Saturday, May 18, 2013

In the Deep Blue

I have been discussing meditation a lot lately.  With close friends, some whom I had no idea were devoted to the practice, as well as with new acquaintances.  I am a starter and stopper.  A drift away from it for a while, then come back to meditation with renewed enthusiasm kind of person.  For anyone who has meditated for even a short while, you know that it requires discipline.  The whole process is about discipline.  Focusing the body, staying still for a prescribed stretch of time, tuning the world out, focusing the mind, focusing the breath, and focusing the will to do all of the aforementioned.

The nature of meditation is to sit in silence and focus the mind.  This is when we are inevitably hit with "mind chatter".  Allowing each thought a moment of clarity and recognition, we then gently quiet that thought and come back to silence.  Each thought, in turn, is given its moment in the spotlight before we come back to mindfulness.  It's one of the most challenging devotions that can be embraced, in my opinion.  It's much easier to let the squirrel energy of all that mind chatter grab our attention and lead us far and wide from the original goal.

I have several friends who do active meditation where they listen to guided meditation recordings whilst doing some other activity such as exercising, house cleaning, etc.  I've tried that and I can see the beauty of combining activity with meditation, but I much prefer the sitting in silence method.  Occasionally I will listen to a guided meditation series, and I enjoy those because they allow a different type of relaxation and renewal.

What I tend to be drawn to the most is my own mental imagery.  From my earliest years of meditation, I've continually returned to the mental image of a deep blue pool where the occasional drop of water splashes down, creating a singular sound (in my head, I hear it as music - a clear single bell tone) and those lovely rippling eddies across the surface of the water.  If you can imagine being in a cave with a deep blue pool of water, and the cave being illuminated, that is the mental image that crops up the most when I meditate. The photo I shared above is a fair approximation of what I see in my mind's eye.

The single focus being the pool of water means there are no other distractions and my consciousness is narrowed to each droplet of water as it descends and bounces into the deep blue pool.  In my imagination, this cave is comfortably cool, clean and safe, and each droplet of water, and corresponding bell tone and beautiful ripple drops my consciousness deeper into the meditative state.

As I write this, it has been one of my lengthier stretches of time away from practicing daily meditation, and I find myself ready to embrace it again.  To step back into that mental imagery and focus on, and in the deep blue, and to greet that sense of Inner Peace that comes from opening up my full Self to the voice of the Divine.  It is the wee hours of the morning at the moment, but tomorrow will see me grabbing floor space to sit in meditation again.

Do these thoughts have a point?  They're my ruminations on something that has been a guiding force for much of my adult life.  Perhaps some of you reading this are fellow meditation devotees.  Some, myself included, see meditation as a different form of prayer and connecting to the God-Force.  I know that when I devote daily time to the practice of meditation, my daily existence is enriched.

And the most delightful part of this post?  It came about from a conversation with one of my dearest friends, who knows me better than most, and what I called a "good, old fashioned front porch talking to" where she helped me find some balance.  I have been wrestling with writer's block to a degree I rarely experience and couldn't find a way out of it to save my life.  It felt like I was trapped in a huge room with wet draperies hanging down that would twine about me every direction I turned, until I became immobilized.  The conversation with my dear friend cut the wet draperies and allowed my hands and mind a breathing space.  Directly on the heels of that huge inhale of fresh air came immediate inspiration for this post, and the urge to step back into focusing on the deep blue, allowing the rest of me to expand in awareness.