i tried to meditate last night, in conjunction with my evening prayer. after two stressful days and two sleepless nights, i really wanted to expunge all that crappy residue of working like a dog out of my system. i retired early. took a warm bath. lathered myself with moisturizer (indulgent now, are we?). turned the a/c on and turned down the light. i sat ala-indian on my bed and took careful attention that my posture was right and comfortable (my pilates instructor would not take it well to know i slouch still). i took deep breaths and loosened up my neck, shoulders, arms, and wrists. with palms facing up, i opened my empath centers to channel in the pluses and channel out the minuses. i was to be one with the universe and commune with God... i closed my eyes and.... well, conked out.
"you know what, we should get you those blinders they use in kalesas so that you can focus better next time." teased uncle philip in chinese. he would often tell me this back when i was little and the clan all still lived under one roof. i really never understood what he meant by "focus" nor how pieces of leather squares secured around my face would do anything to help it. of course the adults found this comment rather amusing as they laughed at my expense, none of them really taking the effort to explain to me what was so funny. so like in a lot of occasions in my life, i was left to figure things out on my own.
i would think that uncle philip was referring to my rather short attention span back when i was a wee li'l lad, that and my irrepressible curiosity about everything. everything else, that is, except for what was demanded of my attention. you see, i was quite the curious cat and was easily distracted by things that were constantly happening around me. how could you fault me, really? try living in a multi-story house inhabited by 5 families, not counting my grandparents and regular visits from relatives from the boondocks. i was practically bombarded by stimuli! you obviously cannot expect me to zone things out and pretend i was in a remote part of NEPAL and getting jiggy with it with hermit monks, right?
true enough, this curiosity became the thorn in my mom's flesh whenever she would tutor me. pushed to the end of her already frayed tether, she had no choice but to opt in using TORTURE to keep my mind from wandering. the stiffer, less feathery, more painful end of a feather duster was her tool of choice. with that sinister weapon so neatly parked by her side, she would instruct on how rain is made and listens carefully if i followed. the slightest deviation from the lesson and her hand inches nearer the bamboo pole, jolting my already wracked senses to scramble for the right words. of course, mother never enjoyed doing what she did, but like all things chinese, she was just being practical and efficient, and back then.... pain was considered a very good teacher. how else can u explain why us chinks came up with SO many techniques in torture, enough to make the spanish inquisition feel like an english tea party?
thankfully so, my folks soon gave up the use of coercion and left me on my own to discover the world around me. i soon was able to connect how books could aid in my quest for knowledge and amusement and how they helped to explain so much, more than asking my supposed-to-be omniscient relatives, more so, our over superstitious helpers, on the ins and outs of the cosmos. needless to say, the older i got, the more curious i got and since i was still left to fend for myself, any information, relevant or not, was too good to be wasted. i became an indiscriminate tidbit sponge. in no time at all, i knew a bit about everything, even the stuff that i am not supposed to know (i was blessed apparently with very good hearing as well, much to the surprise and frustration of my folks who would secretly gossip in the shadows).
one would think that with having accumulated so much that i have finally found myself to reach some point of gnostic nirvina, yet that could only be too far from the reality of things. all the data i have gathered through the years, all the connections i have made with them, all the questions i got to answer and all the questions i have yet to answer has left me, and my poor brain, in a chaotic, incessant state of synaptic firestorm. this was partly the reason i would believe why i conked out last night, and why i SERIOUSLY cannot pray in silence, for the very second i close my eyes or the very moment i start to meditate to be quiet, i find myself in a sea of noise, all of it coming from my head. enough to really conk me out!
though i can say i don't really regret having this rather overwhelming mental operation, i reckon i would need to learn how to manage it better, if not, find the "off" switch and use it every now and then. despite how embarrasing it is on certain occasions (especially with God, sorry po, tinulugan ko Kayo), i can't imagine what my life would be like if i did exercise the use of "blinders", as uncle philip so suggested. how boring and utterly uninteresting life must have been, not to be able to look around and explore and wonder about the world.