The sky is so blue when the storm has passed. It is clear in a way that it never seems to be on normal days. When it is cold, deeply cold like it is today, it is as if nothing can be in that air other than the blue. There is a deep beauty to this kind of day, you have to take a moment, slow down, and let it unfurl before your eyes. It is funny, I did not used to look at the world with this set of eyes, and they seem to grown in clarity over the last year, as my vision has slowed down, the clarity with which I see has changed.
It has really been a grand experiment, one that I started without any clear goal other than sticking to the experiment on a daily basis for as long as I could. It wasn’t even a really mad, crazy, well-conceived experiment; really, it was more of one of those “this seems like a good idea“ sort of things. I had been meditating regularly, usually once a day in the morning. One day it struck me, “I wonder how long I could meditate on a daily basis?’ So I began, unceremoniously, to see how long it would last. Every day I would sit, set the timer, and turn my attention inside. Some days I would have a guided meditation to follow, but for the most part, I simply noticed my breath as intimately as I could.
I was using Insight Timer, and I noticed there was a place to write a small journal, that felt like a good idea, so I started writing a little bit every day after I finished my meditation. The timer would end, and the journal would open, and I would write out whatever was on my mind in that moment. There was a feeling of completion that came with the writing, like it helped integrate the process into my life a bit more. On the timer, there is the opportunity to say thank you to folks who had meditated with me that day, and I took time each day to thank those who meditated with me, if not in space, then in time. One day I received a very kind message from a fellow meditator, and it prompted my thinking, maybe I could share these meandering thoughts I wrote in my journal with those that were sitting with me. The meditation timer allows me to send a free form message to people who meditate during the same time that I did. I amended my messages of thanks and gratitude, and added a copy of the journal entry from that day’s meditation. Whatever showed up for me that day during meditation, that is what I shared. Soon enough the urge to share spread, I began posting these messages in other places as well, and I received feedback from others about how these messages landed with them. This one little mad experiment, to see if I could meditate on a daily basis and how long I might be able to do it, had grown. And much like the experiment itself, it grew from little nudges that seemed to well up within me. Nothing big like Archimedes running into the streets screaming Eureka, but little nudges here and there to try this, try that. Little nudges that take me outside my comfort zone, sharing what is intrinsically an intimate internal process with others. Sharing a process that is revealing about who I am, and where I am, yet it seems like the thing I should do, and so I continue. In the process, my sense of seeing the world I inhabit, and the ways in which I inhabit this world, has changed; things that used to flow by unnoticed catch my eye, hold my attention, and give me the chance to see a world that was no longer moving at light speed.
Like most things in life if we stop and look back on it we kind of wonder where did all that really begin? How did I get to where I am now from where I started? What a strange, strange journey this had been. Today, I once again share my message with those who sit and meditate with me on Insight Timer, and I take a moment to write a small haiku that encapsulates the message for me before I post it to other places. I smile at the delight that it has become to do this activity. The joy I take from stepping out of the way to let my thoughts arise for my journal, composing the haiku, writing it for others to see and posting it where it can be seen. I take joy in the response, and feedback I get from others, to know that I am not the only one who feels this way is liberating, it removes the loneliness that sometimes seems to engulf a life. To know that others find value in the thoughts that normally simply ramble around in my head, to see that others have thoughts that are similar helps me not feel quite so crazy, helps me not feel so alone, helps me feel like I’m connected to this world.
So, my experiment continues, shifting and changing a little bit each day as I gain more of an understanding about who I am. And really, isn’t that the experiment in the first place? The reason for being, to look, understand, and learn?
From today’s meditation, day 443….
Within my chest the last OM still resonates as I step into the kitchen to put the kettle on... the tingle in my heart, my throat, my head lingers as does the soft stillness that accompanied the chant... it changes my actions, slows them; it changes my attention, softens it; it changes my point of view, eases it; it changes my heart, opens it... breaks it open to its own truth, its own desire, its own freedom to simply love... and with the tingling of OM resounding in my body I follow my heart out into this day... namaste
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