Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Just D Chords and Luxurious Slow Motion

For the better part of the last year, I’ve been meditating with some regularity. I won’t lie: David Lynch and his enthusiastic advocacy of transcendental meditation are largely responsible. And though I can’t say that I’ve been reaping the benefits of a newly untapped source of creativity in the way Lynch says he does, meditation has greatly helped my stress in ways that literally nothing else ever has. To be honest, I’m not sure what I’m doing qualifies as transcendental, exactly. I don’t care. It works. And my experience with it this evening was so dramatic that I decided I would be selfish not to share.

Today, after a fairly stressful day at work, I got home and meditated for twice as long as I normally do and significantly longer than I ever have before. Practically speaking, the important result is that I don’t feel mentally dead and I’m now able to have a productive evening. That’s not incredibly interesting, I know, but hear me out on this. My path to a more positive mental and emotional state took a strange detour, and during my meditation I had a beautiful, strange experience: a sensation I can only describe as a combination of (1) sitting at the bottom of a pool, having the sounds of the dry world above you being completely muffled into white noise, and (2) standing in a dark room but not being bothered in the least by the lack of light. In the way you can sense the layout of a room even when you close your eyes, I could feel out this space to the point that I actually felt like I was in a physical place. And I had all the time in the world to “be” there and figure it out. This had never happened before. More than anything I’ve read in books on meditation, it reminded me of a lucid dream — an uneventful one, sure, but I think the it was the lack of action that was so beneficial.

I can’t explain how it worked, but I feel better, and I feel even better about feeling better knowing that the solution to the problem came from me and not an external remedy. You might be amazed to find out what your mind, once unfettered, can do on its own, without your conscious permission. It can make you a better version of yourself, but it can also take you… somewhere.

I’d always thought that those cloistered monks and nuns who spend all their hours in constant prayer were somehow not doing enough, or at least not helping as much as the ones who get out in the world and actively work to make the community better. Today, as a result of meditation, I actually get it. I can totally see how someone in that state could have a religious experience.

P.S. Am not crazy. I swear.

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