Mondays get a bad rap. People “thank god it’s Friday”, but they get a “case of the Mondays”. It’s as if Monday is some strange disease people catch. I think it may be similar to “how-is-my-weekend-over-so-quickly-itis”.
But Monday is just a day. In fact, I think the way we measure time is quite artificial. We label the passage of every small increment of time as if they have a meaning in and of themselves. But, in fact, time is relative. That is why people say things like “a watched pot never boils” or “time flies when you’re having fun”. That is why people can “lose track of time”. Time, as we perceive it, is different for every person, and different for any given situation.
So in fact, Monday is just tomorrow when it is Sunday, yesterday when it is Tuesday, and today right this moment.
So you might be thinking “what on earth does this have to do with your wellness quest, Nathan?”
I’m getting to that.
It all started when…
Ok, no, just kidding. I won’t dramatize this, as much as I’d like to.
Last night, before bed, I noticed the granola and dishes set out on the kitchen table which reminded me that my aunt and uncle’s meditation group were coming the next morning. They come every Monday at 7:30am. So I said out loud, “Oh yes! Tomorrow is Monday!”. That’s right. I loudly exclaimed my excitement that the next day was the most dreaded day of the week.
And that brings me to what I started with: the realization that time is relative. Sure, Monday could be a dismal day. If that is the way you view it. In fact, any day can be a “Monday” if you are really dreading it. Maybe you have a dentist appointment, or you might be receiving the results of a difficult exam. You might start a new project at work, or you might have to get up one more day to look for work.
There are a lot of things that can make us look at tomorrow and say, “I wish today would last forever, then I wouldn’t have to do _____”.
The might not even be bad things. I remember visiting a girl I was dating once. She lived up in Eastern Washington, about 5 hours drive from my home in Portland. It was the night before I had to leave to go home. Now there was nothing happening the next day that was “bad” so to speak, but I still didn’t want it to come because I knew the time I was enjoying would come to an end.
Time is ultimately dependent on how we relate to it. According to much of the recent scientific literature, we actually affect time with our consciousness. Although I cannot escape my human brain and its need to create linear patterns and to see time as one continuous flow from past to present, I acknowledge that that link between each discrete unit of time is probably invented by my mind. I like one moment to the next, and I create the story that links yesterday to today and extends on into tomorrow.
I also dictate how I relate to each moment, each hour, each day. I decided if today will be a so-called “Monday”. (in other words, a dreary day of drudgery) or a “Friday” (a day of fun-filled freedom).
Last night, I chose to view today as another new and exciting experience. And, as usual, I was not disappointed. The meditation group was quite amazing this morning and I got to meet yet another loving person who rejoined the gather after having returned from a trip to Ireland.
During the meditation I felt an amazingly powerful energy take hold of me. I felt it lift me up, both spiritually and physically. I felt almost buoyant. The energy filled me and lifted me and the constraints of time and space temporarily receded and I felt a new and interesting connection to everyone in the circle around me. At that moment, time briefly ceased to exist. I was completely in the moment, with no sense of time moving in any direction at all.
It may have been the first time in my life that I truly experienced what I call the “endless now”.
That phrase showed up in a poem of mine called Singularity. So I suppose I had experienced it before today. But today I found I was able to experience it without analyzing it. I was able to grasp it without trying to contain it.
I think in the past when I have been able to get a glimpse of what it means to escape time, I too often made the mistake of trying too hard. I was so concerned with trying to maintain my sensation of “being in the moment” that I actually took myself out of the moment.
What a crazy catch-22 eh?
Alright, we’re coming to the end here. My clock tells me that the “time” is “9:50pm”. What that means to me is that I am starting to become tired and I still have my nebulizer treatments to do before I can get to bed. It doesn’t matter what time it is. It matters what time I am in. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but it does to me right the moment, and, as I’ve been saying all along, that is what truly matters.
- Monday Meditation: Beginning the Week with Mindfulness – by Gene Anderson (godspace.wordpress.com)
- Finding the Calm in your Frantic Day (omtimes.com)
- How Meditation Can Change the Brain (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)