The oldest meditation practice on Earth
Buddhism is about 2,500 years old. It is an oppressive amount of time. A hundred generations (give or take) have lived, shaped the world, and died during that span. No empires and few cities have survived since then.
Looking back in time a fifth of the way takes you to the time of Leonardo da Vinci. Going back halfway puts you in Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire.
It is an ancient style of meditation.
But it is not the oldest.
There is a school of meditation that is still alive today. It extends much, much further back.
Forget 2,500 years, we’re talking tens of thousands of years. It may be as old as the culture that created it, dating back 40,000 years.
If not more.
It comes from the native people of the Daly River region in the Northern Territory of Australia. They call this practice father and it’s awesome.
Aborigines describe it as a silent awareness. Meditators sit for hours in nature, listening to the wind and the water.
You might think this sounds like mindfulness. It’s mindfulness, with a twist.
Buddhism teaches you to be present with the experience. Whatever your senses detect is for you to process with your full attention. No distractions, no judgments, until you lose yourself in your now awareness.
father teaches you to listen to nature. Experience the senses, again, without distractions or judgments, with silence and full appreciation.
It’s a subtle, but important distinction. Listening in this way is active and interactive. You don’t just observe nature. Instead, you learn everything you can from her.
Meditation improves your problem solving skills even more than just thinking about the challenge. Why? Because meditation opens your mind to new thought patterns. If the solution is not in your conscious mind, then it must be in your unconscious.
I haven’t seen any studies on this, but I think it would be that father outperforms regular mindfulness.
When your mind is open and you pay attention, you realize that nature can teach you a lot about your solution. The wind, the rain, the rivers and the earth keep your answers.
Do I mean literally? Or am I speaking metaphorically and spending time in nature inspires you?
No matter. Just know that if this idea sounds like fuzzy hippy nonsense, then you need to dig deeper into your meditation trances. Your brain will not speak to you with words but with metaphors. If you need determination like a river, flexibility like the wind, intensity like the sun, or stability like the earth, this is how it will speak to you.
And if you don’t get an answer, all you’ve done is reconnect with nature more deeply than you ever have in your life. That alone makes it worth learning.