Coming Home To Yourself

For one thing, you are not used to being so relaxed, and when you start spending time in that state, your whole life will change. Even if you only meditate twenty minutes a day. And change is both exhilarating and scary. Wonderful and challenging.

The most powerful thing at work is not actually meditation, it is your decision to start meditating. Whatever symphony of desires and impulses is behind your interest in meditation, it is your own inner wisdom at work, urging you to get better at adapting to life.

When you set out to meditate, either for the first time or on any given day, you are not really studying with me, Lorin, or with the wisdom traditions I represent. You are studying with life itself. And you are already in life and have a long history with life and lots of experiences to mull over.

Relaxation is powerful, and meditation may be the most relaxed you have ever been in your life, even more than sleep. So there is a feeling of arriving here, at last. Arriving in your own body, arriving in life. Then because you are there, paying attention, your inner life can and will tell you what's on its mind. You'll remember all the things you have been so carefully not finding time for.

What happens when you arrive home, after a long time away? There is a stack of bills, people mad at you for being gone, dogs jumping all over to greet you, and maybe a surprise party. There is a lot to deal with. And it's like that every time you close your eyes to meditate, if you are a busy person with a rich life. The silence only comes after you have dealt with everything.

If you come home, and your dog jumps up on you and slobbers on your shirt, is that a hazard of coming home? If you have a lot of bills to pay and it gives you a headache to look at them, is that a hazard of coming home?

Well, yes. So oddly enough, relaxation can be quite challenging. You are opening the door to your inner world. You may have been away for awhile.

When I meditate, I never know from one second to the next what I am going to experience. A long-forgotten memory may arise. I may suddenly realize that I did not get in touch with an old friend before she died. Or I may be in bliss and gratitude. I just never know.