Have you ever had the feeling when sitting in an empty room, that you aren’t alone? Or maybe when you have been lost in a book or sitting at your desk concentrating on something, out of the corner of your eye or think you see a shadow moving. What is this? Is your mind just playing tricks on you? Is it just a reflection from the window behind you? Maybe the curtain just fluttered a bit in the breeze. But the window isn’t open.
For me, these occurrences seem to happen when I am in a state of deep concentration or a meditative state of mind. I find myself in this state of mind most often when I am in a workout or out running down one of our back roads. Exercise has come to be almost meditative for me. Since I have been exercising quite a bit these days, I seem to be seeing these little tricks of the mind or shadows (if that is what you chose to believe they are) much more often.
I know of some people who believe they are sensitive to the presence of spirits around them. Originally I had never dismissed this kind of thing out of hand but I have always been skeptical. The human brain is an amazing thing. When we are not using all of its functions that we normally use in every day life, when we are concentrating on one thing alone, maybe the parts of our brain that are at rest aren’t really at rest or idle. Maybe they are creating these shadows in our mind’s eye to remind us that they are still there and want something to do. Or maybe these parts of our brain become much more sensitive to our surroundings when they are allowed to be clear and quiet. Maybe what we think our mind’s eye is seeing, we really are seeing.
Since I have started studying martial arts, I have been practicing on quieting the noise we all create in our own minds. All those extra thoughts that are always rattling around in there. What’s for dinner tonight, did I remember to turn off the oven, what was I suppose to pick up at the grocery store. The list goes on and on. When I started noticing all of this background clutter, I started paying a little more attention to it and I realize just what an incredibly noisy place the brain is. It just never stops!
In my martial arts training I am working on quieting my mind to allow me to focus on my training. As I have been progressing with this, I have been using this mind quieting during my regular workouts to just let the energy of my body flow. This seems to take me to a state of meditation. It seems to be at this time I sometimes see or feel these fleeting glimpses of things around me. That shadow that moves or that subtle feeling that someone is standing beside me or watching me.
Personally, I guess I am not sure just what I believe. I like to think all things are possible. I like to think that even though I am essentially by myself, maybe I have help. Maybe someone is there helping me in my struggles and at these times of a quiet mind, I see these tiny little glimpses of this.
Is there such a thing as a house of souls? I don’t know. Is there such a thing as a past life? I would like to think so. So let’s call it my choice to believe that we are never really alone. I like to think that there is a group of unseen supporters out there helping me move forward and times when I am engaged in something physical like a workout or practicing a karate kata or an iaido wazu, I like to think that the warrior I was from a long past life is there with me, helping me battle forward in my quest to battle and conquer my own demons.