In meditation, I’ve often entertained an image of spelunking, lowering myself into an unexplored underground realm. At times my internal cavern feels like a cool dark cenote, a quiet grotto with crystalline water at bottom. Other times, I’m descending into a psycho/emotional lava tube, belching hot and noxious. The happy reality, though, is that in either case, I emerge from meditation with my experience transformed for the better.
Whether the events preceding that particular opportunity to sit have been pleasant or difficult, life-affirming or depressing, the simple act of sitting, turning within, and relaxing into the wavelike motion of the breath, has the effect of dissolving my individual self into the greater power of Life (Life the energy, not the Life the saga…). This quick refresher on certain basic realities of my existence puts my internal house more in order.
Though I’ve experienced this blessed change countless times, I am still at a loss to fully explain it. My best guess is that just relaxing into deeper and longer rhythms in my body, and consciously resting in the vital energy that drives my breath, allows that energy to permeate and soothe the parts of me that are caught up in short-term urgencies. This direct and non-mystical contact with my deeper self can initiate a reset of my mental and emotional priorities, with trivial and neurotic concerns moving back from center stage, and the wise and quiet power at my core stepping into the spotlight. It is a sort of do-it-yourself “divine intervention” that anyone can invoke at any time.
It’s so simple, so available, so practical, and so easy to forget in the grip of the aforementioned urgencies. We all carry the antidote to the social diseases of distraction and separation with us at all times in the form of our original nature, the most benign preexisting condition.