In this great wide world of wonder so much is not known and what we know is changing as we speak. I abhor ruts and absolutely love habits. That makes no sense. I am amazed at my meditation experiences and those I witness and yet the experiences come and go. Every time I sit in meditation I hope for the lightning bolt experience. Sometimes it takes me a good ten minutes to settle down and feel the connection to calm sereneness. Sometimes I’m enveloped in the smoothness within a moment. Every day is different.
My first experience of expansiveness occurred when I was visiting an ashram with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda.
I had just heard her speak and I was moved to visit the “Cave”, a dark meditation room filled with pillows, incense and silence. Once I sat down and settled, with every breath I was transported. I became the room. I remember feeling like my energy was in each corner of the ceiling and when someone walked in the door, the sound of the hinge was so loud it hurt my ears. I felt like an inflated balloon pushed to its tight skin. I was stunned.
There is no time in this expansiveness. What can occur in a flash of a moment can change a lifetime. I’ll never forget my Cave experience. So many more have accumulated since then.
Practicing silent meditation is a concept many avoid, afraid of what they may find. I was one of those avoiders until the desire became so strong, I stepped into the practice.
Surrendering to silence has helped me feel loved and surrounded by support. The silence feels full of all possibilities. Yet if my mind takes over, the possibilities become an organized list, prioritized and goal oriented which is distracting. There’s a need to surrender the mind and experience the silence before the jewels can be discovered.
I grew up with a belief that the divine is outside of me. I learned to pray to get what I needed to make me happy. I needed to act correctly in order to be in good favor for my requests to be heard. I was little and insignificant, and the divine was all empowering. In my learning, I’ve come to see it’s the strict father model, one that doesn’t work for me anymore.
With my exploring and experimenting and experiencing, I have grown to appreciate the divine is inside of me. Waiting ever so patiently to be discovered as I uncover the inner mystery layer by layer.
I reflect often on the path humanity is on to discover this inner essence, this spark of divinity within each of us. It’s hard to maintain this perspective when my mind gets caught up in fear and tries to figure out what’s next, what I need for my safety.
There’s a great dismantling going on. There is great wisdom present. So much I don’t understand, but in the silence, I feel the wisdom. I feel the vastness of all possibilities. I remind myself the Universe is in charge. I breathe in calmness and watch in my silence.
I count out ten deep
breaths before I enter
the adventure of my
practice, ten breaths
to bring myself present
in the here and now.
Ignited by awareness,
energy wakes and
carries me from effort
into ease. Presence
itself breaths through
me, the unseen
substance of love so
tangible and strong
that each long breath
offers up the key
to my release.
I like the idea of surrendering to silence. I also like the idea of surrendering to stillness. Being so busy, it’s good to take the half hour for stillness in the morning.
I’ve been doing this for many weeks, and a couple of times I have been able to meditate for two or three minutes. I’m so glad you said there is no right way to meditate. I tried to meditate many years ago and I never tried again because anything I heard gave me the impression it had to be done a certain way and I couldn’t do it. Being in this group to me is a form of meditation, even if I can’t do what I want to do yet.
Showing up for myself in this half hour meditation sends the message I am worth it whether I am finding solace in meditation or not.
I grew up thinking the divine was outside myself, not within, and outside of all beings. We looked up the name “Kamala” and its origin and traced it back to the word “lotus” and went farther back and traced it to a goddess who was revered as the divine feminine. It’s time for the divine feminine to come back and be represented in the world in all her many colors and in her power.
The Dali Llama said years ago, “The world will be saved by the western woman.” We are facing ourselves. Men are facing themselves.
You mentioned the great dismantling. I heard that and during the meditation, I got into fear. To me, the words are saying change and loss. I didn’t want to stay in a fearful state during the meditation. I did that practice of coming back to breath and that helped. I did get into a place where I meditated on the seven valleys of Attar and the Conference of the Birds. It was quite a journey I took from fear to the acceptance.
My meditation was not so airy. I went in and took to heart the grain that the divine was inside and I went to search. The monkey mind kept saying no, look over here, dangling the shiny objects. I could feel being in the cavern inside and asking the question what is the divine? The image came to me of a cesspool and all I need do is pull the plug. I reached for the plug and pulled it and I could feel physically it starting to go down and felt an excitement wondering what am I going to find once this is cleaned out. Then it stopped. It’s a thread I’m going to follow and consciously do that visualization a couple of times to see what happens.
I’m glad it was mentioned there’s no real way to meditate. Discipline is a practice. Meditation is a practice. For years I was told what I had to do to meditate. It’s a discipline to do all the right postures and positions. It’s also a discipline to sit in silence however you choose to practice it. We can be who we are, where we are, how we are. And if we can’t be there, at least we’re showing up for ourselves.
I belonged to a meditation group in California where we were encouraged to move around and yell and do all sorts of things. Their meditation practice was to express their body’s state.
At the end of September, Zoom is reinstating the mandatory waiting room, so signing in will require going into a waiting room where you’ll wait to be admitted. Anyone signing on after we start our silence will have to remain in the waiting room during that time.