My Own Meditation

I have meditated in starts and stops since I was in my twenties. I always felt there was something there, and, on occasion, even had extraordinary experiences. But I always fell off at some point and left it behind. Mostly, I meditated in silence, which for me was a difficult task because it seemed to take so much more patience. Unless I was sitting near a flowing creek or in some beautiful Nature setting, my restlessness would rise and I would wage an inner battle on whether to just get up and go do something or to stay with my meditation.

Then five years ago I began to use guided meditations. Something about having the right voice guide me allowed me to let go and just be with the experience. The “right voice” is key, both in vibration/sound and in the content of what is said. Another key element in guided meditations making easier to stay with the practice — is knowing how long you will meditate. When we know how long our commitment is, it’s easier to settle in and let go of our restlessness.

The meditations I first did were long. An hour and fourteen minutes. And they were perfect for me. I was so ready, and my gratitude so full, that I lost myself in those meditations and did them every day. Only occasionally would I miss a day. I just loved my new practice and it never seemed long. Something inside me was changing from the beginning. I felt more hopeful in life. I felt more loved. I felt that I was being cared for and nurtured by all of Life.

The first week I experienced an extraordinarily meaningful coincidence. It was Christmas morning and I walked into a coffee shop and there was an elderly man waiting for me by a Christmas tree in the corner. Yes, he had a white beard, though it was only rough stubble. He smiled at me and commented on a family across the room, the only other people there. He said something like “that little girl is lighting up the room.” I looked over and said, “she has not yet lost the Divine connection, has she?” The man almost gasped, then looked into my eyes and said, “You KNOW, don’t you?” And we spent an hour and a half on Christmas morning talking and laughing in ways usually only old friends do. The sacred energy and love around us was unmistakable. I knew without a doubt that he was waiting for me there because I was meditating and opening my life. The awareness which was expanding inside me had led me there.

Being the darkest time of year, I grew to love the early sunset because that is when I meditated. I somehow associated dusk with the perfect time for me to meditate. It was the most intimate experience, settling into my chair, blanket across my lap, ear buds in and dark glasses over my eyes for total immersion. Almost every time I would meditate, near the end I would cry in relief. And my meditation would become a prayer of gratitude. It was something I will be grateful for forever because I simply knew the truth in what I was doing. I didn’t have to navigate doubts or waste energy wondering if it was real. I knew it was real. More real than anything else I’d ever done.

After a very short time I started to notice my own mind. Those racing thoughts you have that will not stop? I started seeing mine as if they were apart from me, something I could observe. To my great surprise, one morning in the shower I inadvertently noticed my own mind doing something that may sound crazy to you, but it was my experience. I witnessed my own mind frantically flittering about like a panicked little bird, seeking some negative place upon which to perch. It was having trouble finding any such thing because I was calm of mind and spirit. I understood instantly what was happening. My daily meditation was bringing forth more love and calmness in me. The ego, in the habit of running things and often creating fear and doubt, panicked and needed to get my attention. “Negativity! Negativity! Must get your attention!” But now I had seen it at work. It was not taking the lead any more. I was starting to wake up without worries. I was beginning to think less thoughts and more often just be at peace with myself.

My enthusiasm was so great that I wanted everyone to have that opportunity. It was impossible to be experiencing something so full of love and life and wonder and to not want to share it with every one I knew. I did that. In truth, most did not really feel drawn toward the meditations — or they may have, but just couldn’t take the time. A few did though, and have stayed with it or evolved to other meditations. I did not push it on anyone but anytime we were around each other I would share my experiences and what was happening with me. I could see that my friends were interested, that they knew I was experiencing something real, but I think some could not always make the leap to how it could happen for them.

A year or so into this, one of my friends who does not meditate said, “there is no doubt something is really happening for you, Michael. Your friends see it. It’s like you’ve somehow become more you.” That was such a beautiful way to put it and it sounded true to me. Meditation is not a religion. It’s not a philosophy. It is a conduit to your own higher knowing. And if for you there is religion within that, you will experience it at a deeper level than ever before. If your faith is more in a spiritual realm than an organized, taught one, that too will become more rich. Or maybe what you believe will prove to have nothing at all to do with what you begin to experience. Meditation, when it leads to the vastness within you, tends to unravel beliefs that no longer serve you, and replace them with wonder and gratitude and expansion. When you slow your thinking, when you release rampant thoughts, there is now room for presence. And in that presence there is revealed a calmer, wiser you.

I could write for days about extraordinary, miraculous events and common every day ones, insights and gifts given to me by Life through my practice of meditation. Sometimes those stories come up and I tell them. But for now, this is what I leave you with; If you will start to notice your breath and make a space in your life for some form of meditation, I know there will be gifts for you. They will surprise you. You may cry in relief. You will want to share something of the experience with others. And none of this will be because you or I are special. It will come because this is a gift we were all given, a beautiful healing grace given all of Humanity since the beginning. We have just forgotten it existed. It’s still there if we will allow it a space to blossom. That’s really what my intention is here; I wish to help you make a space for more love and life and peace to come through you — the soulful being that you already are.

In Friendship,
~Michael Tomlinson
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