If you had told me even a few months ago that I would be sitting where I am sitting, I would have laughed. Frankly, I had pretty much given up on my life ever meaning anything. I had spent years going through brief periods of relative calm in between periods of swift decline punctuated by crises. I would go from living a life in which my only object was to stay sober and not do any more damage to my relationships to alienating everyone around me and engaging in self-destructive behavior until something or someone forced me to stop. Then the cycle would begin again.
I didn’t work, I chose not to take charge of my life, I really wasn’t living for anything. In fact, I could hardly figure out why I was living. And sitting at Legacy Emanuel Hospital a month and a half ago I really wasn’t sure I wanted to go on living.
I know that’s a hard thing for some people to hear, and I’m sorry if you’re one of those people, but that is the reality. When things get really hard, and there appears to be no way out, I don’t think it’s uncommon for many of us to wonder why we keep trying.
Ok, so that’s enough background. All that to show that I have come a long way in the past few weeks. I certainly did not think I would be feeling this good and doing this well just a month after leaving the hospital.
On the day I left the hospital my legs were shaking after just walking through Safeway for 10 minutes. Now I spend at least an hour a day exercising, at least half of which is fairly strenuous.
So my physical body has changed.
I am happy and energetic and I wake up most mornings feeling rested and ready for a new day.
So my emotions have changed significantly for the better.
Finally, upon leaving the hospital I really felt disconnected. Now, I feel like I am progressively increased my connection with the universe and with the source of all energy and creation.
So, my spiritual being has grown.
My spirit is what I want to talk about today. For one thing, because it has been on my mind quite often these days. And also because of a pretty amazing experience I had today.
SKEPTIC ALERT! – If you tend to be skeptical, close-minded, unimaginative, or antagonistic toward the beliefs and experiences of others, you need not read further.
I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather today and do my late morning meditation outside on the deck. I went outside and realized that I ought to truly take advantage of the heat and sun, so I grabbed a yoga mat and went outside and lay down (shirtless, as I hoped to darken my naturally ghost-white skin a bit) to meditate.
Now, I’m a product of the Pacific North West, and I grew up in Portland, and I don’t do well in heat. Anything over about 75 degrees will make me sweat and make me uncomfortable. So as you can imagine, today’s 84 degree weather had me groaning almost immediately. But I decided I really wanted to discipline myself so I set a timer for 15 minutes and committed to not get up and not quit my meditation until the timer went off.
Now, I’ve been exploring a book called The Divine Matrix:
The premise is simple: that based on new discoveries in the world of quantum physics, it is evident that we are intimately connected with every part of our universe, and we are capable of using out belief and emotional state to change our reality.
No matter what you believe, this one is tough to handle. But I decided when I began this experiment to be as open as possible to new ways of thinking and new beliefs. And, at this point, I am starting to become certain that my old paradigm was missing a huge part of the picture. I believe we are connected to everything around us, and The Divine Matrix is helping me to explain some of the “whys” and “hows” of that connection. It is providing me a framework on which to build a new vision of how the world works and my place in it.
Back to my story: I was laying on my back in the hot sun meditating and I was uncomfortable. I was hot, and I was starting to sweat. It was dripping down my forehead, saturating my back, and I felt like just getting up and going indoors. However, at that moment I thought of The Divine Matrix and realized that my experience of feeling uncomfortable was my choice. And I thought I would try and change it.
So based on what I had read in the book, I put the theory of my connection to my surroundings to the test. I began to meditate with all my focus on a new reality. I began to feel an intense gratitude for feeling cool and a gratitude for the sun and even for the sweat on my forehead. Almost as soon as I began to focus all my being on the feeling of gratitude for this experience of being in the sun but still feeling comfortable and cool, a nice breeze began to blow across my face. It surprised me and I lost focus, and the breeze dropped off.
I screwed up my concentration and closed my eyes and began to meditate again, this time on my gratitude for the wind. I saw myself lying there, cooled by a breeze. I thanked the breeze for cooling me, and I became grateful for the wind beginning to pick up and blow more strongly. I felt it increase more and more….
….and the breeze began to blow again. And it kept blowing. And it got stronger. And my gratitude grew. And the breeze grew. And it was no longer a breeze but a wind. And the heavy wind chimes on the deck began to jingle. And still the wind blew stronger…..
….and then I could hardly believe what was happening and I sat up and lost my focus and sweat dripped into my eyes, so I grabbed my T-shirt from where I had dropped it and wiped my eyes…and then noticed that the wind had completely subsided.
You see why I warned skeptics to stop reading earlier?
I never would have believed that this experience was anything but an opportune coincidence if it had happened just a few months ago. But now, I am certain that I, with my consciousness and emotions alone, was able to influence the elements around me.
Now, here’s what I want you to ask yourself as you go to bed tonight (or if you are reading this the next morning, as you go about your day): If I, an untrained amateur with minimal prior experience in meditation and focusing my emotional state, was able to influence the wind on my first real attempt, how much more powerful might a monk who is trained in these disciplines be? And, more importantly, how powerful could you be if you tried?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I can close my eyes right now and create a hurricane. But I do believe I can interact with my surroundings and with my experience of my daily life. I also believe I can interact with other people, not just when we are face to face, but from any distance, because according to relatively recent discoveries in physics, we are all connected, no matter how far apart we are.
So don’t be surprised if some day in the future you feel a sudden impulse to call me and I pick up the phone on the first ring already knowing why you’re calling ;-).
No, but seriously, what this experience tells me is that the way we see our world is the most powerful director of our lives. We see everything through a lens of belief that we have developed and it colors our every thought, emotion, and action. So what if we all decided to live as if we were connected to each other and to all other living things?
I think we might treat each other with more kindness, and that we would be kinder to the rest of the life on this planet, and indeed, kinder to the planet itself.
With that, I will wish you a goodnight.
- The Benefits of Meditation (foxnews.com)
- New Science regarding Meditation (responsiveuniverse.wordpress.com)
- Inspiration – On Gratitude (earthwitchconfessional.wordpress.com)