Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flying Through Your Days, or, Flying Through Meditation

There's an addictive quality to crossing things off a To-Do List. I have been known to add items that I've accomplished that weren't there originally, just so I can immediately cross them off again. It's truly a rare case though, when a whole To-Do List is successfully completed--too easy to just keep adding things to it ad naseum.

It's all that Stuff of the Utmost Importance, such as Organizing My Sock Drawer (I kid you not, it's item #14 on the list), that get in the way of the things that I know are important: playing with my cat, meditating every day, calling my friends I haven't spoken to in months, working on either one of my books...Somehow or another I manage to procrastinate fantastically while being insanely busy and getting a lot done.

Well, Meditate is item #8 on the list, and there's two Astrixes by it showing that I have done two days this week so far. Yay!

So, prioritizing is important, and sometimes it's really hard. Because, meditating is really important, but so is having clean socks this week, and an un-terriyfing toilet, yes? The argument I hear a lot in response to the protracted whine: "I just don't have tiiiiime to meditate!" is that by meditating, you'll be calmer and more functional, and effectively gain time by being a more productive person in the 23 hours and 40 minutes you aren't meditating.

I'm up to 11 minutes a day so far, with the plan of adding one minute each day till I hit that 20 mark, and we'll see where we go from there. I've also been doing guided meditations, taking my husband along for the ride because the only way he won't giggle is if he's taking it seriously, too. I can't say for sure that I'm more clear-headed and productive yet...but I get an inkling that I just might be, and will be more so as my meditation time increases.

Guided meditations are actually a great way to jump into meditation without all that scary sitting in silence alone with yourself. Ultimately, that's the powerful practice that you're aiming for, but approaching it a little at a time will make you more likely to stick with a practice.

Since the lunar eclipses that have been rocking (alright, shadowing) our world (Yes, I know, the moon, ok??) are all about telling us that it's time to let go and release what we don't need, letting go has been the theme of my two guided meditations thus far.

On Sunday night we went on a journey where we had to climb something reeeaaaally big. My husband climbed a mountain, and I climbed a silk. Along the way, we had to release things that were too heavy to hang out to if we were going to complete our journey.
The climb got harder and harder, but finally, we were at the top! Someone we trusted very much appeared up there and told both of us that it was time to let go of the mountain/silk. We were a loooooooong way up, and there was nothing we could see that would catch us; that was a really scary request. We took a few moments to breath deeply and connect with our faith in the universe, and then we let go. We fell and fell and tumbled through the air, and finally, we were caught, safe and cozy, almost at the bottom!
We gained a whole different perspective from where we were; it was amazing! Our guide on our journey shared with us any wisdom we needed to hear, and then we made our way the rest of the way to the earth, and returned to our bedroom in Brooklyn.

Wild, right?? You don't need a teacher's certification to do this, just a knack for a story-telling, and knowing when to offer details, and when to ask questions, so the meditation feels real, but is open-ended enough for anyone participating to take the journey she or he needs in that moment.

For last night's guided meditation, in honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which fell last Thursday, we took an astral journey though time and space, all the way back more than 2,000 years, to ancient Palestine, where Mary was doing her chores, minding her own business, only to be interrupted by an ANGEL! An angel with completely insane, impossible news!
(It was impossible for me to find a picture that coincided with the version that I witnessed last night, but I like this interpretation, because Mary looks scared shitless, which, "Be not afraid!" or not, I'm sure she was!)

We watched Mary let go of the simple, beautiful future she had planned for herself, and courageously embrace the life that would fulfill her role in the Universe. The angel turned to us and shared with us any wisdom that we needed. Then we flew up up up into the sky, around the world, and through the millenia, coming back down over Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery, making our way back to our own building, through the wall, and back into our bodies.

Either of those two scenarios may prove powerful for you right now, or you could take an entirely different journey. It is very helpful to know where and when you're going, and roughly when you'll be heading back before you start though, so you don't get lost or just start meandering through your brain. That's not super-meditationy.

The line between what's real and what's not can get really blurred with exercises like this. Don't worry about it too much. Your body is definitely physically not going anywhere; your imagination is ranging far and wide. Your spirit or soul may be anywhere in between...

Happy Travels!

Live Omily,
~em

P.S. I don't know how many of my readers believe in what, but I found this video so moving and beautiful (though inevitably also a little silly), and I wanted to share it with you.

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