Meditation My Favorite Medicine
MEDITATION, MY FAV MEDICINE
I’ve been meditating most of my life. Perhaps it’s the Virgo in me, overly analytical, mind going non stop,that felt compelled to do this self work early on. As I young child in Pennsylvania, I didn’t have a lot of outside influence in the 80s and 90s. But by age 12, I had a fully functioning shrine in my bedroom, incense burning, candles, brass decor, feathers. I don’t remember what I would visualize. Sitting in lotus, I would just sit and breathe. Holding the mudra for the crown, with my index finger to my thumb, I sat there, being human. I don’t remember if I could shut off my thoughts or not. I just remember sitting there with my child mind attempting stillness.
The mind can be your greatest enemy or your greatest muse, bending rays of perception through the filter of our experiences, thoughts and beliefs. It can drive us crazy, keep us up at night, or draft the works of great manifestations, intellectual understanding and the investment of our relationships. Why wouldn’t we consider it our greatest subject of study?
I preach to a choir of psychology aficionados. But I’d like to break down meditation here so the average person isn’t intimidated by it. The other day meditation came up in conversation. Two women who are work associates found out that I meditate after complementing me on my calmness. I always find it amusing when people make those remarks because most of the time, I don’t feel calm. I do feel like I’m always invested in being calm however. The women confessed to me that they don’t know how to meditate, or that it simply didn’t work when they tried. I just couldn’t get my mind to shut off the one said. I want to share the framework of meditation that I described.
Meditation is simply carving out time and space to get in touch with your mind, or more importantly, who you are beyond your mind. It allows us to reconcile our thoughts and examine our beliefs. Imagine if you had a computer and you never ever deleted files. The files just stacked up, taking up memory. The internet browsing history was never cleared. And cookies are stacked up in nooks. You’ve never deleted your cookies, files or browsing history.
How fast would that computer run? How efficient can something be if it carries the cumulative weight of all it’s experiences up front, unreconciled, unexamined. Meditation helps us reconcile. Meditation helps us examine our experience and properly store, compartmentalize or purge. It allows for lessons to be learned and wounds to be properly attended to, so we can heal thoroughly.
Meditation is the finding of ourselves in the space between thoughts. Who are you there? I described to my colleague growing up in PA, looking up at the clouds while laying in the grass. Imagine you are lying there on a blanket, resting against the earth. You look up at the sky and it is filled with clouds. The clouds pass by but they are not you. You are just watching them from below. The clouds pass by and they inspire, transcend and take us places in our memories. They are interesting and easy to attach to. We merge with the clouds and their intrigue, their memory, but we are not the clouds. And we are not our minds. We are the witnesses of our minds, the witnesses of our experience, the soul whose spiritual growth has been leveraged here on earth. As you lie back looking up at the cosmic matrix of the mind, be careful not to lose yourself there…or at least bring yourself back frequently.
Don’t be afraid of clouds that you don’t like. They will pass. And the clouds that strike a chord, the clouds that slice into our memory banks, let them go. In saying farewell to the more painful experiences that life deals us, sometimes the highest vibration we can achieve is neutrality. Neutrality and non reaction are weapons against unwelcome experiences. With neutrality, the clouds pass by more quickly. They cannot stick to neutral vibration and thus they lose their power when we stop reacting. This is about liberation, breaking away and regaining our freedom, not a discussion about the fairness or lack of fairness of the world.
It’s unfortunate that people don’t enjoy the freedom bestowed by meditation because they think they need to do it right. You just need to do it as YOU. And who you are is probably a vacillating world of human experience. In order to find yourself, sometimes all you gotta do is watch. You are the one watching from behind the curtains of where soul meets “reality.” This point of attachment is often referred to as a power position, being in the zone. The zone is a place where one can reach a cosmic wand of intention out into the world, unaffected by fear. Here we align more easily with what we want. What we don’t want passes by, rolling out of our way. This intention can change the patterns of the clouds, our mental weather. This realization of our ability to control our minds is the first dawn of enlightenment, in my humble human opinion.
When in doubt, just breathe. You don’t have to think to breathe. It’s governed by the autonomic nervous system of your body. Watching your breath then is a great way to witness your internal presence projected upon your body. As we watch the breath, notice what emotions might be intertwined, ease, tension, nervousness, relaxation. And if it helps, count your breath, or count how long your inhales and exhales are. But remember it’s the process of recognizing who you really are that matters most. The YOU in the space between thoughts.
January 27, 2019