Meditation is a gift when times are happy and when times are sad, when life is easy and when it is challenging. The reason why meditation can provide support is because it is real and trains us to BE in the reality of the moment no matter what the outer circumstance.
It takes time to establish meditative habits, just as time and repetition is needed to stabilize any habit, beneficial or detrimental. Yet, like learning to play music or how to read and write, the skill of meditation effects every part of one’s body, emotions, mental abilities, personal consciousness, and wide-ranging awareness. Therefore, any effort in meditation is an investment, and the truth is that the return will be beyond measure.
Meditation inspired me to create a meditation and retreat center. Meditation has seen us through the hard times, the creative times, and the times of transformation. That continues to this day.
Meditation has gotten me through the difficulties of a body that has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). But because of meditation, I never lost resolve or perspective. Meditation ensured a way to align, tap into the truth of Being, let go what was to be let go, build upon what remained. Meditation kept me strong in the most important components of myself – inner truth. With that, the physical life and body could adjust and grow in deeper ways.
Now, as my youngest sister is dying of cancer, the daily practice of meditation and the space and clarity of heart and mind that it has provided is precious and gentle. I take refuge in the constancy of understanding that mindfulness brings. As the rest of my loving family struggles with roller coaster feelings and no substantial answers to deep and poignant questions of the heart, I am consoled by answers that only meditation and a contemplative life can offer. How is it that meditation can furnish these things? Through the taming and training of mind and reactiveness, one can abide in the direct and uniquely personal experience of universal truths.
Smile? Yes, because even in the saddness, life is amazing and knowing that reveres my sister more than anything else.
Breath, flow, coming and going? Yes. Breath is space – empty of thoughts, projections, desires, or loss. Breath simply is itself: Life. Yet it is flow; it comes and goes, it comes and goes. Life does too. Death is the yin to the yang livingness we call life. They are inseparable, and one whole. But we do disservice to the yin of death not fully acknowledging that every letting go, every transformation, every falling asleep is a death of some measure. Breath, mindful breathing and meditation, remind us of this. Then, when death of someone we know or love is part of our life, we can recognize the wholeness being offered to our understanding.
Soften, open, receive. Soften, open, release? Yes. It has been a six year journey with cancer for my youngest sister. She is 42. Over and over again, she lived this step of The Practice and of meditation. We all do, every day.
Thank you to everyone for your patience as The Practice has not been live and online or newly posted in a while. I am grateful for you all in my life – whether we have met or not. Joy fills my soul to know that all over the world people are meditating, with lots of practices, in lots of ways, but all are gaining the experience of truths that only meditation can provide.