In 1966 Dutch clock maker, Christiaan Huygens, noticed that two pendulums mounted on a board always end up oscillating at the same speed. He named this ‘entrainment.’ This nifty physics phenomenon can happen with other pendulations too, including brainwaves and heartbeats.
In my pregnancy with Mo, I spent seven days at a silent meditation retreat. One day we were charged with the task of sashaying through the bush, finding an untroubled area and plonking ourselves down for 90 minutes of mantra repetition. I lugged my fertile self through the wilderness and found a suitable post on a shelf of rock. It was a simulation of a scene from Bambi: delightful topography, flitting native birds and a paunchy wombat striding through the brush. I settled my roly-poly self, got on with things and pretty soon I was souped up on euphoria and joy.
Some time in to the meditation I got bored with ecstasy and rapture (I was most likely hungry or busting) and opened my eyes to marvel at the hinterland (and look for a kebab truck or port-a-loo). And standing before me was a plentiful medley of kangaroos, at least 30 of them, all congregating as close as possible to my rock, none of them moving a muscle. They were positioned in front of me, peculiarly still. It was like that scene from Narnia when the evil witch decides it is best to turn all of the locals in to marble figurines. We meditated in unison until it was time for me to sprint back to the retreat hall and prevent my companions eating all of the afternoon tea.
Entrainment is not just for religious sanctuaries and clocks. You and I can practise bringing a placid likeableness to our workplace or the supermarket. As we calm down others do too, even ladies bickering over the last pair of shoes on the sales rack.
With respect and love,