Day 42- tranquility mudra


Buddha gave this practice to his disciples to help control the mind. Sitting in easy pose, the hands meet in front of the heart with the elbows at the same level. The hands come together with the thumb tips together and middle fingertips touching. The other fingers curl in towards the palm, with the knuckles of the index finger together. The extended middle fingers point away from the body. This mudra is held about four inches away from the bodyand the focus is kept on the tip of the nose.

Inhale completely and hold the breath. Chant a mantra of your choice (I am chanting Om) 11-21 times (I chant 11). Exhale and hold the breath out, repeating the same mantra for an equal number of times.

According to this website, this meditation will tranquilise the mind within three minutes.

Now I have heard of meditations working quickly but three minutes sounds rather specific so I practice this meditation for exactly three minutes, after which I allow the mudra to lower and rest in my lap and I continue to meditate in silence for another two minutes, after which a severe stomach cramp kicks me straight off the mat. I have been suffering all night for the Tlayudo I ate for dinner. It is basically just a really big taco but made with a wide crispy taco shell.

At first I think that perhaps I should try this meditation again later in the day, but the chance nor the necessity does not arise. We go for a swim, getting swirled around in the shore breaks (I make a weak attempt at body surfing) and I feel… tranquil, or in Mexico we should really call it tranquilo. We go to the market and buy fruit, walk amongst beautiful flowers and some that have obviously colour died. Blue roses?! Still tranquilo. We enjoy a juice made with cactus and aloe vera and finally head back through Zicatela beach where we rent a motorbike for the criminal price of 275 pesos a day. That is about $23 a day. We only rent it for two days, but I already can’t wait to give it back. We call it the Bumblebee because it is exactly like the shitty yellow old El Camino from Transformers, except that it does not transform into an extra terrestrial robot. We get to a hill and I have to walk because the bike will not carry us both up the hill. Still tranquilo. At home, our dear friend Larry, the one-legged Southern Baptist from North Carolina who kept us entertained last night with stories about raw farm milk that tasted like onions, a Balinese prostitute in Amsterdamn with “Dairy Queen titties” and getting out of preaching to watch the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, has organised some oysters for me. I collect a small plastic bag from the restaurant that is filled with what looks like brains in a sack of water and eat them in tranquil silence on our balcony.

Now one could easily believe that since I am in Mexico there is no reason I should not be tranquil, or tranquilo, but this is different. Every day for 42 days I have meditated for at least fifteen minutes. I think I did a few five minute meditations at the beginning, but lately the meditations have lasted from twenty to thirty minutes each, not including the hour or more sessions when I am using a yoga asana practice as meditation. Today I meditated for five minutes and most of the practice was a three-minute mudra/mantra. If all anyone needed to do for persistent and lasting tranquillity is to hold their hands in this strange position for three minutes per day and chant om a few times, then imagine what the world would be like.


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