Monday, June 27, 2016

Why I Meditate


I started to meditate in my early 30's I'm in my 60's now.

As a kid, Mom was firmly religious and Dad was firmly secular. They were both wonderful people: honest, brave, creative, full of love and laughter, and I loved them both. But I felt I had to choose.

Since Dad's view seemed to be more accepting of people as they are and provide more opportunity for a larger community, and Mom's side seemed more like a club you had to say the right words to join, I swung over to Dad's side.

By the time I reached 30, life had already hit me with some blows that had knocked me to my knees and the secular-only approach wasn't working. My main goal in life since I'd been a little kid was to be happy. So I turned to meditation to see if I could attain a happy mental state that wouldn't impair my ability to function, (in other words, without drugs.)

It took practice, but it was the right thing for me to do. I'd been so busy listening to the loud voices: phones, tv, news, opinions of others, that I was missing the subtler voices.

For me it also cracked open an intuition I was taught to ignore as a kid who shared a twin-thing. It led me to Buddhist practice and eventually back to the church I left as a disgruntled teen. In fairness it's because the local parish priest is amazing. I'm still a practicing Buddhist, but go to church every Sunday. I find no conflict at all between the two.

Stilling the chatter is not for the faint of heart, it takes courage to step into the unknown. Timing is everything. I had to move into it when the time was right.

How has it changed my life?

  • Well life is still hard at times, some mornings I do not want to get out of bed. It is happy and sad, fun and awful. But I am easier with life.
  • Under all that grand mess is something wonderful that I have met now and again and want to learn more about.
  • As splendid as the mind is, I treat it more as an assistant, than my boss.
  • Stilling the chatter has taught me that I am not supposed to get life right. What a revelation !
  • It's taught me that it isn't the big ticket things that make me happy but the 100 little joys in a day that when added up make for a happy day. But I do have to pay attention to them or they fly right by.
It also taught me that there is a way to bridge the opposing views of my parents. Meditation taught me that there is room to love us all, and love well.