“Benjamin Sisko is not and cannot be your favourite Captain.”
So stated a recent post out there in the web, within one Star Trek fan’s recent article about must-knows when dating a Trek fan.
“Really?” I thought. Curious, I’ve since raided the Netflix streaming library to check out why this could be so. And lo and behold, I found in the Deep Space Nine series (or rather, the pilot episode) a great yoga and/or meditation lesson. In brief: if you’re thinking about the past, you are most definitely not in the present.
It’s a good lesson and it relates directly to some of my recent activities. Last Friday, to help keep my Group Fitness certification current, I took an Intro to Meditation course. It was a pretty quick, 3-hour tour of benefits, techniques, and some practice of meditation. We spent perhaps an hour of it, in three to 20 minute blocks, investigating some of the techniques. I’ve had a few introductions and have done some meditation sessions in my yoga teacher training, various yoga classes, and kirtan evenings, and in all my yoga classes there’s a tiny bit of it, sometimes more. However, it was refreshing to get the intro from a new perspective. This fresh angle, for me, was namely that of a different teacher, Deanna Reiter, but also in a course that was geared toward people who may teach a variety of fitness classes, rather than to someone chiefly familiar with the yoga approach to meditation.
Meditation is all about bringing the mind to the present – as in this. Very. Moment. It can be as simple as sitting comfortably, breathing deeply, and counting your breaths up 10, 20, 108, or whatever. Another tool is to listen to someone guiding you though some visualizations, or to repeat some simple syllables that make an interesting or beautiful noise. You try whatever it takes, to work and get your mind off what happened a few seconds ago, yesterday, or 4 years – and what might happen in the next few minutes, days, or months.
It’s simple, but not easy, with the context of these busy lives we lead, that are full of expectations, plans, compulsions, captivating personalities, and curious sensations. Three minutes, each day. Maybe right after awakening, maybe during a quiet walk in the afternoon, maybe sitting in bed, right before settling down to sleep. Maybe in the sauna, after a workout; maybe in your living room in front of a bright candle. Breathe in, breathe out. Try it, every day, for just a few minutes. Let me know how it goes!