Last Sunday, I ran in a 10km fun run around Sydney Olympic Park, the home of the 2000 Sydney Olympics (yes, we Sydneysiders still cling onto that fainting good memory). The thing that I enjoyed as much as the actual race itself was the quiet moment after it, sitting there by myself with icy cold drinks nursing my sticky hot sweats.
To me, very few moments in life rival those just after a run (casual or race) in terms of the zen-like serenity that washes over me. In those moments, I find I am completely at one with myself, as well as with the present – a rather unique feeling for a mind that normally wonders off in thousand different directions. As anyone who is taking up meditation for the first time would appreciate, sitting still and focusing solely on one’s breathing is a surprisingly difficult exercise. The sudden silence is deafening and all sorts of random jibbering thoughts begin doing their best to pierce that uncomfortable silence. In addition, after only few minutes, the mind (and the body) starts to exhibit withdrawal symptoms from not having checked email, voicemail, text or Facebook, increasingly anxious about what earth-shattering news it is missing out on. Continue reading