Comparing my mind to a pendulum, is a huge compliment that I could think of. As you can understand, my mind races from one thought to another which is diametrically opposite and then a third and even a "n"th derivative of it, before I force it back to square one. So, I kind of determine what I am about to pray for, specifically before closing my eyes for a prayer [mind works in fast forward mode then], before talking to someone [be it anyone], or before writing anything [even this]. Thoughts and ideas seem to jump from some unknown reserve inside and all of these compete hard to be my choice. I did follow a simple technique for communicating with others, and that worked well. It was just to say to myself first, before saying it to others. Soon it became a habit and I was doing that just like a muscle memory. I talk faster yet take a longer time to complete [as I will be saying more than one derivative at times], so people take note on what I say, rather than identifying that I am repeating it. One of my cousin observed it and asked me why I was doing it. I was a bit shocked at first, but explained the reason behind it. He left it at that, but I was more conscious about streamlining myself, at least in oral communication. I did join a meditation class, out of desire to control my beast a bit. The class was good and I had a company of 15 others in various age groups. Each of us were given a "mantra" specific to ourselves and were asked to recite it silently. I understood where it was going and the concept behind it - to force your mind on one thing so it is exhausted at some point and you start experiencing it first hand. But then numerous doubts were coming to me. Did I hear the mantra right? Am I saying it correctly? Is it really special to me? It went on and on and ended with, "Do you really think this will work?". Braving myself, I thought it was worth a try. After knowing the do's and don'ts and about choosing a preferable time and place, I started practising it at home. Like an enthusiastic beginner, I tried hard. Seriously! Now my mind was at it matching each step, and I soon believed that I found that magical rhythm. Then came a point where I started dreaming that my aura was expanding, my eyes and focus getting sharper and my words had more significance than before. I was hoping that all till a point. Then came the 'Excuse me' days where, either because of some work at that time, or sheer laziness [actual reason], I skipped my sessions. Soon it was all forgotten and my mind was happily working overtime. One fine day, I decided to start it again. As I closed my eyes, chanting the mantra, nothing came up. Terrified like a lost kid in an event, my mind wandered here and yonder and came back blank. "It must be the time / the coffee I had / the sun", the excuses varied, but what little I experienced earlier, was everywhere else. Pitying and thrashing myself again, I gave up on getting that rhythm and thought, "No matter what! I will try closing my eyes and practising at the same time everyday!". On Day 2, my friend and neighbor saw me in the terrace where I was and asked me, how I could sleep just like that! Not losing heart and not happily preaching about meditation and all, I smiled and talked about current affairs. Another cycle was broken! Not one to lose heart so easily at times, I continued that. Though I couldn't get the rhythm that I once got, I was settling in and could feel refreshed. At times I slept yes, but I still felt that the routine was good. I don't know the exact moment but it did happen on a beautiful dawn. But the way it happened was not so pleasant. On that given day, as I closed my eyes and tried to focus a bit, I felt something different. Like cotton being thrown in water, I felt gradually heavier. Even my fingers and eyelids were so heavy then that I was afraid. "Is this the beginning of my end?", a thought of panic rushed in, but try however hard, I couldn't open my eyes. Nor could I even move even my fingertips, but was acutely aware of everything happening around me. The sound of birds, that of a wet cloth being squeezed and water falling down and of course the racing pulse inside, were felt like I was next to a speaker. Again, I could not open my eyes. What happened next was even better - I felt like being sucked in to a chasm of a monotone, and all my resistance failed. It was like a screen that had so far been, showing the world was torn off to reveal something totally new. I lost track of time then. I don't know when I came back, but the first feeling was that of a million needles piercing all over the body. The pain was bearable, but couldn't stop getting goosebumps all over. I did not know where I was. Feeling greedy, I tried focusing again, but something was pushing me hard not to. With tears, I woke up and took sometime to balance as my body was still recovering from numbness. I could recognize something, when it happened the next time, after several days. There was that distant sound of a bird that I could still differentiate from other sounds. And it was getting shriller and louder before it happened again. I tried to search the bird in vain, feeling it must have been a cuckoo. No, it wasn't. I tried searching inwards and could get nothing. It eluded me once again. It was after many days that I was in a position to hear that call in a frequency, that pushed me to a high before falling in to that state. Next time I tried to focus on the gap between two such calls and found that it pushed me faster. It is quite difficult to experience a statelessness and next to impossible for me with my limited vocabulary to explain that. By sheer laziness and lack of determination and fear, I stopped practising later on, leaving the mind to happily roam all over. Its close to two decades now, but somewhere deep inside, I am hopeful of being there again, like meeting an old friend after several years. I resemble a long since empty perfume jar. The only thing that remains is that shrill voice of a nameless bird!