The past month or so I have been working really long hours trying to get the new SikhNet website ready. With this comes physical and mental exhaustion and other side effects. I would get home late feeling totally tired. All I wanted to do was eat and then watch some TV to disconnect from the day and then go to sleep, wake up, get the kids ready for the day and start over again. Somehow in this busy schedule there never seemed to be time to do a proper sadhana. I was going to sleep later and was so tired that it was hard to wake up early (which is the only way to have time to do banis/meditate/yoga/etc).
It is during times like these that I start to remember what life is like without meditation and a spiritual practice. There is this emptiness and feeling of being overwhelmed by life and everyday affairs. It feels like your mind is full and spilling over like a trash can. When I don’t meditate it’s like the thoughts and input from every day life just piles up in my sub-conscious and leaks out in my every day affairs which effects how I act and react to people and situations. I also notice that my dreams at night become much more intense and draining. There is so much pressure in living life today that without this cleaning and clearing of one’s mind it can be hard function and be happy.
I was watching TV the other night watching and old episode of "The Pretender" and they go into this sequence laying out this drama of a women loosing her husband (as a result of foulplay) and being left on her own with her son and no money. Then it switches from the "drama" mode…back to the main part of the show. It was such a contrast. All it takes is a little drama…and your emotions are tweaked and played with. It’s as if the TV producers are playing with your mind through your emotions.
So many of the Television shows seem to be there to give people some excitement and drama where it might be missing in their life. These days the shows are so much more extreme in manufacturing this extreme drama. It’s as if people’s lives are getting more and more empty that people look to this entertainment to feel something and escape their life. If any of you watch TV on a regular basis you’ll know what I mean. I do like to "escape" from time to time watching TV, but I don’t like the hyper-drama which just adds more junk to my mind. I try to stay clear of the shows that play mind-games and fill your head with all kinds of junk that you then have to process.
One show I can recommend which I find to be light, fun and not a brain-drain is Psych (USA Network). If you are not in the USA you can watch it online, or if you are more techy you can download it using a bittorrent program. There are not many TV shows (or even movies) these days that are really worth watching. If any of you have any good suggestions I alway like to know of other good shows for those times that I sit down and watch.
Anyways, I don’t want to detract into TV show reviews, but was just thinking about this recently. It’s times like these when one feels this junk and emptiness, and for me there is the strong urge to make sure you get back on track. It felt really good to get up early this morning with my wife and do banis and meditate. We used to do our sadhana by ourselves, but now are doing it together which is really nice. It just changes the whole day, and has a way of clearing the cob-webs from my mind.
If any of what I have described sounds familiar then hopefully you know what to do. The hardest part is when you are in this cycle and feel this way, that you get yourself to make a change. It’s like you need a bump to push you off this track and onto a different one to make a change. Sometimes this "bump" is getting so low in your life that you finally motivate yourself to make a change.
Well, thankfully for me I generally don’t get caught in this low for very long and always pull myself back up when it does happen. The feeling I get from a regular spiritual practice is like one of those fresh mornings after it rained in the night and the sun is coming up and the air is fresh. Aaaaaa… You just feel good. Once you have this experience you don’t want to go back :) (It does take work though!)