Meditation is the second most popular Mind and Body practice in the US, based on research in 2017. It is expected to surpass yoga in popularity, as the world begins to awaken and try to understand how we all fit in, and ask ourselves deeper questions about why we are here. We are so busy that our nervous systems are in a constant fight or flight mode, leaving us disconnected from the world around us. When faced with life changing events and trauma we may feel that we are all alone, alienating ourselves instead of seeing we are part of a massive puzzle called life that includes all things on earth. Few people are fortunate enough to not question their place in the world, and not experience heartbreaking, life altering hurt and pain. We hear songs on the radio every day about this very subject. Hurt, disappointment, loss, heartbreak, pain…
We are all truly connected in this one aspect. We have all been there in one manner or another. So why do we feel so disconnected in the throes of it happening to us? Why do some people seem to still have it together and some do not?
From my own very experience, I can say that you cannot judge a book by its’ cover. Most of us experience, struggle, and live with some form of suffering. It’s what one does with the suffering. Many have conditioned themselves to not entirely process, and hold this suffering at an unconscious level, where it is often buried within, while some emote, and bear their suffering for the world to see where it can be supported. Only very few have transcended hurt and pain, and have learned how to let go of the attachment of ego, and found peace for what is and reached enlightenment. Deepak, Eckhart, the Dalai Lama are some of those people. The average person, has not slowed enough to ask the question of who they truly are. The answer is not “a doctor”, “a professor”, “a student”, “a parent” etc, though most egos want to add these labels. Instead, most people go about their day suppressing who they really are. Suppressing the feelings they’ve been told they cannot, or are not allowed to feel, shamed to experience the thoughts they have to the point they do not know they are having them. If they are lucky enough to feel their emotions, they are terrified, scared to feel them, to let them be what they are. And so angst is born out of surreptitious feelings associated with these thoughts. You may notice it as that feeling in the pit of your stomach, a flutter or tightness in your chest you can’t exactly put your finger on, cannot explain, you just know it’s there. If left unchecked, angst can turn into deeper, more negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, depression that can lead to dis-ease. These emotions fester and continue to live in our bodies as a result of not allowing ourselves to recognize and feel them at the time they occurred. Each one of these emotions has a story attached to them, and now, in the present, a past event has trapped them in our body, and we react with that emotion without entirely knowing why. You can perhaps recognize this feeling when THAT person calls you, or texts you, and your stomach tightens, or your throat closes at the sight of their name on your call display. Our minds have suppressed the emotions, but our body does not forget. Then, in an inexplainable moment, they appear, like an explosion, or a dam that finally gives way to the pressure and weight of the water it’s been holding back until it is too much to bear. We become reactive, triggered, sometimes to the point of no immediate recovery in these moments. If you are able to connect the dots, and find the root cause in the moment, you have begun the healing process, and given space to respond to instead of react. Most times however, one will react and lash out and keep on going without realizing there is healing and a lesson to be learned behind this feeling and emotion and as a result they unconsciously go about their life in a constant fight or flight mode. These emotions have the ability to further manifest as physical pain in the body.
Until one starts to question their purpose in life, their relationships, why they are reactive, triggered, there is no healing for what is. When one does take notice, and question, they start to look inward, they start to see a need for change to free oneself from suffering, hurt and pain. And so begins the journey to self-discovery and freedom from whatever suffering has taken a hold. And so begins the journey to finding love, happiness, balance, focus, peace, calm and improved overall well-being through the power of meditation.
Contemplation is a component of a meditation practice that allows one to look inward without judgement, to see what is there for us. We cannot change the past, we cannot predict the future, all we can do is live this moment we are given today. In this moment, through meditation you can learn how to be. How to simply be, accepting who you are and choosing how you want to live your life today.