I walk my dogs three, four hours every day. Morning and evening.
This is one of the best moments of my day.
The mornings are cool and crispy, the fresh mountain air filling my nostrils. The body getting its exercise on before I start sitting in front of the computer and do my thing. Hardly anyone on the road, just the way I like it. Truly a blessing. So I repeat it in the evening, right before the sun comes down, the time I hated the most when I was suffering from depression because that’s when it hit me the most. I’m leaving this for the next time, though.
There is another reason why I look forward to walking the pups and it’s because that is the time I let my mind run wild. One step after the other I allow the thoughts to come, stay for a while and then go. Poof, just like that. Some of them carry heavy emotions and I’m not going to lie it’s not always pretty. Flashback from the past appear out of nowhere, as if called by an invisible voice only they can hear.
I remember this practice from the Bihar School of Yoga called Antar Mouna, inner silence. Do you know it? Part of it requires the meditator to call in a particular thought even a painful one, something you try to not think about, but alas you can’t get it out of the mind, literally. The point is to observe it, analyze it, dissect it like one of those experiments in a lab and then dash it off, dispose of it. Why would anyone do that, you may ask. And I get you, because that was the first thing that came to me when I was given the instructions. Bottom line is to show you, the meditator, that you are indeed capable of letting thoughts come and go at your own accord. Isn’t it empowering? I mean, what a relief to know that you are not enslaved to your mind. Ah!
And there it is, the practice bringing me back to my first silent treatment. It happened almost twenty years ago and yet it feels like it hit me last month. The mind is incredible at remembering stuff, is it not? I was living in NYC and I can’ t quite recall what we disagreed about, but that’s beside the point. He was sitting on that big chair that looked like it belonged to a museum giving him a king-like type of air. There was a lamp over it. Its round head overlooking his angry face. I learned then how his mouth would drop into a sort of smirk twisted to the side, the lips a little stuck together, and I knew what was next: silence. Sometimes it would last a day, or one of his many trips, or a night and morning after. There was never a set time format because he was unpredictable.
I want to go back to that one day, because I often asked myself what would have happened if I hadn’t accepted it? How would have my life unfolded?
I remember asking what was wrong and getting no respond, just the face and that was the beginning of the end. The end of peace in my heart, the end of communication, the end of my self-esteem, the end of a healthy relationship just.like.that. Why did I stand for it? Why did I not say a word? Instead, I walked back to my apartment, questioning what I did wrong. Heart in ears, mouth dry. And then twenty years pass. And now you are no more.
And so here it is the thought that comes to mind while the puppies are pulling on the leash. I have recalled the pain and now it’s time for it to go. To make peace with it. And so I do.
Morale of the story, allow the painful thoughts to come, follow them into their depth, like Arjuna shooting his arrow precisely into the center of the target. Feeling is part of the human experience, after all. Don’t waste time there, though. Because your life is happening right now. Make yourself comfortable and live it!
Thanks for reading ❤️