Climbing Jamie Givens

Dedication is Meditation

If you have read Siddharta by Hermann Hesse you may remember Vasudeva the enlightened ferryman. He spent his life shuttling people across the river and got all the answers that he needed from this one river. Some of us may know people who exude a similar sense of peace and have a unique ability to casually drop the most apt comment at the most appropriate time.

People who possess such characteristics are neither always practiced meditators nor are they expert yoga practitioners. I know of an Ayurvedic doctor who is highly intuitive in his field and maintains a quiet dignity and confidence outside of his practice. One of my music teachers has dedicated his life to sitar and he has a gracious presence about him.

Recently, I have found myself questioning whether the means towards such a sense of peace is as important as I have previously thought. Vasudeva found all the answers he needed from a particular river, the Ayurvedic doctor gets his answers from the teachings Ayurveda, my music teacher finds it from music, my late grandfather found it from his religion, my neighbour finds it from her family.

During my counselling training, we participated in many exercises that offered us tools that enabled us to explore our minds, habits, and experiences. The various theories that we learnt presented different means of achieving a similar goal – namely helping people to find a sense of ease in their life. Some theories were analytic at the core, offering the comfort that comes from making sense of matters; other theories were centred on the benefits of a nurturing environment, opening up a space to unfold thoughts and develop understanding of Self; yet other theories were more kinesthetic in essence using art, drama, or movement to expand our understanding of issues, offering the benefit of viewing matters from various perspectives.

Is there one “right” way to help us to move closer or more truthfully towards a sense of peace or ease? Whether it be a theory, a philosophy or a spiritual path maybe the path in itself isn’t as important as we imagine it to be.  Our brains have evolved to filter and deduce in ways that makes it difficult if not impossible to be truly objective, therefore everyone risks perceiving what confirms already existing beliefs.

I have seen surfers, musicians, climbers, hikers, meditators, divers, yoga practitioners, runners, builders, farmers and many others who find a sense of inner peace through what they do. Maybe we just need to commit to seeking answers and to identify our goals in life, and with this regularly check what will matter most to us when we are on our death bed. Maybe the way towards peace, ease, happiness, or whatever ones desire in life is of less importance than the value of staying in touch with our goals and hopes for life.