Meditate - Reset

By Becky Keller, Orangutan Coach - I opened my eyes and knew something was different. I just knew. I had closed my eyes to meditate the same as I have done hundreds of times before. When I opened my eyes this time, I felt deeply refreshed. It had only been a short 10-minute meditation conducted during an online Qigong webinar. I have meditated for three or four hours previously so to feel this refreshed after only 10 minutes was noteworthy to me.

I had listened to the words of a long time, dear friend of mine lead the meditation. I do not even remember what she said during the meditation. What I remember is how I felt afterward when I opened my eyes. Her voice was soft, full of love for not only what she was doing but also for the people participating in the meditation. It was confident, soothing, and calm. Having listened to many meditations lead by her, I immersed myself into the universe as I sunk deeper into my chair. She always seemed to know exactly what people needed when starting a meditation. She has a way of focusing deep into the moment so whatever is there - for whoever is there – it is all surrounded in love.

The energy that I felt within the group of people taking part in this webinar was strong and encompassing. It was remarkably like the energy that I feel when I go into the rainforest. I walk into the rainforest for the purpose of looking for and finding orangutans. I immediately feel what is there even though I have no idea what is really there – underneath the leaves on which I am walking, behind the brush I am passing, or high in the trees under which I am walking. But somehow, I just know.

What I feel prickles my skin and makes my body sweat in anticipation of what I will see and find. I sense animals I cannot yet see as well as am cautious of the creepy crawlers that I do not want to see, feel, or touch! I know they are close, so I watch my steps carefully…or at least I try.

I remember stopping to watch an orangutan mother with her maybe two-year-old youngster who reminded me of a human toddler. Watching the baby, I saw him stretch out his already long arm, trying to reach a branch. He seemed to have his own kind of energy. Something appeared to catch his eye as he grabbed a nearby branch and started to climb up and away. His orangutan mother pulled him back close to her. She shared her food with him. He ate, then turned to resume his climbing up the branch. His mother pulled him close again. His escape into the upper unknown tree branch was thwarted at least two more times by his ever-patient mother who was continuing to relax among the leaves, eating leisurely from the fruit surrounding her. Finally, the baby scurried off quickly and went too far for the mother’s reach. This time, the mother had to get up to reach and retrieve her exploring offspring. She gently but assertively pulled him to her as she returned to her original place among her fruit sources. This time the baby stayed. He stayed with her while she continued to eat and periodically share her bounty with him as well. Something about the mother’s more assertive actions appeared to reset the baby’s ideas of what was a good thing to do and what was not such a good thing to do anymore.

Mother and offspring

Sometimes we all need a reset. Meditation and qigong do that for me. Connecting with family and like-minded friends does that for me. Coaching does that for me. Sometimes I need to check in with my own life to tell me one more time that I am going in the right direction. There are a lot of things out there that compete for my attention. Sometimes it is hard to sort them out, keep them straight. My “To Do” list of what I tell myself I need to do – like put gas in the car, do the laundry, find just the right screw to fix that stuck drawer with the loose handle, weed the garden, write that report for the office - can get mercilessly overwhelming and long.

I have yet to see an orangutan with a “to Do’ list. Their purpose seems clear – eat, find the next tree with fruit so they can eat some more, feed their offspring, teach their offspring how to find the best fruiting trees from which to eat, build a night nest, teach that to their offspring – repeat. They do not carry around a “To Do” list. They do accomplish, of course, many more tasks important within the rainforest habitat, including seed dispersal and ensuring they are safe from predators. But still…no “To Do” list. They take one thing at a time, one day at a time, ensuring they and their offspring remain safe and nourished for their daily journeys throughout the treetops.

Mother and offspring in tree

Resetting allows me to remember to take one day at a time and do one thing at a time as well. I know multi-tasking is necessary at times…but not all the time. The trick, for most of us, is to know when and where that point is.

When the rainforest exists with both predator and prey, food sources and animals to consume them, sun, and rain to enable growth – it is seen as being balanced. Humans remaining balanced is sometimes not as exciting to discuss or even noticed. Taking action to ensure balance is achieved AND maintained can be an even bigger challenge. The reality is, for those of us existing in the world of helping others, keeping ourselves in balance is even more important – for ourselves and those we strive to help. Just as the rainforest must be in balance to remain viable and help the entire world with its generation of fresh air and maintaining a healthy home for many different species of plants and animals, we too must ensure our own systems are maintained and in balance. Both our physical body systems of heart, stomach, kidney, liver, and lungs as well as our mental/emotional systems of happiness, joy, peace, contentment, and gratitude must remain in balance for our lives to be in balance. Sometimes that requires a reset to discover our own answers to life’s unique situations.

I do not remember the words that were spoken during the 10-minute meditation. I DO remember that when I opened my eyes, I felt more awake – not only physically, but also more awake on the inside…like okay let's do this! I am grateful for my weekend reset.



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