Martin, 47, a monk-like American who lives in Devon, is teaching me to do a “basic minute” of meditation, the unit of his new teaching method. The aim is to practise the basic minute several times a day until you can dip in to a region of peacefulness and refresh your mind and soul whenever you like. I’m not sure that a busy railway station concourse is the right place to learn, but Martin insists that you can learn anywhere, no matter how noisy. I’m also not absolutely convinced that a minute is long enough to get the full benefit of meditation.
Martin explains that doing a minute’s meditation many times over has a cumulative effect. He describes doing one basic minute as making a single pinprick in a great dark sheet of consciousness, on the other side of which is a bright light. Each pinprick that you make lets through more light. Martin turns a nice metaphor; another of his comes from oil prospecting. He says a minute’s meditation allows you to drill down into a reservoir of peace.
I like the metaphors. I also like the idea of dipping into a region of peacefulness anytime you want.