Some thoughts on the need to decompress

Sílvia Bastos
Mar 15 · 2 min read

Nature causes decompression in me.

When I am living in the city, there is constant tension in me, but as there is also tension everywhere around me, it gets neutralized, it goes unnoticed.

When I move to Nature — for at least a few days — the empty sobriety and quietude around me enhances the tenstion at first, making it almost hurt, and then, gradually, it gently makes it fade away into the open nothingness.

It’s like a process of habituation that connects me with myself and with everything around me. Like a scale being calibrated, I slowly but steadily get back on the line of balance.

Hermit monks live secluded in the mountains for years, deepening their spiritual practice. They live in simple huts with little more than a bed and some basic survival utensils and they spend their days studying, meditating, and surviving.

They claim that at first it is torture — the first moments of decompression, the letting go, the emptiness, the inevitable facing of their own emotions (for many, for the first time in their lives).

But then, they say, if you follow the teachings, you become at peace with things as they are without needing them to be anything else. You accept the quietude of the trees, you enjoy the beauty of the sky, the simple nourishment of the dandelion leaves, and you don’t need anything more than pure existence.

Nowadays we don’t even have time to realize that we are constantly being distracted. Our minds are always half-engaged, not able to focus nor to relax, lying on a murky limbo made of trips between addictive excitement, extreme boredom, short-lived bursts of hope and cyclical depression.

But we can get out. The first step is to realize we’re there.

Go out. Breathe in. Disconnect for a few days, and truly connect.

Sílvia Bastos

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