The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE FIFTY SEVEN: Inner Peace Of The Kid Ninja
When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was in Elementary school and a lot of the other kids said the normal stuff like firemen, nurses, doctors, cops. I think there was a couple that said president. In case you were wondering, they didn’t get there.
When it got around to me, I said an astronaut. Then I changed my mind. And real quick, I said, ‘Wait. No. A ninja.’
I got a smile and a look of ‘OK, sure’ and she went on to the next kid.
She thought I was being funny.
I wasn’t. I was serious.
I loved Kung-Fu movies that would come on Saturday afternoons. Sometimes it was Godzilla movies or old horror movies but most of the time it was Kung-Fu.
Kung-Fu Theater, I believe it was called.
I would watch and later on I’d go out in the yard and pretend I was some sort of Kung-Fu master fighting off the bad guys.
Then, there was one movie where I saw my first ninja. They wore black, were hooded, had throwing stars, and could sneak into anywhere and kill anybody.
The era of the Loyd the Ninja had begun.
I would bug my dad to take me down to the local Army surplus store and buy me a throwing star. And since it was the late seventies, there was no problem with this. After a while, I had three or four really cool ones and since my dad trusted me with his electric tools, I made a pair of nunchucks. And I got pretty decent with them. As a matter of fact, I still have them. They scare the crap out of my wife and I may have broken a couple of light fixtures. And busted my elbows a time or two.
Then I read a book about Ninjas and their training.
In it I learned about meditation. The ninja would meditate before a mission to clear his mind. He would sit in a dark room and clear all of his thoughts out of his head.
So, I tried it. One Saturday night, I tuned off the stereo and the lights and sat in the middle of my floor, closed my eyes and tried to clear the thoughts from my head.
Let me tell you, trying to clear the thoughts from a kid’s mind is nearly impossible. I sat there for what felt like hours (it was minutes) trying to purge the thoughts of toys and what my parents would think if they opened the door and caught me, the cute girl I had a crush on, the cookies that was still waiting for me to nab them from the cookie jar…
But after a bit, after the ringing in my head had died down, I could hear the TV downstairs. I could hear my sister talking on her phone in her room. I heard a car go by outside.
Then I started to see images that I was not controlling. They faded from one to the other. It was liked I had a TV on in my head and no way to control the channel. One image flowed into the other one, taking me on a mental ride. Just colors and movements.
I opened my eyes to the darkness. But it wasn’t as dark anymore. I could see the light from underneath the door and it was almost blinding. The glow from my Spiderman watch was neon green and actually shined on the wall, something I never noticed before.
The dark wasn’t so dark after all.
And as silly as this may sound, I thought I had a vision. I thought I was suppose to be a ninja.
Go ahead. Laugh. I’ll wait.
It sounds silly and made-up but it happened.
Look, I know I didn’t have some sort of out of body experience or anything like that and I didn’t even clear my mind, the whole purpose of having that whole experiment.
But I did meditate. I did let go and let my thoughts flow freely. It was like I was watching a movie. A movie that made no sense but made perfect sense at the same time.
I was a deep kid. What can I say?
But between that time and today, I might have meditated less than five times. Or tried to. The act of actually sitting down in the quiet and the dark and try and clear my head and to let the thoughts just flow. I have done it a few times as I was trying to go to sleep, those moments when my body was extremely tired but my mind ran at one hundred miles a minute. By doing that, it calmed me and allowed my brain to slow down enough to let me sleep.
People have been meditating for thousands of years and you can be any religion or non-religious person to do it. You can be any age (as long as you’re old enough to grasp the knowledge of what you’re trying to do).
It’s something that has been missing from my life. I think I would be a less depressed person if I would meditate more.
You don’t need a yoga mat or be sitting under a waterfall or have the ocean waves crashing as you sit on a deserted beach to meditate. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars for some sort of membership at some spa to do it. You just need some quiet and a place to be alone.
Inner peace can be difficult to find in a chaotic world. People pulling at you from all different directions. Letting you mind flow without constraint and not trying to leash it can almost feel impossible.
But it can be done.
And I’m going to try and bring it back into my life.
Maybe that Ninja kid I use to be might be able to teach this adult a thing or two. He may not be able to teach me to walk across rice paper without ripping it or scaling a shear flat surface to enter a person’s dojo but he might reach me to let my mind flow.
Alright, inner Ninja kid. Teach me…
February 17th, 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.