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Sit down, shut up and meditate

The world would be a better place if we all took time to meditate.

We have a chance to try it in a group setting Tuesday afternoon (today!) with a global meditation right here in Tucson. This particular hour-long session will be held all over the world, with Tucson’s version at Tucson Yoga.

Before meditation/Ryn Gargulinski
Before meditation/Ryn Gargulinski

What: Global group meditation
When: Doors open 3 p.m. Tuesday (today), 60 minute meditation starts 3:19 p.m.
Where: Tucson Yoga, 12th Street and South Fourth Avenue, northwest corner
Why: Because it makes the world a better place
Yes, it’s free
Click here for more on the global event

Taking as few as 10 minutes – OK, make it five – to sit quietly every day can make a huge difference. I began the practice of mediation about 10 years ago and have been transformed from a perpetually discombobulated, negative person into an occasionally discombobulated, positive person.

You, too, can do it in three easy steps: Sit down, shut up and breathe.

I’ve also started some days without meditation and got disastrous results. These included but were not limited to: missing an airplane, having to repack dozens of boxes that were thrown together haphazardly instead of systematically, falling off a cliff. Well, I didn’t fall off a cliff, but I could have had I not been grounded by meditation.

Folks don’t meditate for many reasons, but one is the myth that they don’t have the time. Starting the day in a calm, soothing way will actually help the brain function more productively, ultimately saving you time throughout the day.

After meditation/Ryn Gargulinski
After meditation/Ryn Gargulinski

Things are less scattered and tragic. You focus on positive energy rather than worry about the sink overflowing while defrosting raw chicken. You can block out long bus rides, boring board meetings and even a movie you hate when you meditate.

Other meditation myths:

Meditation is for sissies. Folks who take time out to soothe their soul are going to be stronger than the average man – or woman.

I can’t meditate because I don’t want to chant. Then don’t. No rule says you have to chant. Meditation has no “rules” about anything.

Meditation is for Buddhists. No religious beliefs are involved at all in meditation. You can meditate as an atheist. Or a Satanist. Or following Wicca. Or with no religious convictions whatsoever. There is a huge difference between spirituality and religion. Spirituality puts you in touch with the universe. Religion, well, let’s not get into that.

I can’t meditate because I can’t sit in the lotus position. No matter. You can sit on the floor with your legs crossed, on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. You can even lie down and meditate. Heck, you can even engage in walking mediation with or without your dogs.

Meditation also gives you the ultimate excuse to use incense. If you’re lucky enough, you may have room to set aside a whole room for a mediation chamber where you can chill out and decompress in secret, blocking out the chaos of the world that infringes upon what really matters.

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What do you think?

Have you engaged in meditation?

How do you go about it?

What were the results?

Do you think the practice is creepy?

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The glory of mud

Mud gets a bad rap. It’s dirty. It’s messy. And it’s historically been the reason behind many matted shag carpets or smeary footprints on white linoleum.

But there’s another side of mud, the marvelous and miraculous side, that cannot go unnoted.

Oregon marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Oregon marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

A bee sting made my finger swollen, stiff and itchy. It hit its intolerable peak while I was in Moon Smoke Shop and I began rubbing it like a mad woman.

I mentioned it to the guy behind the counter because I had this strange feeling that the guys at Moon Smoke Shop, specifically the one on the corner of Grant Road and Alvernon Way, would know what to do for a bee sting. They did.

“Pack it in mud,” the manager/owner said. He explained this folk remedy supposedly sucked the stinger out as the mud dried.

While it may seem somewhat stupid to pack germy, wet dirt around a swollen bee sting sore, which was now ripped open after I tried to gouge out the invisible stinger with tweezers, I gave it a whirl.

More marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
More marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

The instant I packed the mud around the sore, the soothing began. The pulsing went down. It stopped itching. My finger felt like it was encased in a soft, cozy cocoon.

By the time the mud dried and flaked off, the swelling was gone and my finger could bend.

Mud not only sucks out bee stingers, but it is known to be equally effective for sucking other toxins from the body. Mud masks and mud wraps are in high demand, especially for the gads of tourists who flock to the ultra-healing black mud by the Dead Sea.

People are digging it (excuse the pun).

Even if you don’t care to heal yourself with mud, you can always wrestle in it, name your band Primus and write a song about it, or use it in the title of a poem:

Catapault/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Catapault/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Soap Would be the Opposite of Mud
The Antonym Poem by Ryn Gargulinski

insects are
the opposite of frogs
(if we had to pick opposites)
cats would be the opposite
of dogs and fish would be
the opposite of birds and
hats would be the opposite
of shoes and the Charleston
would be
as opposed to
an epileptic seizure

_____

Since arid Tucson is not usually known for its mud, I’ll share the recipe I used to make my own.
Mud recipe:
2 parts dirt
1 part water
Stir well with stick

Mud, o glorious, mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Mud, oh glorious mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Of course, mud still has its dangers. We already discussed the havoc it can wreck on shag rugs and white linoleum, but it can also pose a number of other hazards.
• Mudslides kill thousands when they slickly shimmy down a mountain and consume entire villages
• Mud can suffocate you if you fall face down in a gushy pool of it and try to inhale
• Heavy mud can suck off your shoes and render them useless
• Mud clumps, when thrown at anyone who scores on you as goalie in a soccer game, get you a red card (not that I’d know from experience).

Share your own mud recipe below!

How has mud enhanced or ruined your life?

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