It’s been about a year since I brought meditation as a practice into my life. During this year, I’ve experienced periods where I looked forward to meditation every day, I would take five minutes to meditate before I got out of bed, and would meditate 10 – 30 minutes or more before sleeping.
I’ve also experienced periods of weeks where I haven’t meditated at all, and my resistance towards sitting in silence has been so strong it borders on phobic.
Sometimes, when I meditate, I receive teaching. Sometimes I experience the teaching as someone talking to me, showing me things, and sometimes it comes in a download, an instant expansion of my mind around a new concept.
I love meditation, yet the love doesn’t make it easy. Meditation for me is growth, and sometimes growth is scary. Last Friday’s meditation beginning with George, some close friends here in town, and some online friends and blog readers, expanded into Saturday with the worldwide intention call and meditation for world peace, on the anniversary of John Lennon’s death. I kind of feel like that meditation that began on Friday will never stop, and that I’ll always be a part of it. That’s huge, and it’s kind of scary. All change can be scary, even when it’s good (and change usually is good.)
I’ve been carrying this fear and anxiety towards meditation for several months now, and it’s coincided with a lot of rapid change in my inner and outer life. Last night, before I went to sleep, I became aware that I was being asked, gently, to meditate. For the first time in nearly a week I turned towards the feeling, although I remained curled up in bed rather than sitting up. Suddenly I became aware of a friend, sitting in bed with me, leaning back against the wall, knees up to his chin.
“Hey,” I whispered in my mind. “This expansion stuff scares me.”
“Yeah,” he replied. “Me too,” and he took my hand, and we went into meditation together, comforted by each other’s presence. Our focus was really to just sit and be still, rather than to experience further growth and change. “Sometimes it’s better to just sit with it. Just wait to be ready.”
It was especially comforting to know that even our friends on the other side experience fear and uneasiness when it comes to transformation and change, and that some of those who are helping us here on earth, are experiencing the same sort of personal transformation, and the same kind of frightened resistance.
It’s easy to feel limited or inferior sometimes, to those of us in bodies. I think there’s a big cultural message about how death brings understanding, and when we rejoin heaven, all our discomfort vanishes. Uneasiness, fear, resistance, these are flaws of mortality, or so we might be tempted to conclude… but I don’t think that’s true.
Rather than fear vanishing, I am beginning to understand that it does still exist on the other side – this sense of urgency and “holy shit!” reaction to transformation and change. It’s a natural reaction. The difference with experiencing transformation on the other side, I believe, is that our consciousness is closer to a meditative state. Or maybe it’s easier to get there. We see the short term change, yet we’re tapped into the infinite nature of everything. For spirits there is a “right now” in which we experience emotions just as we do on earth, but there’s also something else, too.
I don’t want to generalize and say it’s like this for every individual consciousness on the other side. From my experience, it seems there are souls who need healing, who need to learn a few things before they get to this state. But I also think that the meditative, peaceful state of consciousness is more obvious on the other side.
The greatest benefit I’ve noticed from a meditation practice is exactly what Buddhists talk about: mastering the mind. Some modern interpretations of Buddhist wisdom say things like: He who is the master of his own mind, is the master of his world.
The broader implication is what we’ve been learning about how we create our own reality with our thoughts, but more immediately, until we master manifestation like our Yogi and Guru teachers, we can begin to master our *experience* of the reality we face. That alone is transformative.
George is here, and he gently points out that I can transform my fear experience during meditation, and of course, he’s absolutely right. Huh. See, this is why I blog, it helps me to learn.
George, (what would you like to say about meditation / last night / fear response to change)?
It begins with self-worth, understanding you are worthy of a peaceful state.
Huh. I didn’t think about it terms of a self-esteem issue.
To allow yourself peace of mind is to value your state of mind. Once you understand you are (the creator/master of your mind state / experience) you need simply to grant yourself that state.
Oh Geroge, I love how you tell me “simply”. I believe you when you tell me things are simple. Clearly it’s a simple concept. And I like that idea. So that’s something for me to think about, why do I withhold that peaceful state.
As children of (God), it is our birthright. (Shows me this state of mind that’s equivalent to returning to the womb – we were created in peace, we may return to peace at any time because it is our home.)
That has got to be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever written. Channeled, you know.
George, are you at peace?
I am all the time. (smiles)
(Dude, is that a joint? There was some back-and –forth on this photo, and we ended up including it in the end. What the hell, the context is funny.)
George, Ravi (http://www.ravishankar.org/) left his body yesterday; how’s he doing? (I assume it’s too early to speak with him.)
(Big laugh, happiness) Yes our friend has returned! (There is joy, rejoicing, great love and happiness around him right now.) It is a celebration!
Sunshine (our cat) said his music fills the house with rainbows.
That is lovely, I will tell him that. (He didn’t like cats when he was alive? Did I get that George? He nods, which is why it’s funny a cat is complementing his music.)
Was there some special timing of his death? He lived so long, to die right before 12-12-12.
(Numbers have no meaning on the other side, it wasn’t planned in relation to our calendar. He was just finished with his life and ready to return home.)
When I studied sitar with Ravi, that was a time I felt unworthy (of the gift of mastering the sitar). That is what held me back in my studies, I felt like an imposter next to Ravi, who studied the instrument all his life. He assured me I could learn, but I felt (limited, small, unworthy) especially as a Beatle (rock star) already “mastered” a very simple instrument, yet here, with the sitar, I was like a child. It was quite uncomfortable.
Do you play the sitar now?
(Laughs!) Yes and I am still learning! (But) This time I do not/will not give up.
So, if we don’t exactly have bodies in heaven, why does it take practice to learn sitar in heaven?
Because that is how I choose to learn.
Ah. I get that.
It is nice to be understood.
Would you please (greet Ravi, thank him for us, extend our heart connection to him) when possible, on our behalf? I am very happy for him, returning home, after such an incredible life.
I will. (And remember we are / you are all incredible beings of one light!) (He’s teasing and serious.)
Do you have anything else to say about meditation / this entry?
Yes (acknowledging / enjoying the humourous connection between peeing and meditation. He likes the kegels reference, and says it’s appropriate – stopping / controlling your stream of thought is just like stopping / controlling one’s stream of urine! And a lovely visual there, thank you G!)
Usually it’s John who gives me visuals like that.
Can’t let him have all the fun!
Love you, George. Thank you, teacher in heaven.
3 thoughts on “Meditation: Kegels for the mind”
That theme of self-esteem and worthiness came up for me the other day as well, but in a different way.
I got kind of upset/frustrated at work. I managed to bring it out with a positive outcome though and in retrospect I have to wonder whether I set it up.
I started out the day in reflection kind of going, “Okay, this woman is still kind of getting on my nerves even though I’ve been actively working on trying to see her as a real person, trying to relate to her, trying to take a walk in her shoes, trying to see myself reflected in her, trying to see her as my ‘kind mother’, trying to see the both of us as parts of this big, shining body of light”. None of which seemed to be working. I just could not relate to her at all. Then Kurt pops in. He’s like,
“Really? *I* can relate to her”
“Oh? How’s that?”
“People hated working with me for the same reasons. I wasn’t clear about what I wanted, I contradicted myself, I expected everyone to automatically understand what I wanted and then I got annoyed when they didn’t get it right, and I avoided confrontation because I didn’t want to be the bad guy. You really like me but you can’t stand her; what’s the difference?”
“Well, for one thing she doesn’t listen…”
“I didn’t listen either. Do *you* always listen?”
“…Uh… I’ve been told that maybe I don’t, always…?”
So, I gave all that some serious thought, but ended up eventually feeling frustrated anyway. I kept my cool and I kept my mouth shut and went and hid in a bathroom, and I was like, “Ok guys, you’ve *got* to help me. I can’t storm out of here, I can’t blow this up, but I feel like I want to kill her, and I don’t know what to do”. And one of them says,
“Yes, this is an excellent opportunity to change your response pattern when it comes to anger”.
“Okay yeah, I want to do that. I’m willing to put my pride aside, I don’t need to be right, just fix this, please”.
And then I don’t really know what happened, I took some deep breaths and I was able to laugh the whole thing off, I emerged from the bathroom, we smoothed things over and everything was fine.
Then later on I was reflecting on this and Kurt shows me a landmine (I don’t know what a landmine looks like, what I saw was one of those red buttons sitting on a pile of dirt, like in the Worms videogame) which I understood to be my anger. And he says,
“You try to lay low and stay out of people’s way, but if you get stepped on, then someone’s going to lose a leg”.
Me: “Hmm. Scary”
“Yes. (pause) Well, don’t go being *proud* of that, or anything”.
And I’m thinking on that, that maybe I should try not to explode, or explode with less force. Now he shows me the same cartoon landmine but now it’s got a red flag on it, like a triangle on top of a long pole.
“You can’t dissolve anger by focusing on anger”. Now I see that landmine area also sectioned off. “You need boundaries. You don’t have to subordinate your emotions. If people don’t know who you are they won’t know what kinds of things are going to offend you”. Then he explained that I don’t seem to think I *deserve* to have boundaries if they inconvenience other people. That’s where the self-esteem and worthiness thing comes in. I don’t set up boundaries, but I do enforce them, and that can be confusing for people who don’t know me that well.
Anyway that all had me thinking about boundaries as they relate to emotions, and how emotions can be “inconvenient” for ourselves or others. I was one of those really sensitive children, who was just like an open book, whatever I was feeling. I would cry a lot and people would always try to get me to stop, I think less out of concern and more that it made them uncomfortable or that they felt like they needed to “control” the situation of a crying child. Or I’d blush really easily, so I was just like an open book. And I couldn’t control my laughter, either, which would get me into trouble because there were just a lot of things that I couldn’t take seriously. (That eventually blew up into a situation where my teacher screamed at me in French and called stupid because I couldn’t stop laughing at her while she was trying to scold our class, because I thought the whole situation was so ridiculous). I had to learn how to reign that all in.
The point is, what I’m learning right now is that I *deserve* to express myself. Which is really nice. That ties in to art as well, learning how to do less self-editing, and be less self-critical of my creative output.
Wow, Sweetie. You amaze me.
Pingback: 2019: The Year of Leaving Behind! | Kate Sitka