“Meditation is the journey from sound to silence, from movement to stillness, from a limited identity to unlimited space.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The stillness of the Zambezi has a way of sinking into you, the way you sink into a puffed-up duvet at night. You feel it flow through your body and mind. Things begin to stand out to you more – the internal things, like your thoughts and feelings, as well as the exterior – the red bishop between the reeds, the fish leaping from the water, the trunk of a young elephant reaching for its mother.
In the stillness, you see the activity. The details. In the stillness, you have a chance to feel it more deeply, to roll it around in your mind for a while, like savouring a new taste.
The peace of the upper stretches of the Zambezi creates a space for revelation, a place for meditation. At some time in the day, between the adventure of helicopter rides over the Victoria Falls and lively dinners and dancing under the stars, we try to rest on the balcony or the boat, somewhere outside, somewhere homely and relaxed, and bring our attention back from the exterior, to the world inside.
We rest and digest; reflect on the activity, the people and conversations, the sweet sundowners and food. We check in with ourselves, and in turn with the world around us. Pay our thoughts and feelings some attention and then let them pass, so that we are open and empty for the great adventures that follow.
When we travel away from the Zambezi, it’s this stillness we carry with us, this art of checking in and of attention. It’s an art with several benefits, as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar points out in his words below.
The Benefits of Meditation on the Zambezi
1. Relaxation… Meditation is not concentration. It is de-concentration. To do any work, you need concentration but to relax and expand you don’t need concentration. Relaxation is the mother of concentration and so if you relax well, you are able to concentrate better.”
2. Meditation creates positive and harmonious energy around us.
3. It improves health. A number of studies have shown how meditation helps in hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, skin problems, nervous system problems and other problems.
4. Meditation can help one to keep a pleasant mood and is a big help in preventing many mental and physical illnesses.
5. Meditation improves concentration. It helps one to be in the present moment. The mind vacillates between the past and the future. We are either angry about the past or anxious about the future, all the time. So meditation helps keep the mind from swinging between the past and the future to be more in the present.
The Zambezi is just as much a space of meditation, which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar calls food for the soul or spirit, as it is of music (food for emotions), knowledge (food for the intellect), and entertainment (food for the mind).
Practice the art of attention with us on your next visit. Read more here >
All images by Stacie Flinner