Recently, all i talk about is working out and meditating…i must sound so fucking annoying.
Paula Watkins’ “Meditation Made Simple” breaks down the act of meditation for everyone who was ever curious about or interested in meditation; each approach is given its own chapter, which, conveniently enough, total 52, one for each week of the year. The lessons at the beginning provide a foundation for the more advanced methods that come later.
Some favorites: “Sky Mind,” in which you imagine every thought and sensation as “clouds”, always changing and moving, in the unchanging sky–you. Or “Six Senses” which begins by focusing on the stimuli comingin thru your different senses, and then on your awareness of being aware thru your senses. Cultivating that sixth sense, an awareness of being aware, is one of the end “goals” of meditation.
After practicing these exercises for a few weeks, Im starting to get the hype, not to mention the health benefits, of meditation. It gives you “space” from your physical experience (“spaciousness” is the word Watkins likes to use). As if the “real” you is having this experience called “being human”–living at the height of their technological achievements, in its most prosperous country, and in my own particular twist of irony, incarcerated. That underlying consciousness could just as easily be that of an alien on a faraway planet (and probably is).
Life becomes experienced as a series of fleeting sensations, some enjoyable and even ecstatic, others profoundly less so; all of them temporary and ephemeral.
Maybe because the spirit world seems to impinge upon our physical one during this time of year, but I feel like I’m picking up messages from the universe during meditation. These are the same for all of us, only varying in the details, and they are:
I was born for this; Ive come to accomplish something on earth in this lifetime. After all, if Im not dead after a half dozen overdoses and other close calls, I believe there’s a divinely ordained reason for it.
“You can lock up my body, but my mind stays free” is the favorite refrain of defiance for the healthy prisoner…so much of society seems hell bent on locking us into thinking in binary, us-vs-them thinking that it’s a particularly apt credo for the rebellion against this ideological totalitarianism.