My favourite yoga guru, a Professor in Yogic Philosophy and Meditation Teacher, once told me that we should treat our minds like a computer. I was open to any ideas he had; everything he said made sense and everything he taught me had a profound effect on me. For an intense month he taught me meditation, and the time following that month I feel more energised and happy than I had ever been in my life.
Keshava lived a monk-like existence, and he was the most peaceful and calm soul I had ever met. When he spoke to me, and allowed me to share my most innermost thoughts and fears, I felt so safe and accepted, it was like a light had just gone on inside me.
I recall being surprised one evening to find him watching cricket in front of the television in the café beneath our yoga shala. Not a scene I expected to see, the look on my face said it all. I just didn’t get cricket – I love most sports, but cricket just seemed to be like watching paint dry.
When my boyfriend had told me one evening he had been “watching the cricket highlights”, I just couldn’t believe it.
“Cricket has highlights?”, I said, incredulously. “Fair point”, he had to admit.
But to Keshava, that was the point. It wasn’t fast paced, exciting, you didn’t need too think much to keep up, you could almost switch off. Yes, this made sense.
He explained that it is like meditation, you just watch, it’s slow, not too stimulating, and exactly what our busy minds need.
You see, the mind is like a hard drive, and it gets filled with more and more data each day, especially in these days of constant bombardment of information, images and communication. The computer’s hard drive is pushed to its limits, so it is inevitable that after a while, it’s going to crash.
We’ve too many windows open, too many apps on the go, too many channels of communication available to reach us, and sometimes it’s just all too much for even the most sophisticated models.
I’ve felt like this recently. My system is on overdrive. If people can’t get hold of me, even on a Sunday morning, they just keep trying, and I struggle to find a day of rest where I can just recharge. If I don’t reply to the email, it’s a messenger, then a text, then a call, then another call with a voicemail, then another text. It’s not even been two hours!
Juggling a business, a social life, a relationship, family challenges, and dealing with all the endless life admin required, leaves me frazzled, and every now and then I just need to go for a system reboot.
Keshava used to describe meditation as being like pressing “Control/ Alt / Delete” on our computers. We need to reset everything. It usually works, and just a 15 minute session can be enough to feel the mind clearing, and a sense of coming back to life.
But every now and then, it takes a little bit more that a quick “reset”. This time, knowing how much things have taken their toll recently, and how it’s getting increasingly difficult to switch off my mind, I’ve decided that I’m taking my computer away to get its hard drive completely cleared.
My techie friend Andrew would know all about this. He would take my laptop and look at how many things I had on the desktop, and just shake his head at me. “No wonder it’s not working properly”, he would tell me. It was also full of viruses, as I hadn’t taken the time to do the updates.
I’d leave it with him, and he’d return it restored to some kind of order, back to proper functioning again, like my laptop had been on holiday and come back glowing with health and spring it’s step.
That’s what I need, so I have decided, remembering the words of the wise one Keshava, to give myself a system reboot.
After sending in this article, I’m switching off completely. That means a full digital detox. No emails, no Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or even Google to find out the answer to the needless questions like the lead singer of Fun Boy Three. I can’t hold any more information until I clear some out.
I’m going to stay in a caravan in North Devon, on my own, not even taking my cat to keep me company, and I’m having a complete System Reboot.
I’ll let you know how I get on…