THE PANDA BALL ANALOGY
We are an action-based society. We love action movies - where a threat comes and the heroes must act to save the day. We always discredit the influential power of the Invisible and tend to want to take action ourselves when faced with almost any situation.
But I would like to posit that sometimes we need chill-stillness to balance all of that acting out. And I would like to further suggest that sometimes if we can just stay playful yet present, dilemmas and threats actually will go away on their own. I know this is not how most of us think the world works, but I have been testing something I call the Panda Ball theory and to date it has provided me with great balance and experiences of true magic.
Here's how it goes...
Imagine you gave a wild panda – who spends their days lolling on the grass, rolling down hills and munching on long stalks of green bamboo – a giant multi-colored ball. The panda would not grind on the meaning of the ball, he is not scared of it, its presence doesn’t throw him off balance at all; in fact he is enjoying this new thing.
You would we see him casually turning the rainbow ball over and over in his great paws, looking at it from one angle and then the next. He is taking his time taking it in on all sides. He is confident yet curious. The presence of the ball does not tangle him in knots or make him get angry or shut down. He doesn't break it or throw it away. He knows he is sovereign; so for him there is no stress and no rush, only the pleasure of discovery.
The panda holds the ball, the ball doesn’t hold him. He doesn’t fight the ball or pretend it isn’t there. He knows how to be in the presence of the ball from any angle and perceive it. For him, there is just the laying back and playing and rolling the ball all around until the novelty and the heat of it is gone and its deep meaning reveals itself, clear as day.
So that's the hypothesis, I feel like it is worth testing out. I've linked a meditation down below - CRYSTALLINE - that gets you into the wise timeline of stones - earth beings that have seen it all and who are of course much more patient and less likely to act out than we are. And here's a little more wisdom around this idea - at the beginning of this passage he describes how the "acting out" way we usually handle things and then by the end, he gets a more Panda Ball about it. : )
"In India, I was living in a little hut, about six feet by seven feet. It had a canvas flap instead of a door. I was sitting on my bed meditating, and a cat wandered in and plopped down on my lap. I took the cat and tossed it out the door. Ten seconds later it was back on my lap. We got into a sort of dance, this cat and I - I tossed it out because I was trying to meditate, to get enlightened. But the cat kept returning. I was getting more and more irritated, more and more annoyed with the persistence of the cat. Finally, after about a half-hour of this coming in and tossing out, I had to surrender. There was nothing else to do. There was no way to block off the door. I sat there, the cat came back in, and it got on my lap. But I did not do anything. I just let go. Thirty seconds later the cat got up and walked out. So, you see, our teachers come in many forms."
- Joseph Goldstein