I have been sitting a lot lately. Why? Because my meditation teacher is making me, because I made the commitment to myself to continue after being at the Ashram, and because I am teaching my students about meditation. Fall is a great time to sit, if your energy gets a little erratic with the change of seasons, like mine does. The practice of meditation has gifted me with a chance to find stillness, and a place to stop the chatter in my head, even if only for a moment. The more I practice, the more I notice the practice seaping into other aspects of my life. For example: I will walk around the park taking in the colors of the leaves and their own mysterious erratic energy as they change from green to a bouquet of orange and red. Usually, I would be running around the park just to check off my jog for the day. A refreshing peak into the details of my day, that I would normally rush by, has been a lovely result of committing to sitting. Meditation is a great way for bringing stillness into our worlds and, within that stillness, feel the love that exists within ourselves.
In the midst of this mindful retreat, a friend of mine was going into the hospital for a serious operation, and having been through the cancer journey before, was not sure what to expect on the other side. I received an email with a link to a blog, developed by she and her family, to keep everyone aware of her progress and to organize a healing community around her, during this 8 hour surgery, and the healing beyond. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I witnessed great love, support, and community, proving that she is not alone on this walk. Her own strength and beauty, reflected in her words on my computer screen, were an inspiration and teacher to me. I thought about our technology, and how separate it makes us. Yet, here is an opportunity to keep us connected and sharing our prayers and support through the same devices. Duality existing even in the land of the information super highway.
Meditation brings stillness and clears out our STUFF, but nothing clears out the vrittis (mind chatter) in our lives faster than peeking into the mortality of our physical bodies on this sacred playground. Humans are amazing during a time of need when the veil of egoic want is lifted. It is like an instantaneous purge of our selfishness. There is a ripe moment where none of us knows how we really got here. Then, flows an infinity of love that exudes from within. We are all waiting for the chance to serve, and when it arrives, it just happens.
It is during these moments, when all becomes still, that you can witness the divine within you waiting to love…quite the opposite of what we do the rest of the time. We are usually caught up in our stories of waiting to be loved, complaining that we are not loved enough, or worst of all, undeserving of love.
As I got on with my “to do” list… after meditating, reading the blog, crying, praying, juicing, putting some of the cucumbers over my eyes (to reduce puffiness), and then crying some more, it was time to take my daughter to school. On the way, I noticed a couple kissing in their car at the stoplight and I immediately thought, ”they are obviously not married or heading anywhere important today if they can kiss each other like that, at 7:30 in the morning.” Then I noticed another couple standing on the corner, just moments later, kissing each other, baby cooing in the stroller beside them. Today, during the lunch hour, I noticed a couple slow dancing on the corner waiting for the light to turn green. What is happening? Have I lost my mind. Is Fort Wayne the city of lip-locked lovers on every street corner and I just haven’t been aware of it until now? The one thing these lovers had in common is that they were all at stoplights. We are usually so caught up in the fast pace of our lives, that we are on autopilot. Many times, it takes a teacher to make you stop and sit; or a traumatic event, to stop us in our tracks. When we stop, love spills out, whether we are at a stoplight, or on our knees or meditation cushions. This is our divine nature. Love is what gets us through our day at our possibly monotonous jobs, and love is what is waiting to heal us when we wake from an intense 8 hour surgery. Most importantly, Love is what we are if we can just stop and get out of our own way. Just don’t stop breathing, even those lip-locked lovers will eventually have to come up for air. Unfortunately and fortunately, the light will turn green.
Spill out love with this Tibetan Buddhist Meditation
Imagine a person you wish to serve in uplifting. Breathe in the pain of this person. Imagine it as a gray cloud that is transformed within you to pure light. Breathe out to that person spaciousness, healing or love. You can do this for anyone: the homeless mother that you pass on the street, a sick friend, someone you choose to forgive, or yourself.