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Meditation is Touching Spirit

About a year and a half ago, a young man bumped into me as I was leaving a coffeeshop – he saw the calendar under my arm with a picture of Buddha on, and asked me, “Do you meditate?” I said, “Yes.” A conversation ensued in which I discovered he was a student at SU and he found out I teach yoga and meditation. He asked me if I would meditate with him. I said “Yes” – I will meditate with anyone who asks me to with an open heart and mind. So, we set up a place and time to meet the next week. We decided to meet in the prayer/meditation room at Salisbury University. We sat together and shared about a 20 minute meditation session that included some stretching, breathing techniques and mudra. Meditation is the 7thlimb of the 8 limbs of yoga. It is the pathway towards Samadhi, or “Union with the Divine”, our highest self. Yoga is about connection. We hear this all the time – yoga connects the body, mind and spirit, essentially offering us a pathway towards reconnecting with our own inherent Divinity.

Many people have difficulty meditating, which is not surprising in a culture that embraces and uplifts “Multi-tasking” and looks down upon the art of being still and making space to do “nothing”. Some people are even instructed by religious dogma that meditation is dangerous. However, nearly every spiritual tradition practices some form of meditation. We know that Jesus meditated in the desert. Buddha meditated under the bodhi tree. Early Christian monks meditated and also chanted. Sufis practice a form of moving meditation by whirling, that takes intense practice, and is incredibly beautiful to witness. Our minds are trained from a young age to always be thinking about the next thing – moving towards pleasure and away from pain. Dwelling on the tasks before us, or the tasks behind us. For some it is difficult to sit still. For others it is even harder to still the mind. This is why meditation is a practice. It takes time. There are a variety of different traditions and techniques that can help you learn to quiet your body and your mind. Ultimately, it is a noble course to embark upon. When you reach the point that you are able to still your mind, even if only for 10 minutes – it becomes a refuge. It is perfect, unspoiled connection. It is like a mini-vacation. It is like touching “Ishvara” or “God/Goddess”. It is a moment (or 10 or 20 or more) away from the complete insanity of the pleasure-pain struggle. It becomes something to look forward to in order to restore your sense of balance.

And so, when someone asks me to meditate with them, it is much like asking me to experience God with them. I will always say yes. Namaste.

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