The Japanese call it ukiyo [u-key-yo] (noun): living in the moment, detached from the bothers of life, whimsically, but wonderfully living the dream of being in “The Floating World”.
When you’re in it, life is fine. But, even ascended masters who’ve achieved their bliss bubble like Buddha under the Bodhi tree have their bubble burst from time to time.
You know the scene, along comes Eeyore! We’ve all got a friend like him! Heck, some of us have our own Inner Eeyore, there to bray us into believing that life can’t feel great for long, something will come along to leach our joy jam before too long. Oh, yes, we’ve all met him and been him in self-sabotaging times: there you were, cheerfully paddling in the Tropics of Tranquillity but along he comes with the equivalent of a bucket of cold sick and suddenly everything seems heavier, darker and bleaker and life’s now a hike through a boggy mangrove swamp, minus the charm of the mangroves.
Here’s three tips to keep the joy of The Floating World going:
- Space Travel:
On the principle that mind follows body, let your mind follow stress-free signals from your body. When you let your tongue push up against your front teeth, your throat feels more closed up and your mind is likely to interpret these sensations as you being under stress. Move the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth and place it there, gently – no need to push! This creates space in your throat and the sensation of space can even be felt up into your ears. What the body feels, the mind follows with an interpretation and your brain will have you feeling like you are more space than matter, which, technically, we are. So, hurrah!
2. Suck a lemon: Well, imagine you are doing so, anyway. This is the reverse principle of the above since while mind will follow body, body will also follow mind. The subconscious mind doesn’t know truth from fiction so imagine you are chewing a lemon and you will salivate. I think this is based on the idea that you can’t feel feel fear and salivate at the same time so you might just avoid the slip stream of worries and concerns. All will be well!
No one wants anything; no one needs anything: This one might take some practice. There’s a verbal moment in a guided meditation or a progressive muscle relaxation that just hits the spot and you feel like you’ve suddenly sunk down ten storeys from the stress penthouse you’ve not been enjoying. The line that relaxes me most often is, no one wants anything, no one needs anything – well, hallelujah! It’s like a downward whoosh in your whole being, (I accept that if you don’t like elevators, this might not be what you’re yearning for), but muscles are either on or their off, there’s no halfway so getting them to switch to off liberates your float.
Start at your head or your feet and switch those muscles to off. You can do this area by area, or tell them all at once to just flick to the off position.
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All our images are from the lovely team at rawpixel.com unless Advent De Moi’s own.
Image one shows Astronaut Edward H. White II, pilot on the Gemini-Titan IV (GT-4) spaceflight, floating in the zero gravity of space outside the Gemini IV spacecraft. Original from NASA. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.