February 21, 2011

Something Big

“…as a teacher of yoga do you believe the universe speaks to us through meditation?”

That question was posed to me in a wonderful email I recently received.

What an interesting question to be asked.  Yes, I do believe that the universe speaks to us in meditation–in a way.  Meditation can open us so deeply that we glimpse our own nature with recognition of the nature of everything.

We may meditate upon particular deities, with particular mantras, to experience ourselves in particular ways, so as to see ourselves kaleidoscopically from slightly different angles.  I’ve learned more mantras over the years than my stubbornly average brain can remember.

Mostly, I say the syllables beloved by my tradition, my teacher, and my teacher’s teacher because, for me, they are honeyed.  They have become full and sweet.  Saying them reminds me how fortunate I have been to have encountered such very great beings upon this path of yoga, and then my heart becomes as honeycomb.

Or, sometimes I simply sit with my own breath, opening to the experience that comes.

Some days I’m just achy, restless, bored, distracted, hungry, or pissed off, but on the good days meditation opens access to something big inside of me. That’s my experience and I’ve been taught that it’s a universal one.  So, if it’s true for me then it can be be true for you, too.  It can be taught, and learned.

To be brutally honest, I’m just a fairly average yogi–if I can have such an experience then I’m pretty confident that almost anyone can.

For me, lately, meditation truly is the nectar of the practice. Sometimes I think I won’t contain the ache; it literally throbs. When it washes over like that I want to stay, and stay, and stay.

Then I come to. I’m not some kind of uber-yogi in everday life either. I’m just as overly scheduled and overly stressed as everybody else.

But I’ve had that experience of something big and I can go there when I want to, maybe not every single time but more and more.  Something big bumps up against my every day like a cat insistently butting up against my leg.  The veil between the everyday and something big is thinner.  Sometimes I see something big glimmering, like mica in the sidewalk, as the matrix of my everyday experience.

So, it’s not really that I think the universe speaks to us in meditation.  It’s that I think the universe has always been speaking to us but that in meditation we (sometimes) actually hear it.

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