Place : Marina Beech,
Time : 10 pm
I love beaches. I love the sea and I love to stand and watch the waves that come and go, touch and wet, the receding sand underneath the feet making you feel as if you are being pulled into the enormity of the sea and the exhilarating feeling of standing still and firm defying the mightiness.
Like all days, I reached my favourite spot around 9pm. I wish to be alone. Just the sea and me. Away from the maddening crowd. Sometimes even the old lady feeding her son in the moon also seems to invade my privacy. I watched the waves. So many of them. Some big and some small, some soft and some ferocious, some rising and some falling, some coming and some receding, but all of them were bringing a certain amount of randomness with them. It was simply breath taking. The waves I thought would reach me, never did. And those I never thought it would, swept my feet. My mind was filled with joy every time my feet got wet. And then, since I was standing at a distance, not all waves managed to reach me. Soon enough, I was falling into the trap of impatience of waiting for the waves to wet my feet than enjoying the moment, the scenery, the rising moon and the soothing music that was playing in my ipod.
The Experience and The Experiment.
Suddenly I had a spark in my brain. Why could I not use this set up to device a simple exercise to develop patience and faith. I feel that they are two extremely important qualities to last the race of life. They say, the winner is almost always the one who lasts just a little longer than others. It means, perseverance ably supported by patience and faith. Here I was finding it difficult to wait for a few moments for the one wave that would wet my feet. But this difficulty was presenting me an opportunity, to learn, experiment and improve.
I stood with my feet apart in a relaxed position. I played some of my favorite songs in my ipod. I closed my eyes and started humming aloud with the music that was playing and I decided I wouldn’t watch the waves and wouldn’t open my eyes until the first wave swept my feet. Initially, it was difficult. Darkness, the fear of unkown and anticipation was making me restless. But slowly, I learned to enjoy the present, the soothing music, the breeze that was gracing my cheeks, the rising moon lit night, gushing sound of the waves. Some 300 full seconds passed before the first wave wet my feet. Now, I had partially learned to control my mind and learned to enjoy the present for five full minutes. For those of us who have tried really doing so, five minutes is a decent time to start the experiment with.
Now, I decided to stretch the time. I stepped back one mtr. Then I repeated the experiment. Standing still. Eyes closed. Living in the present. The exercise was more satisfying this time, and I was able to stand for almost 10 minutes. Two full songs played in my ipod. Actually, I almost forgot I was waiting for a wave. It was a wonderful experience and my mind was filled with such pleasure. The 30mins of this experience had detoxified and destressed what no amount of wordly pleasures would have managed to do so.
How often we do certain things like writing an exam and cant wait to know the result. Or watch a weekly TV show and cant wait to watch the next episode. Or wrote a love mail and cant wait to see her reply. Or stand in front of a lift where already 10 people are waiting and yet pressing the lift button 5 times for the lift to come sooner. How often do we lose out steam before we are just there, or run out of interest and waver from an aim or think that things aren’t going our way and change course short of destination?
I feel that even the most simple conception has to pass through five stages.
Dream a concept------->convert them into workable Ideas---------->Start Acting on those Ideas---------->Persevere through difficulties--------->Finally taste success.
At every stage, someone of us gives up and we attribute our responsibility of our failure to external factors, mostly on imponderables like fate and destiny.
I feel that if one could develop patience and faith, the experience will be more rewarding. And, these two qualities go a long way in achieving equanimity of mind, the most essential ingredient of happiness. I have just shared one method which I found to be very useful for me. One can always innovate and use such powerful day to day experience for the path of self improvement. For egs, one can simulate the same experiment standing at suitable distance from a flying window curtain with fan switched on, waiting for the curtain cloth to touch the face.
Hope it inspires you as it did to me.