It was a night of enchantment, discovery, inner peace, and mindful clarity, starting out as a jog within familiar territory, the campus of Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman. A seasonal delight has been under way here in the Arabian Peninsula, relieving its’ inhabitants with brisk breezes and cooler temperatures, a pleasant mixture of autumn and spring, resembling the weather at that time of year on the east coast of the United States.
As I headed out the door, noticing that the twilight air was especially brisk, I thought to myself “make a habit of outings like this at twilight”. Jogging, I thought “let’s get somewhere elegant tonight”, and made my way to the most beautiful architectural display on campus, an Arabian-style inspired building that includes the university library, large assembly halls, and exhibition spaces. Nightly darkness had fully set by the time I arrived. I had been there a few times but didn’t quite appreciate how beautiful it is as I did that night. Near the premises I saw a beige cylindrical fort, probably constructed as an emblem for the historical heritage of forts scattered around Oman. It seemed like an apt nook for a good rest and an elevated spot from which to get a good view of the surrounding area. It was a quiet night and no one was around. I made my way up the stairs to the fort thinking I could enjoy it all for myself, but upon encircling it halfway I noticed someone was already there, and before being noticed, backtracked, heading for that elegant building nearby.
After enjoying a little bout of exploration I went to a botanical garden and decided that it was a good time to do some meditation, the perfect remedy for a clouded mind or confined state of being. That evening the mediation enhanced the clarity and pleasure I had already experienced as a combined result of the splendid weather, the jogging, and the exhilaration that comes along with appreciating and exploring one’s surroundings. Several sets of meditative breathing sets us on the way towards attaining that sagely wisdom, embodied in phrases that are well known in mainstream culture: live in the present ; be one with nature ; stop and smell the roses. We become cognizant of the air we breathe and the path our breath takes: instant easy access to pleasure, energy, and mindfulness. This is the stuff true liberation of mind, body, and soul is made of.