18 November

A Gradual Awakening: Meditation And My Mind

by Jon Katz
Gradual Awakening

I am excited by the evolution in my meditations. I have a meditation coach, Pam White, a friend and an artist and a photographer and insight coach and a life-long student of meditation and she is teaching me how to go deeper, and how to use meditation to calm my mind, enhance my health and bring me so much closer to understanding who I am. This is awakening for me, and it is a long and gradual and never-ending process. Our culture and some religions emphasize the nature of revelation – in the movies we hug the shrink, burst into tears and see the truth – but for me, understanding comes in small steps, taken in a disciplined and focused way. I will not one day discover the Lord, but will find the light inside of me, one step at a time.

Pam is showing me how to use my breathing to focus my thoughts, and to bring me more deeply into meditation, where I see the runaway train that is my mind. I see fearful and angry and resentful thoughts whizzing past me, one boxcar full of another with old, toxic and rusty stuff. I see the way my mind works, see what comes up and how my neural system was so condition to fear and judgement and anger, the demon brothers of the subconscious. Seeing how this works helps me detach a bit from it, objectify it, distance myself from it. And I am replacing those cars with new ones, new ideas,

In recent weeks this meditation has been especially frightening and disturbing, like stirring up the sludge at the bottom of a pond, I think. There have been some awful moments seeing this fear disturbed and unleashed. And fear is arrogant, willful. It has always worked to shape my life, and it is not a quitter. But I am determined too, my life will not be lived in fear.

This week, I am feeling the positive impact of the new meditative tools Pam is giving me as well more strongly and clearly. I can’t change if I don’t understand myself and I have been working to do that for years, day and night, a journey from the awful abyss to pills and doctors to awakening and therapy to spirituality, spiritual counselors, reading, meditation and a search for understanding. In meditation, I come face to face with the fear, nose-to-nose, I have never been so close to it. I accept it, welcome it, even love it, it has been with me for so long. It isĀ  moving away from me, and I am moving away from it. This is whee I am determined to go, this is my intention. I am so excited about my life and the opportunity I have to finally see the truth about myself, to let go of the way of thinking that nearly ruined my life, but will not get another crack at me.

Meditation has been a powerful journey for me, and I treasure it more and more ever day.

As a shrink told me five years ago, it can change your life. It is changing mine.

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