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The Beauty of Time

March 21, 2010

Today was a family day.

Our Australian contingent got together to celebrate a Ruby wedding anniversary and a 67th Birthday (same couple) among old friends,  close family and a soon-to-be-born grandchild. As we passed around the dips and poured the water and wine (in 35C heat water is as important as the wine) we chatted about life, love and the passing of time.

Time is a beautiful thing, as old as the hills and as fresh as the footsteps of all of mankind.  Our very being is ticked and tocked along in a constant, unchanging and rhythmic way sometimes roaring like a jet engine and sometimes as silently as snow.   We shook our heads in disbelief at how quickly the last thirty years had flown by, at how cleaver and grown up the children had become and at how long we (as a collective) had been married!  Us younger generation are all edging closer to our fortieth decade and our elders are nudging (or hugging) seventy.

The Beauty of Time

Our merry bunch are no different to many other 2010 families in as much as most of us are juggling child care with work,  education with sporting hobbies, business with pleasure and travel with home-making. We are all different and yet we are all the same.

Time waits for nobody and nobody has got any time!

So tonight as I caught up with the Sunday paper I was happy to read about an all-boys school near to Newcastle that is making time for silence through its meditation program.  Finding time for meditation? But how is that possible  and why is that necessary? Meditation is sometimes seen as the antithesis of productivity. We ‘contemplate our navels’ when we are idling, we ‘daydream’ when we can’t focus and we ‘fluff around’ when we are procrastinating.  For many ‘meditating’ is seen as another attempt at filibustering our own decision-making processes.  But is that a fair reflection on this state of mind?

The Newcastle school has introduced two 15 minute meditation sessions into each day, that is a whopping 1/2 an hour of quiet stilling of the mind.  Tick tock indeed but quite possibly the most valuable 30 minutes of the whole day.

The stilling of the mind is a great way to give ourselves a break, step back and create some space in our monkey-chattering and doubting minds.  The busier we get the louder the chatter until we find every moment consumed by the ‘I should have done that’, ‘I forgot to do this’ or ‘where did I put my?’  We drive ourselves insane with unhelpful and obsessive thoughts which serve only to tire and distract us from the task at hand. Meditation can act as a full stop to all of that. A punctuation mark in an otherwise manic day. A practice that can help us make sense of the rush that is life.

And so back to the party.

It is not unusual for politics to enter our discussions and today was no different. As we talked about the importance of exercise we reflected on the habits of our past PM – John Howard and our current Pollies – Tony Abbot and Kristina Keneally all of whom prioritize some ‘me time’ into their schedules.  It may not look like meditation when you power walk through the streets of Sydney or blast around Canberra on a pushie but THAT is what it is. Quiet time to clear the mind, to toy around with an idea or to just be.  The less time we have, the more meditation time we need. Political views aside one can’t argue with the fact that these three make at least one good decision a day – the decision to fall silent.

So tonight as I sit here thinking of how to divide up my time over the coming days I am taking a little moment to consider the conversation of today.  I also found a moment to dig out a quote which to my mind, sums up time perfectly:

“What would be the use of immortality to a person who cannot use well a half an hour?”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, USA)  from 1001 Ways to Live in the Moment.

Time keeps on ticking, babies are born and grow up within a blink of an eye, those once strong and vibrant become old and frail. That is what being human is all about and it seems to me that the person who can use every 1/2 hour well – even if that means it is spent in meditation –  will live forever.

Beauty grows with the passing of time and if we give ourselves time we will find beauty.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 5:44 pm

    You should throw a digg button on here to make it easy for people to digg you

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      March 25, 2010 7:11 pm

      I’ll have to find out how to do that. Never understood the diggit concept. Thanks

  2. Columba permalink
    April 8, 2010 12:11 pm

    Wow, I just found this blog and spent the last 40+ mintes reading posts. This bad boy is going in my dailt read list for sure. A+!

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