It’s a lot easier keeping the body still than it is keeping the mind still. The other day I was working on my memoir in my living room, which faces the front garden. I looked out of the window and just gazed at the trees and flowers and sky for a while, not thinking about anything in particular. It was very refreshing and, as I was about to get back to my writing, it occurred to me I don’t do enough ‘gazing’ – a form of meditation that only requires you to be still.
I practice Tai Chi and Chi Kung several times a day. It’s invigorating and calming, but my mind is still active as I focus on various techniques and structures to perform each movement correctly. Gazing, or as some may call it day dreaming, is an effortless way of keeping the mind calm.
Even if I am very busy – and who isn’t these days – a few seconds or minutes of gazing can help reduce stress. My preference is to gaze while sitting down in a quiet and visually appealing surrounding without people around. I prefer not to do it lying down, or I’d probably fall asleep! I don’t do it standing or walking either, as I don’t want to be conscious of my body. That can sometimes distract me from being completely still.
Gazing is not only relaxing, but it can also activate creative thinking without thinking. Sometimes when I gaze, an idea or solution will pop into my head. Whereas trying to think can be a barrier to new ideas or to finding a solution to a particular problem.
As I sit here now, writing this post, I occasionally look out of the window and just gaze at the trees and sky. When I do that it feels very relaxing because my mind is still for a brief moment.