Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Another year-long commitment is almost at an end. Last year, starting at the Autumnal Equinox, I committed to a year of daily seated meditation practice. The equinox will be rolling around again soon, and I have been thinking about what I gained or learned over the past year.
I wish I could write something profound about the experience. The problem with the profound, though, is that it is not always easy to put into words.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
I could tell you about the times I found bliss or joy or laughter, but I want to tell you about something else. One of the the gifts I’ve received from meditation is a better way to cope with stress, life, the universe, and everything (yet another nod to Douglas Adams). Because I am human and less than perfect (more on perfection in a future post), not every meditation session was a good one. Sometimes I rushed, just to call it done.
It is one of the great paradoxes of life that very often the thing we need to do the most, at a time we need to do it the most, is the very thing we play lip service to or neglect or forget to do. And so it was with me and meditation before, during, and after my move to the Eastern Shore. I would sit, but very rarely would I be able to calm my thoughts or my mind, frequently because I was rushing my way through it.
Meditation doesn’t lead you to silence; meditation only creates the situation in which the silence happens. And this should be the criterion — that whenever silence happens laughter will come into your life. A vital celebration will happen all around.
One day I woke up and realized I had to slow down and begin to savor my yoga and meditation time and practices. By slowing down and savoring and treating that time as sacred, I discovered the much needed side-effect of relaxing into my new adventure and new life here on the Eastern Shore.
We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.
~ Alan Watts
I think Mr. Watts summed it all up well for me so I’ll leave it at that.
I was going to take a year off from the challenges, but the move and the hot summer helped to change my mind. I’ll let you know soon what my new year-long challenge is going to be.
Thanks for stopping by. Have you watched a sunset or moonrise lately? We had a great combination of the two here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch last night. From the looks of the sky today, it should be good tonight, too. Let’s pick a bench, settle in, and watch the show in the sky.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
What’s encouraging about meditation is that even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly that we’re closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance.
~ Pema Chödrön