A Meditation Miracle

by Darren Starwynn, O.M.D.

Most people know about meditation, and if they are not already doing it regularly they know that it is a good thing that they should do, or wish they could do. When the subject comes up in conversation I usually hear something like “I just can’t meditate. I’ve tried it and I just can’t concentrate or calm my mind.”

I have written in other posts about the inner reasons it seems so hard for most modern people to meditate. But it is so worth doing anyway!

I attended some events at Landmark Education recently. One graphic and clear teaching I received is about the difference between what “is” and our stories about it. As an example:

A man walks into a room and sees a woman he knows who he has had some relationship challenges with. They talk and some drama ensues. His story could be something like “She does not understand me and always criticizes me. I know she has been flirting with other guys and doesn’t really respect me, and I’m pissed. She always acts this way and knows just how to push my buttons. If she really loved me she would respect me and act differently.” And so on. The woman would likely have her whole story about how she sees the encounter, which would likely be very different than his story! So all that is in the realm of “story”.

But what “is”? What “is” is that a man walked into a room and spoke with a women that he was familiar with and they had a discussion. Period. Get it?

So what does this have to do with meditation? Plenty. “I just can’t meditate because it is so hard to concentrate” or similar thoughts are stories that our ego self creates. It does this so that it’s supremacy and control in our consciousness will not be challenged.

If you do a Vipassana style meditation, all you have to do is sit and follow your breath. When you become aware of your mind wandering, and it will, you gently bring your attention back to your breath. Even if your mind wanders countless times you just keep bringing it back over and over. So there is no way you can fail as long as you sit for at least 15 minutes and do that practice. Even 10 minutes is very valuable.

So “what is” is that you are sitting, and following your breath, and continually bringing your mind back to the present moment. That is a very powerfully beneficial practice. You don’t have to be good at it or succeed at it, you just need to do is to do it. Being “good at it” or “ not good at it” are stories of the mind that are illusions, just like the relationship example above. All that matters is that you do the practice.

If a sculptor takes a block of marble and starts chipping away, and then because a gorgeous statue does not materialize in the first 10 minutes says “This is not working, I am a failure at sculpting” we would consider that ridiculous, right? Bingo – same with meditation. We don’t meditate to have some expected result. We meditate as a process to unfold the beauty of our true self little by little.

I will recount a meditation miracle I experienced yesterday morning that I hope will be helpful to encourage other wannabe meditators.

My mind likes to spin negative and worrysome stories when I first wake up in the morning. If I don’t intercept it, it loves to tell me all the bad things that are allegedly going on and all the difficult issues I will have to face that day. I have learned to use my power of intention to say prayers and affirmations as soon as I wake up to start the day in a life-affirming way. Usually this is effective and my day starts out on a positive and promising note.

But not yesterday. The number of challenges, pressures and incompletions seemed overwhelming that morning. I had worked over 12 hours the day before and I was still weary. Things had not gone on track with the launch of my new website and that was weighing on me. As a result I was not as successful with my early morning affirmations.

But I do have a commitment to meditate, so I sat down in my place and started doing it. I could feel the tension in the pit of my stomach, the discouragement programs starting to boot up. But I did the practice anyway. Then the miracle happened.

My breath deepened, and I felt connected to a column of light from the core of my body up to the higher realms. My inner knowing told me to stay with it, to let go of all the stories. So I stayed in that inner center and as each negative thought arose I blessed it and sent it up into dissolution. As I sat there all the stories dissolved. I was simply with what “is” – I am, and I am alive and well and have all possibilities open to me.

That day was magical and enjoyable. I felt connected and in love with life as I did my tasks, and in the evening led a holistic networking group in San Francisco that was inspiring and creative. I knew that I was coming from a still place within that was pregnant with unlimited possibilities. I had a lot to give to others because I was not so tangled up in my own stories. And giving my gift to others and having them receive it is so fulfilling.

That day could have gone differently if I had bowed down in front of my ego mind’s harsh judgments and stories. There were several alternate realities available to me and I had chosen wisely to go within first.

I wonder how many people who are taking long-term anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs could get off them if they learned that they have the power to change the channel on their mind’s attention. Millions, I am sure. This is my passion – to bring this message and practical support to as many of them as possible.

One of the most graphic images I have heard about the power of the negative mind is that of a lion. This lion has a huge, terrifying, snarling face that can scare the shit out of you. But his body is the size of a dachshund. Because what we see is the huge scary face we assume that we are at the mercy of a very powerful, dangerous creature who can rip us apart. But that is an illusion. This lion can only try to scare us and hope we buy in. Just like the Wizard of Oz in the classic movie. He seemed Great and Terrible as long as his theatrical machines were working, but it turned out that he was just an ordinary, harmless guy behind the scenes pulling levers. The same goes for the negative mind.

So my advice to my depressed, anxious brothers and sisters – learn that you have the power. You don’t have to bow down in front of your inner oppressor. Start seeing your mind’s stories for what they really are – an illusion like the Wizard of Oz. Commit yourself to a meditation practice, and giving back more and more. No, it is not likely that you will be filled with bliss right away (although possible). But you will be chipping away at all that has made you believe you are limited and afraid and stuck. And the power within that will support you is the real power.

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