I woke up this morning and realized I didn’t even have to leave the house. I had three meetings on Zoom, spaced with a few hours between each one. “Why don’t I do something radical? Why don’t I meditate for a very long time?” So I did.
A good writer tunes into the audience before setting fingers to keys. I don’t know how to do that concerning meditation. You may never have meditated. You may have dabbled, sitting quietly for five or ten minutes. You may have meditated longer than my eleven years. If you’re a meditator, you may choose to focus on some object, such as the breath. You may listen to CDs as you sit – guided meditation. Or you may be there in silence, like me.
I want to describe my experiences of the day. They may sound awfully strange. Oh well. Maybe I’m doing this for me, and not for you. I don’t know … but here goes:
As I initially close my eyes, cozy in my bedroom chair, the mind chatters away. Normal. Gradually the thoughts slow down. There are spaces between them. When the spaces get bigger than the thoughts, I turn my attention to the flow of energy. Virtually always at the beginning, there is a pulsing behind my eyes. It’s “loud” and then it gradually softens, quiet like the pulse in my wrist, but definitely there. This is the intro to something else.
In the spirit of competing with myself (decidedly non-meditative!), I’ve become curious about how long it takes each time for the pulsing to disappear. When it does, there is an unbroken flow behind my eyes. It’s like my eyes get bigger and softer inside my head. Over the years, I’ve come to recognize the distinction between “almost there” and “there”. A little smile appears when I know I’m “gone”. Actually that word isn’t entirely accurate. I am inside of something sweet, something airy, and yet I’m fully aware of my surroundings. On the rare occasions when someone interrupts me when I’m “elsewhere”, it’s no big deal. I say hi. Nothing is lost.
Today there were three sessions: an hour, an hour-and-a-half, and another hour-and-a-half. Each time, at the moment when the pulsing subsided, I looked at my watch. I was gone in 23 minutes, 11 minutes and 16 minutes. There’s no goodness or badness to it. It’s just so. Each time, there was a brief appearance of a pulse behind my eyes, and within a minute it faded away.
I had a Zoom meeting after the first meditation, and another after the second. Although I probably looked and sounded normal to the participants, I was spacious, light and full of chuckles. Nothing seemed important. I flowed along.
Towards the end of the second meditation, my back started hurting and I was hungry. Strangely and wonderfully, those experiences were not accompanied by a return of the pulsing. It remained a flat flow. I was surprised, and even that reaction didn’t disturb the everything/nothing feel that was here. For a time, I had thoughts of going on another meditation retreat (which I’m doing in April). I even felt my beloved driving route through rural New York and Massachusetts, remembering little towns, and still the quiet stillness, and the unending flow, were there.
During the third meditation, I thought of someone I love very much. I started crying. No disturbance in the Force. I was fascinated. At ninety minutes, my watch alarm went off and I was flooded with the sense of timelessness, a lovely disorientation.
So that was my day, with one more meeting to come. I don’t have any conclusions about the four hours. They were here and now they’re gone. And I know there’s an open heart ready to meet folks on Zoom.