Wednesday, March 21, 2012
La Dolce Vita or How I Meditate
Some premises/background upon which the following is based:
I have lived a life of the mind, exclusively, for most of my time on this planet. I put the mind above all else. I thought only intellect mattered. I also suffered from chronic depression and anxiety, which is, obviously, generated in the mind.
I am more than a mind, of course. I am a spirit residing within a physical body.
If I am a spirit having been given a physical body, the question to be considered is "Why?"
So that I might learn to transcend this body? So that I might sit and meditate upon the mind?
I find those answers lacking, to say the least.
I have been given a physical body so that I might experience a physical, sensual life.
I have been given a physical body not solely to "be" but to "do," otherwise this spirit could have remained in the ethereal realms.
I have been given a physical body that grows and changes and ages, and so I assume that the same is expected of my spirit -- that it too must grow, change, age. (A variation of the whole "ontology recapitulates phylogeny" thing...)
If I am meant to grow, to change, to age, then saying that how I am right now is enough is kinda...well...really? Wimping out.
I think it is my duty to myself and to others to constantly be striving to be the best that I can be.
This flies in the face of much new age thinking/teaching these days, and I am fine with that, because as I have said a million times, I am not here for you to like me.
I am here to do the work I was sent here to do and it has very little to do with thinking about myself.
It has to do with getting down in the dirt and doing the work.
What does that have to do with the Good Life?
I think this is the Good Life.
I think getting into the game, diving head first into the messy Ocean of Life, is the Good Life.
I think setting ourselves on fire to see what comes of the ashes is the whole damn point.
I think we think too much.
Yep. I said it.
I never would have thought I would have said that even just four years ago.
But about three years ago, I dropped down into my body.
And I dropped into life, into really engaging this thing I have been given, this thing that is, as far as I know, not a dress rehearsal but the only chance I get.
What does this have to do with meditation?
If the eventual point of meditating is to become engaged, then perhaps we could just start with engagement.
Get out there.
Put yourself on the line.
That is the ultimate act of meditation, the ultimate prayer.
I think of Mother Theresa.
For most of her life, she did not feel God in her prayer life. Her prayer life was actually pretty barren.
And yet her faith was so large, so deep, so vast that she spent her life doing the Work.
She spent her life engaging the bodily existence that can be harrowing, devouring, and grief ridden, but she also saw in this existence the beauty, the dignity, the nobility of this flesh.
She saw that it was Good.
I take my lesson from people like Mother Theresa.
As I engage, I am mindful, I am present, I am aware.
I do not need to sit on a cushion to know this state.*
(*This post is dedicated to all you people out there who judge yourselves for "not being able to meditate." Maybe the kind you are trying is just not for you...)