“Meditation is the highest form of prayer, a naked act of love and effortless surrender into the abyss beyond all knowing.” ~Adyashanti
Meditation takes us nowhere, it is not a step in a journey it is a settling back into life. Not “my life.” Life.
Practicing meditation makes thoughts obvious, it lets us see them all dressed up in their different outfits–There’s fear wearing a red boa and black heels, isn’t she tempting to listen to? But wait a second, oh look, there’s worry in a pink tutu throwing a fit about the trip we’re taking in a few weeks. And there’s nonchalance, stretched out like a cat in a sunbeam, smoking a cigarette without a care in the world. And here am I, watching it all go by.
I meditate everyday for 20-30 minutes. The gift of giving myself this time helps create the space for a higher Self to emerge, or for beingness to emerge, or presence, or for God or Spirit … Whatever the noun it’s a time for that slow quiet still voice, that doesn’t say much, to be heard, or not at all.
I had a teacher during my graduate school studies tell me once that, our souls are quiet, shy things. “You can’t just go out clomping through the bushes, whacking away at the underbrush looking for them. You’ll never find them that way. But if you’re very still and patient you might be lucky enough to glimpse them out of your periphery, peaking steadily through the trees like a wild animal.” The bushes I’ve been clomping through aren’t out there somewhere, but in here.
When I first started meditating I couldn’t believe how hard it was to sit still. Instead of discouraging me, or writing off the activity as a waste of time, I was motivated to try again. It seemed so simple, sit still for 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes everyday, yet it was more difficult than hiking a mountain or writing a book. I began with 5 minutes everyday and added on from there. Now my meditation is a favorite part of every day.
Once we start to see all those thoughts clambering for our attention, all dressed up with nowhere to go during the quiet of mediation, we can begin to recognize them in our daily lives. And slowly we realize also that there is a choice about whether to listen to what they have to say, whether or not we want to bring that fear forward into the world with her red lipstick, feathery boa, and stiletto heels, or whether we’ll act from somewhere deeper and quieter, giving that wild animal the space to come forward into the light.
These older entries from 2014 are from the early days in my work of applying the practices of meditation, growing awareness and learning to live in presence. I've kept them here because they are a reminder of the map we have to follow as we dedicate ourselves to living with awareness leading the way rather than mind chatter. Updated October 2022.