Day 27: Accessing Infinity With Meditation [31 Days of Possibility]

by Lani Voivod | @LaniVoivod

 

Let’s be clear: I am NOT the right person to teach you about “Meditation” as most of us think about it. And by “Meditation” I mean the serious, very stoic, extremely sacred and fancy stereotype of Mediation, where someone is sitting still on a cushion in the middle of a candlelit room for hours, incense burning, in a state of exquisitely centered “Om.”

No no – this is NOT me. If that’s who or what you’re looking for, please, run the other way, pronto.

However, due to the hack job of somewhat-unfounded (but wildly passionate) opinions I’m about to unleash, I may be the perfect person to demystify this whole Meditation thing, at the risk of offending trained Meditation experts and practitioners who actually know what they’re talking about.

The reason I’m passionate about Meditation, and why I’m including it here in the 31 Days of Possibility, is three-fold:

1)   I am ONE MILLION PERCENT CERTAIN it’s essential to a healthy, balanced, creative, sanity-leaning life, especially in our nutso, hyper-stimulated, turbo-track world.

2)   I wish someone had demystified the very intimidating and darn near ludicrous stereotype of Meditation for me several years – if not decades – ago.

3)   I truly believe Meditation is the way to ACCESS INFINITY.

So while I know “Mediation” as presented in its most ceremonial sense is a fine and achievable practice for many millions of people around the globe, and there are countless gurus and enlightened resources to teach you this formal version if its your cup of herbal tea…

I’m coming at this as a working 40-year-old wife and mother of two young boys who struggles to find 10 minutes a day to sit still in a quiet place…

Even though I believe Meditation is the way to ACCESS INFINITY.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” – William Blake

Okay, so there’s this New Yorker cartoon: Two monks are sitting side by side, meditating. The younger one is looking a bit perplexed. The older one responds, “Nothing happens next. This is it.”

This is the part about Meditation I wish I had understood. Just like Seinfeld was a show about nothing, Meditation is an ACTIVITY about nothing! So naturally, most of us who try it (or watch someone else try it) for a few minutes at some point in our lives will not understand its purpose or value, and will abandon it altogether as freakish hippy hogwash. (And that’s the best-case scenario.)

To make matters worse, no one bothers to tell Meditation newbies and novices that the incessant chatter in our minds is not only okay, but NORMAL. Not only is it normal, it is the very reason Mediation is so darn important to adopt and make part of our daily (or weekly) lives, just like brushing our teeth, or posting on Instagram.

It seems to me Meditation is simply a way of letting the mind know who’s boss.

When it comes to understanding the value and purpose of Meditation, I’ve always appreciated the analogy of water. Our minds are like rough seas – lots of choppy water, so much activity on the surface. There’s no chance of seeing anything but liquid chaos.

Meditation gives our minds a chance to settle down, to relax, so suddenly they’re not rough seas anymore, they’re the crystal clear blue-green waters of the Caribbean – and you can see right to the bottom without effort. All those lovely sea shells, and that pristine sand – all right there, ready for your toes whenever you want to sink ‘em in there.

A Quick Story of When I Lost My Meditation Virginity…

One day when I was in my 20s, a wonderful friend and mentor I knew in Los Angeles asked me if I wanted to go to a gathering of Quakers she attended every week. She said it was a group meditation, and explained everyone simply sat there in a room in silence, and if anyone was moved to share anything, that’s what they did.

Always a curious sort up for a new experience, I said yes.

(Besides, I figured she was oversimplifying – that couldn’t possibly be all that really went on.)

Turns out, YES, that was really all that went on! We sat there, for 45 minutes, in group silence, with the occasional person breaking the silence to share something unpredictable – from the off-handed observation about weather to intimate confessions about health issues, prayer requests, lost loves, career concerns, and well wishes for the folks present.

It was the longest 45 minutes of my life.

But now, nearly fifteen years later, I get it. (Kind of.) That was one of their preferred modes of Meditation. Some people like meditating in groups, and that’s fabulous.

Others like guided meditation, mantra meditation, mindfulness mediation, Transcendental Meditation, Qigong, yoga, Tai Chi, and other active meditations, like hiking, fishing, painting, sewing, doodling, knitting, swimming, chopping vegetables, or golfing, I suppose.

Just know the goal is to train your mind to settle and become the still, crystal-clear Caribbean waters as much as possible.

Like so many things in life, it’s very Yoda-esque: You do or do not. There is no “Try.”

There’s no way to do it “wrong.” So many people say, “Oh, I can’t meditate…” or “Yeah, I do it wrong.” No, you don’t! It’s just no one ever told you it really is like the New Yorker cartoon – it’s just sitting there, BEING.

Yes, some people do and will have Earth-shattering visions, epiphanies, and experiences during which their whole worldviews are transformed. But this is not the norm, nor should it be the goal. (After all, once you start thinking your Meditation session is only good if there’s a grand prize of spontaneous enlightenment attached, you’re not dwelling in The Now anymore, are you?)

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” - Voltaire

Even though Voltaire just made it sound all intense and serious, Meditation is nothing more or less than giving your mind a chance to gently let go of the constant stream of input that bombards it all day.

It’s melting into your body and ALLOWING sensations to happen as they will.

It’s understanding your BREATH is an ever-present tool and resource for you that you can return to any time, no matter the situation, no matter what else is going on…AND your breath is filling you up with the same air that’s been exhaled by trees, caressed by mountain tops, lavished by moonlight, and given to you by some unseen force that wanted you to experience these lush and precious moments in the land of the living.

It’s NOTICING all the thoughts coursing through your head, and being centered and trusting and peaceful and courageous enough to watch as the thoughts float away like fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky on a warm and beautiful day.

I say “courageous” because one of the hardest things to do is to let thoughts go when they come into your mind as to-do’s and lists and forgotten tasks, or ideas for creative ventures that you swear you’ll never be able to think up again if you don’t stop meditating and write it down.

Your mind does everything it can to recapture your undivided attention.

Once you realize this, it’s easier to smile at your overactive mind like a parent to a small, attention-hungry, interrupting child, and give it a much-needed break in the timeout chair.

Your mind must learn to give you some space, and let you settle into your human body without its obsessive companionship, so miracles may flow through you when the time is right.

And miracles WILL flow.

In the forms of elevated Intuition, blips of Quantum Serendipity, rediscovered pockets of Creativity, re-ignited bouts of Imagination, reconnected feelings to Your Purpose, Vision, and Passion, and noticeable boosts of Energy, miracles will flow.

In order for the wisdom and magic of the Universe to use your airfield, you have to clear off the landing strip. Meditation clears the way so you can receive your precious cargo.

To INFINITY and beyond!

(I had to go there.) :)

 

Get your “Om” on with Lani in this quick “Accessing Infinity With Meditation” video:

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

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You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

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