As I was in the shower today I had one of my epiphanies. Having just done my walk, yoga and mediation–I suppose I was ripe for this moment to come flsahing into my brain, especially since I have been sharing some thoughts recently with a very special friend. They revolve around meditation actually, how we get to that special state we so often hear about of complete inner peace or contemplation that the advanced masters teach. But our conversations are also centered around spirituality: what we as individuals chose to practice, what resonates with us and how we relate these practices to our world.
I am a complete novice when it comes to meditation, having only been at it a short time, and almost never seeming to be close to any kind of place I’ve heard. I’ve read books, articles and listened to talks about how one quiets the mind (not an easy task for this ADD/OCD girl) of all thoughts to help attain the path to a meditative state. This then, as I understand it, carries over into daily life as an inner calmness one can draw from when necessary. For me, with so many thoughts flinging around in my head all the time, it becomes quite a chore to chase them away, but there are methods to help with this, the prime one being coming back to the breath.
My practice is to do my yoga, and maybe a walk and/or run first to prepare my body prior to my mediation. From what I have read, this is not uncommon. The yogis often use yoga as a way to ready the body to get into the meditative state. This made perfect sense to me today while I was in the shower.
Yesterday, I had a very small break through while mediating. First, I did it longer than I had ever done it. While I was doing it, for a brief moment, I began to sense a noise in my head–not the usual whoosh I sometimes hear in my ears, but almost a musical noise. I can only describe it as a note or tone that sounded as though it was cosmic or celestial or earthly. And then there was a light. Again, not the flashy lights I normally see behind my eyes, but this was something more, something deeper and more brilliant. And then both were gone as quickly as they came. And the thoughts were drifting back in and out and I couldn’t get back to that place.
I told my friend, who has been mediating far longer than me, and he told me he had never experienced anything like what I had described. Today in the shower I thought about this fact. This is when some things came together for me. He does not practice yoga prior, nor does he do much physical in his life. While he is an extremely spiritual person, he does little for his physical ‘temple’. He has some medical issues due to diet also.
Years ago I was an avid athlete running 60-70 miles per week, doing marathons, running races a couple of times a week and speed work too. I ran myself ragged and to injuries. I was a vegetarian and thought I was taking care of my temple, but in a sense I wasn’t due to over doing it, plus my spiritual self was neglected completely. Now, though, I am much more balanced about my athletics, more careful and mellow. While I still workout every day to be healthy, I don’t hurt myself any longer. I take care of my body and am careful what I eat and my spiritual practices, while very personal, they are also vital to my well-being.
There is a third piece of the puzzle necessary, I believe, to be able to reach this state of nirvana and that is to have love in one’s heart. I certainly didn’t have it back in the day, but am attaining it more and more as the days pass now. Trying to have it on a daily basis, even for difficult people in my life is a challenge. And hopefully I will have it in a big way soon.
So what I see is a balance of these three things: spiritual awareness, the healthy treatment of one’s physical temple and keeping love in one’s heart in order to truly be able to reach a state true meditative state of nirvana. This bliss, this letting go of ego and thoughts is not easy for us in a world filled with sounds, sights, desires, greed, lust, food, money and all that tugs on us. For me it is something I am having to learn, to breathe and to dig deep within myself to still my soul.
But that one moment of cosmic music I heard followed by the flash of the light showed me there is something worth following that is way bigger than me.