Zen Moment

In our breakneck-pace, sink-or-swim busy schedule, we badly need some time to exhale and relax. We need to find our zen moment.

Different people have different ways to unwind and rejuvenate. There are some who would spend some time in a spa and be pampered. There are some who would go for a hike in the woods or climb a mountain. There are some who would watch a movie. There are some who will go to a mall. Zen shopping? While some would just sit and do nothing. And I mean nothing, as if staring blankly in space, like a frozen computer screen. I know, I do that sometimes.

Another favorite way of unwinding for me is my Sunday easy morning run of 2-3 miles where I just go on a slower pace than my usual, and commune with the wind, the lonely road, and nature. I would say that many of my creative thoughts come during this runs. I guess mild brain hypoxia can generate a stroke of genius.

Then there’s my wife. She will put on comfy clothes. She will go outside to be alone with the elements. She has her portable speaker playing her zen-type of music softly in the background. While she is on her hands and knees……….pulling weeds.

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(*photo taken with an iPhone)

Zen Driving

Two days ago I drove down to Osceola, Iowa, to see patients in one of our satellite clinics. It is once every 2 months, that I go there.  I started doing outreach clinic when I began my practice here in Des Moines, when my schedule was not that busy yet.

Now that I am very busy, with my clinic appointments bursting in the seams, I still kept my outreach clinic for two reasons. First, I cannot find a more grateful group of patients, especially the more elderly that cannot drive far anymore. They are very appreciative that we come to them, and save them the trouble of driving to Des Moines. Second reason, I really don’t mind the drive, in fact I even enjoyed it (except when there is a snowstorm or icestorm). And I use this roadtrip as a break from my routine daily schedule.

Osceola is a small town, about 50 miles south of Des Moines, which takes me less than an hour to drive to. It is very accessible as it is a straight shot from Interstate-35, and involves no traffic at all. The scenery along the way is also pleasant, with its typical Iowa landscape: rolling hills of prairies with their colorful wild flowers, interspersed with vast cornfields and soybean fields. There are ranches too with cattle and horses grazing in the meadows, with farmhouses, barns, and silos.

typical iowa landscape

The best part of the drive though is the quiet time I have all by myself. I would just pick a CD to listen to, and I’ll be in a Zen-like state. I can choose to play The Eagles, America or Bread, and I’ll be back in time of my highschool days. Or I can pick a more recent one, like one of the albums of Norah Jones (which I have a complete set) and I’ll be lost in a dream listening to her soothing smokey voice.

For about 45 minutes, I was lost in time and space, while my car traveled at 75 miles an hour (no, that’s not speeding), and while the Eraserheads (my pick of the day) was playing loudly in my radio…….”Magda-drive ako hanggang buwan”.