Meditation can be defined as a vast multi-prismed path to being present
Rumi may have described meditation best:
There are thousands of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Here is the very simple truth. There isn’t one way to know yourself. There isn’t one way to know your inner world. Or become calm, relaxed, or at peace.
There are many ways. In fact, there are as many ways as there are people.
Your way is the way for you.
That’s hard for us to accept. We live thinking and being told that someone else has the answer. We aren’t taught as much about how to listen to our own truth, our own wisdom.
Spirituality often is wrapped up in religion and a specific path and less about learning to listen to the call of our own heart.
Now, it is true that as we start on any endeavor it’s a good idea to learn from someone who has mastered the art. We’re lucky that there are many good spiritual teachers from all kinds of traditions. All of them point the way back to yourself.
What’s often hard, though, is to find out which path to start on, what tradition to begin with. Should we explore Buddhism? Kabbalah? Yoga? Christianity? Zen? Chanting? Tibetan practices?
The choices are endless. Even when you make a broad choice there will be many other choices slicing the options even further.
Some of us have a religious or spiritual background that will help direct the course. For others, though, we’re not sure.
I was brought up Catholic and there were things I really liked about the tradition. In the late 70’s I started going on silent retreats in the Christian and Buddhist traditions.
I wasn’t looking for a new path when I went to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health the first time. I went because a friend suggested it; I was going through a rough patch.
Nothing prepared me for the huge heart opening that happened for me there. With that I was propelled in a new direction.
Sometimes that’s how it happens. We’ll follow one possibility and it will lead us where we need to go. Kripalu offered me a new way to kneel and kiss the ground. Yoga opened a door into being embodied that I hadn’t known before.
Recently I was talking to Jack Engler who has had an enormous impact on me. Jack is both a therapist and a very long term practitioner of meditation.
I was telling him of all the projects I’m involved in and how I was looking for a definition of that could be broad enough to hold all the many ways we each meditate. He offered these beautiful words:
Meditation is like a precious jewel with endless facets to shine the light. Each facet offers a distinct way to see into the heart of the jewel and yet each facet shines a different light through and to the heart of the jewel.
Isn’t that a wonderful metaphor?
This website is an opening into the huge world of meditation and its intersection with trauma. Its purpose and motivation is to support you in shining the light on being connected and present even as you move through the healing journey.
Don’t worry about doing it right. Instead learn to listen to the subtle and beautiful cues that we are always given to return home to love, kindness, clarity, calm, inner peace. Watch for the moments when your body relaxes and lets go.
Spiritual practices are not about struggle, or pushing, or trying. It’s about softening and opening into what is already there and letting what ever emerges take you, small, tiny step by tiny step closer to your self.