SO why meditation? How is this a healthy daily practice in Self-Love?
When I first started to seriously meditate, I remember the looonnnggg tick tocks of the clock, the seemingly endless minutes, of my eyes opening, shutting, and everything in between coming to mind. I remember thinking, “How do people do this? What is the point of this? I could be doing something else…I could be doing something productive, something fun even. I Am so bored. Why Am I doing this again? Someone suggested meditating…Ok…meditating, ho hum, meditating…is it time to stop yet?”
Over and over I sat in some uncomfortable posture, back hurting, opening my eyes looking at the clock, closing them wondering how many minutes had gone by.
SO how did I come to a place where meditation became such an important part of my daily practice? Where the benefits are so noticeable that I cant imagine a day without meditation? That I don’t feel healthy, whole or complete without it now?
Let me share, it hasn’t been easy, especially without a lot of guidance. The few books that were out there when I first started meditation didn’t seem that helpful, and weren’t inspired reading. I remember picking them up, putting them down, picking them up… well, you get the idea. Lets just say we’ve come a long way in the west embracing this practice, and being honest about it.
My first thoughts of meditation were when I was a kid watching the series “Kung Fu” on TV. He just looked so peaceful there, “grasshopper,” with his master. And boy could he kick some butt when he needed too! So I figured this meditation thing cant be all bad, get some candles, make a little space, and, Wala!
Being a kid back in the 70’s, things didn’t go over to well with me meditating, or what I thought was meditation. But there was deep desire, a wonder of something stirring in me.
I remember being 12 years old walking through the mall with my parents, and my mother asked if I would like to go see a movie as a treat for the day. I had no idea then how that movie would change my life and put me on a path of seeking, of marvelous transformation – and meditation would some day be an integral part of that path. The blockbuster in 1977′ that mythically awoke so many of us was “STAR WARS.”
It was a different time on the planet. Their was an air of something moving, growing, expanding in humanity. People were struggling for identity, you could see it in the culture shifts from decade to decade like a wind blowing over a large field of tall grass. Something was coming, shifting in the earth, and people were open to receive the inspiration.
I remember watching Star Wars in absolute rapture; it was like time and space were moved aside, and I was immersed in something that was greater than me. The movie had all the elements: the wise sage, the hero, the trials he would face, the villains encountered within and without, all the different masks so powerfully portrayed in so many mythos. The musical score by John Williams that accompanied the movie wonderfully filled my being that longed for vast “knowing,” connection, and identity that Star Wars presented in such other worldly drama. The movie hit “home” on so many levels, that I felt I had come home to me, that I discovered something previously lost before walking through those cinematic doors.
I remember walking out of the theater trying to grasp for some footing on what had just happened. Back then there were no cell phones, no pcs, no world wide web or connection like we have available today – when you experienced something, you HAD to sit with it.
That event not only triggered something in me, but the inspiration that I wanted to sit with it, be with it, to discover whatever it was. And little did I know then, that meditation was going to be a large part of my journey, that going inward was the key to this larger awareness.
And although I didn’t pursue meditation right away, I had moments that I would consider meditation. Moments in nature, going for a walk, sitting by a stream, closing my eyes, breathing, feeling the sun, the warmth, my heartbeat, the rhythm of life.
So what is the purpose in meditation? How can meditating help not only our daily life, but the interactions we have, our health, our overall well-being? What do we face in meditation? And how do we respond to what we find?
We live in a fast paced, over stimulated world of technology, quick communication, and resources at our disposal. In other words: distraction and an over-stimulated nervous system. Distraction from our selves, our breath, heart, the flow of our very being. And becoming aware can be a very uncomfortable process, the mind will do and say almost anything to resolve what it perceives as a problem to this.
Practicing meditation on a daily basis improves overall awareness. I am more in the present moment, with me and others. In all aspects of life: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’m more attentive, which helps me to make better decisions, I feel better, so act from a better place of being, and I have more peace, not seeking so much in things to try to fill the internal vastness that I’m coming to know as me.
So who wouldn’t want to be more aware? Well. I can tell you, when your confronted by things you perceive as possibly ugly, unwanted, or weak parts of your self, its a challenge to love, to go deeper, to discover and make friends with those parts. But the alternative is really incredulous, because we have to live with those parts anyways. It really brings a deeper meaning to “Love thy Enemies.”
I started to understand, that, in order for me to live fully in the moment, with grace, power and mindfulness, love is why I meditate.
For those of us that love Star Wars, you know what I Am talking about when Luke confronts Vader, he is really confronting HIS dark side, not Vader’s. And in the end, love was the only path, the path not only to his liberation, but his father’s as well.
So meditation is really about liberation, and liberation is about awareness, and awareness is about love. Its about finding our balance, our center, our “Home.”
Yoga International describes meditation as, “…the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within.”
And if that center is love, if that’s who I Am at my true core of being, well, with love, all things are possible, and that sounds like a pretty delightful place.
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