Waves clouds and all that Jazz.

Waves clouds and all that Jazz.

The other day I was watching a YouTube video documentary about the ancient Inuit (Eskimo) people who lived somewhere in Northern Greenland more than 500 years ago.

Recently an old grave has been discovered containing the perfectly preserved and naturally mummified bodies of 8 people – all female, including 2 young children and 6 adults – who all appeared to have died together and were buried together in some rocky hills.

At first glance, this appears to be a tragic event where an entire small community group has met with an unfortunate end.  And, on the surface, there is no denying that it is very sad – even though it happened more that half a millennium ago.

However, it is also very interesting.

The bodies, their clothing and the possessions they were buried with were all perfectly preserved.  The extreme cold and dry winds have mummified the bodies to the extent that their hair colour, their finger nails, their tattoos, and the intricate design of the stitching on their clothing are clearly visible.

Also, they were buried with some small items – figurines and carvings – that appear to depict some of their beliefs and values.  These included items that represent the sea and the sky and their music.

The narrator of this video was explaining that these people relied very heavily on the sea for their food. Fishing and hunting was their way of life.iceberg

So, what does this have to do with us ?

To these people, the ocean was also a major part of their spirituality, their way of life.  And they also used the ocean as a form of meditation.

These ancient Inuit people, based on the findings within this particularly unique grave and on other research scientists and archaeologists have undertaken in the area, were quite possibly aware of the benefits of meditation, of deliberately calming down – possibly as a way to reduce stress.

Other items discovered in this grave appear to depict clouds and the sky.

Ancient and primitive peoples all over the world have long been known to view the sky as another world, inhabited by Gods, mythical beings and a place of heaven for the ancestors…. This is not new.

However, in this case, the carvings and small items found appear to also support the idea that the sky and clouds were also part of a belief system that was not only based on worshiping or religion.  It appears that perhaps they believed in the calming and relaxing effects of simply watching the clouds.

Similarly, the musical instruments buried with these people after the tragedy that befell them, show that music was a big part of their lives.

Now, this is obviously one or two modern people’s opinions.  It is a bit of a big call to say that this community of people in an extremely cold location living at the very extreme end of human tolerance were experts at meditation.

However, it is also not too big a stretch of the imagination to believe that life was probably very stressful for these people. Quite simply, if the hunt was unsuccessful, they did not eat.  If a big storm came it could last for days… making it difficult to go outside and hunt for food.  If the weather was extreme – which is often was – the animals, the fish, the birds, the food would disappear.

Life was very harsh.  Life could be unpleasant.

Deliberately trying to relax, maybe by playing or listening to some calming music, maybe by sitting and watching the waves or the clouds, sounds like a really good idea.

And not only for these ancient people.

We too, in this modern world of iPhones, constant always on internet connectivity, incessant facebook updates, commuting to stressful and more and more demanding jobs, not enough time, not enough money, wars, terrorists, are constantly bombarded with stress.

We too should make time for ourselves – as these ancient Eskimo people from more than 500 years ago did.

Like these people from hundreds of years ago, take some time out to calm down, breathe deeply, and relax.

Listen to some calming music.  Play your musical instruments, or listen to your loved ones play theirs.  Watch the clouds.  Stare at the waves.  Feel the air on your face.



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