Running through my brain (the mind) to think of a sufficient answer to this prompt brings me to the obvious: Meditation.
It was my four month monastery retreat that first introduced me to meditation. I had heard about the many benefits of this calming exercise many times before. Doing yoga, starting to become more health conscious throughout the years, and appreciating the wisdom inherent in holistic health put me on the fast track to
hippydom meditation. It had to happen sooner or later with all my interests lined up practically calling its name.
The simple answer is meditation. But the real answer is not quite that. Four months of daily meditation for half an hour a day isn’t making me any more or less enlightened. I didn’t feel as if I was never not my mind or body. As much as I’d like to feel that I was one and whole and present and all of those feel good adjectives that make me want to strangle you sometimes because you’re so goddamn in touch that you’re more and more out of touch with life and drama and living. More often than not, I was out of touch. Instability in too much stability. When I wanted to calm my mind, I also felt like I needed to rock the boat and take a little pleasure in life’s pleasures. I’ve got this body and these five senses for a reason. Might as well enjoy it while I’m here. Too much hedonism might be bad, but too much detachment is the same thing. Everything in moderation, including moderation, as one of my friends likes to say.
Meditation goes like this. I sit for 5 minutes wondering when 30 minutes is up. By 10 minutes, my legs and feet, propped up into double lotus position, is starting to fall asleep and my nerves are giving me that tingly ache that makes me want to move, but I tell my mind to bear the pain and keep on sitting still. A mosquito buzzes by my ear. My skin itches. I twitch. I scratch. I break my position. I open my eyes. I look at the time. Only 2 minutes have gone by!
Sometimes, I lose a sense of time but it is rare. Those are the times I know I’ve got a good meditation. My mind runs all the time, but I let it flow. I observe my thoughts instead of try to control them and let them run where they want to run. It is as if the mind has a mind of its own! I solve problems through meditation. Ask questions. Find answers. I never experience a sense of timelessness and spacelessness, as if I’m one with the universe. I have never gone that deep with my practice and by the 4th month of daily meditation, my effort was actually getting worse! There is nothing transcendent that has ever happened to me with meditation, or yoga. The transcendence happens in the repetition, until you one day feel that awareness. The presence.
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