’t and that multi-tasking is inefficient. My observations are sometimes the result of suffering from adult ADD/ADHD, thus I interrupt myself and others as well by seeing something else and pointing it out. Bad habit! Regardless, when we are observing multiple actions at almost the same moments in time, it can be quite engaging and entertaining. Looking forward to tomorrow’s chat.
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Yes. To me, Multi-tasking is often a stress inducer where we often tend to do none of the ‘tasks’ as well as we would like to do them. In computer science, this is said to be the ‘context switching penalty’ – the penalty the computer has to pay to load and unload tasks from memory as it switches among tasks. We humans pay this penalty too, and it needlessly drains our energy… focus preserves it.