“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
– Inego Montoya, The Princess Bride
Over the course of a year, I’ve been taking some meditation classes. They’re rad, but talking about meditation tends to elicit a particular response. As if meditation is some pinnacle of spiritual maturity or an imperative of “wokeness,” the very word Meditation conjures up images of monks teetering precariously on mountain tops, blissed out hippies, or spiritual leaders with all the answers. It’s one of those practices that seem unattainable to many and those who meditate somehow possess enlightenment, are able to transcend the evil “ego,” and are therefore “better” in some way than those who do not meditate.
Folks often excuse themselves from the practice of meditation based on a false idea of what Meditation is; the most common excuse is, “My mind is always racing, I can’t clear my head long enough to meditate.”
Allow me to address this misconception and put that racing mind at ease —
– Meditation is not the elimination of all thoughts from one’s mind.
– The goal and purpose of meditation is not to think of nothing.
– The goal and purpose of meditation is to think of something – anything – and to direct one’s focus on a single concept.
Meditation turns thoughts into thought.
If you’ve ever read any of my previous posts you may recognize a pattern, I often begin with a definition and a very basic etymological break down. Shall we?
verb: meditate; 3rd person present: meditates; past tense: meditated; past participle: meditated; gerund or present participle: meditating
- think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
- think deeply or carefully about (something).”he went off to meditate on the new idea”
- plan mentally; consider.”they had suffered severely, and they began to meditate retreat”
The root of the word meditate is MED – which means to measure, to give advice, and to heal.
Medical, Mediate, Medal, Medicine, Medium/Media, Meddle, Medium (the size between Large and Small)
MED illustrates the process of meditation.
Choosing the focus of mediation is central to the desired outcome – Energy flows where attention goes – but the PROCESS of turning an infinite pool of possible thoughts into focus of a single concept begs us to measure, advise, and heal our relationship to that concept.
Choose any focus for your mediation. My current practice is to focus on Light. This means a good bit to me, but if you would choose a mandala, world peace, the chakras, a mantra, a pinecone, or a sales goal, go right ahead. You are the conductor of your reality.
As we dive into the first moments of our meditation we MEASURE the concept in all the ways we can possibly conceive. We use our senses to engage our focus, to sweep away extraneous thoughts that do not apply. We measure our focal point against the backdrop of our perceived reality and gauge its meaning within those parameters.
As the excess thoughts begin to drift and drop and we train our brains on the meditation at hand, the measure gives way to ADVICE – a mediation between self and concept – where we examine our relationship to the focal point. We dive into the Why’s and the Wherefore’s of our focal point, at once pondering our motivation and allowing the concept to guide us deeper into understanding it through the reflection of self.
This is where HEALING takes its course – where once were a thousand reeling options for contemplation we have allowed ourselves to become one with the focus of our meditation practice. It is no longer something we are thinking about, it is not even a thing separate from one’s self. It simply is as you are. And in that oneness you heal the illusion of separation and allow the essence of “itness” to integrate its truth into your reality, your being, your mind, and even some inner spaces unknowable at the time.
I’m not here to to tell you TO meditate or what to meditate on or even prove its benefits or detriments – I simply wish to clarify the concept in order to make it accessible to more people. If you wish to begin meditating for any reason, feel free to invent your own practice or borrow from any number of existing methods.
Remember that meditation is not the evacuation of all thoughts but a practice in choosing a single thought and cultivating a neural pathway through the mind to isolate and contemplate that thought for a period of time.
Meditation turns thoughts into thought.
The word universe means “to turn into one.”
It’s been a while since I have posted and I have yet to post a personal,
stream of consciousness piece here…..so….yeah.
I continue to find it impossible to live and write simultaneously.
As my story unfolds, it feels all too vulnerable/foolhardy/impatient to turn
the pertinent and intimate events of my life over to words while
anticipating every pending revelation of tomorrow’s unknowns.
Hindsight. Reflection. Time.
These retrospectives give Space for understanding, insight, and the
utilities of concept, metaphor, and development that form a cohesive
and interesting report on an otherwise tangled mess of a personal journey.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t write. Or scribble. Or scratch. Or doodle.
Or muse. Or repeat the same mundane paragraph that haunts every journal;
a pep talk, usually, about how no matter how great or awful __(life)___ might
feel in that moment, change is inevitable. The pages of my notebooks are salted and
peppered with hopeful, “You can do it, buddy’s,” half-hearted “Fuck this shit’s,”
lists of good intent, and lots of bad ideas.
Often on the same page.
And eventually the unknowns become known.
The story progresses, the chapters begin and end in harmony with the seasons, or weeks,
or months, or years…whichever arbitrary system we use to mark these inevitable changes.
And along with the physical, visceral, ethereal, real, and imagined transformations,
when change is ACKNOWLEDGED it is ultimately a reflection of our own growth and
increased understanding through the personal journey.
That’s what makes the present so elusive and boring.
Change is happening right now. And now. And now. And now. And now.
To attempt to capture the present is to lose it entirely.
That is, to convey any notion of present-ness – its eternal permanence and passing –
forces us to search for meaning and knowledge from the past, apply these
definitions to a “now” that is simultaneously expiring and yet to exist, relative to
predisposed predictions about the infinite possibilities of an unknowable future.
It is this Time and Space… or non-Time and non-Space… of the present moment
wherein lies the magic and the mystery. The infinite knowing that the present
is the only thing that *actually* exists and since you’re the only thing responsible
for your reality, it is your life’s work to be present with each moment
as they ebb and flow and zoom and wander through your being in a single breath times infinity.
This is the power of Being.
Of unconditional Love.
Of Accepting that every thing is temporary.
Of Gratitude for what has been, what is, and will be.
The present moment is a chance to shape your future as it gives way to
past knowledge and intentions.
It’s how dreams become reality and where your magic is no longer a surprise visitor.
It’s an opportunity to create and cultivate a life worthy of you living it.
Right here-right here.
Right now-right now.
It is an honor and a privilege to be sharing my gifts with you all at this amazing event! Celebrate Samhain with us and get into the magic of the season through music, dancing, performance, and mystical experiences throughout the night!
At some point in your frolicking, stop by and see me and I’ll be answering the question: “What do you need to get what you want?” Through divination of casting stones and drawing fun unicorn cards find out what you need to get that thing you been seeking!! Click the link below for more information.
“Letting go is like…..the hardest thing ever….until you let go. Then you realize that hanging on was the hardest thing ever and really, it was the transition that you feared most.” – yours truly
From sleep to awake
Vacation back to work
Cradle to Grave
All discomfort and not knowing and newness and unfamiliar stuff happening.
Change is inevitable.
We invented time to measure change.
Change is more real than time.
With each breath, each passing day, change is ever upon us; on the horizon, down the street, in front of your eyes and you are it. Because you change. All day everyday. Change comes from within. Change your mind. Change your perspective. Change your definition of success. Change your furniture. Change the song that’s playing. Even that millisecond of silence between songs offers endless possibilities : a shitty song comes on, a great song comes on, battery dies – no music, app closes unexpectedly….and that’s just in the silence between songs.
Let go of your expectation for change to be predictable.
It is the essence of change – of transition – that forces us into Faith, Trust, Hope, and Acceptance of what has been, what is, and what is yet to be.
as i peruse my old journals and doodles and notes and jots, time and time again i see how i knew all the answers before they became apparent to my consciousness. muddling through the details, sweating the small stuff, wondering how ever in the world was i going make it through….
looking over old texts, clearing out emails and messages, i also see tons of answers to my own questions…making me further realize that all that i need i already have within me. sometimes i just have to take my own advice.
do you look over your old journals and notes? what do you see throughout the years? do you find this kind of information useful?
if you see patterns of negativity in your personal paper trail, you can change your present course by saying (or yelling) “ok, self…listen up!! we’re gonna change a few things around here, but it’s for the better – so your cooperation at this time is greatly appreciated!!!”
if you mess up, forgive yourself and move on. each moment is a new opportunity. if you hit a wall, change your definition of success. make your goal something you can easily accomplish in a day.
somewhere, buried in all of us, are the all the answers we’ll ever need…since we’re the ones who make the questions in the first place.
on the path of becoming more myself, i have encountered a number
of detours along the way. diverging from my track to explore other
territories, derailed by doubt and fear, coaxed from the trail by
curiosity, boredom, misguided hope, laziness….
i often stray from the spiritual path…and am quickly reminded
of how much more difficult Life is when i try to be something i’m not.
when i follow in another’s footsteps, i lose sight of my own.
where i’ve been, where i am and where i’m going all gets lost
in somebody else’s idea of being. all of a sudden, i look up and
i’ve wandered so far from my own path that i can’t even see
what set me off track in the first place.
that’s when i realize that it’s all part of the journey.
the detours and divergent paths of distraction are
opportunities to practice what i’ve learned
and more importantly:
to learn what needs more practice.
it is this crucial lesson that is to be
brought forth by such wanderings…
to become illuminated by imperfection.
basking in my own humanity i am reminded of my path;
of my own, personal journey to perfection
of becoming the perfect me
…which i already am.
Lotsa folks these days are saying,
“I’m not so much religious, I’m spiritual.”
Well that’s fine and dandy, but I find that I’m
very religious and quite spiritual.
Rites, rituals, celebrations, formalities, ceremony…
all of this facilitates the spiritual experience.
Otherwise, how would we know when the Spirit of God was falling or not?
Can we even tear the two apart?
Can we be religious without being spiritual
or spiritual without being religious?
Right now the practical isn’t working, so I’m resorting to magic.
It’s not always – or even often – the case, but I’ve done the research and it seems that it’s time for magic right now. Throw all your rules and rulers out the window because magic doesn’t care about guidelines or gurus. Magic cares about you, it cares about here and it cares about now. That’s about it. Everything else is beyond the realm of YOUR magic’s reach. Because magic comes from within.
The timing is wrong, the results are not yielding in the familiar ways. What happens when the practical is the only magic you know? “Effectiveness is the measure of truth” and “There’s always another way to do anything” come to mind.
It’s time to let go, to go with the flow, to love unconditionally, to believe in your dreams, to imagine new heights, to ask for the impossible; it’s time to level the fuck up.
And so far it’s working.
It works better than stressing.
It works better than guessing.
Magic works the way only it knows how.
Fueled by Faith and Encouraged by Hope, Magic happens when there’s Love.
Not sure how long this window will last, when it will be time to return to the practical – maybe tomorrow, maybe never. All I know is that I’m yielding better results -right now- without trying so damn hard.