The practice of dhyana (meditation) has brought me many things: emotions, sensations, challenges, and moments of stillness. Above all, it has helped me look inward to awaken aspects of the self that I never thought existed. Through pranayama (control of the breath), I've also discovered that finding stillness within the self doesn't necessarily clear a path for carefree interactions.
One of my teachers, Neda Honarvar always says:
Be careful what you wish for in your meditation practice. Your words will manifest one way or another. If you ask to be guided through the fire, you will walk through the fire...and it won't be fun.
The practice of dhyana exposes pain.
It's incredible how this path of self-discovery can feel be both fulfilling and utterly isolating. In that sense, the term enlightenment seems deceivingly optimistic. Some days an introspective practice leaves me feeling incredibly grounded and one tiny step closer to neutrality. Other times a practice leaves me feeling untethered to the world and out-of-sync with the people around me. Why is this?
I suppose everything might be different and I might feel more balanced if we all meditated. Imagine a world of thinkers that asked more existential questions; a society that valued humanity over personality; a community free of hate and driven by exploration. Maybe we'd all be a little more compassionate, a bit more alert, and a lot less selfish. But that just isn't the case. It might become the case as our species is only reaching adolescence but right now, today, it just isn't the case. To be a part of this constructed society I do have to sit in traffic and I do have to socialize with people I don't particularly care for, and I do have to pay taxes. But that isn't the only thing I can do...
I can accept pain and I can seek pleasure as there is both darkness and light within every pursuit. Similarly, I've found both sweetness and solace in the mantra that calls upon Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha.
Removing obstacles on the path of devotion doesn't lead to bliss. Instead, it exposes pain and forces us to be here, right now. It forces us to be alert participants in a world where we default as hidden observers.
May the power of this mantra release into my universe.
May it remove obstacles in my path to expose all that lies within.
May it illuminate the shadows with the magic of my internal flame.
Magic Lies Within
Meditate on the magic within. Within you lies a chest of dusty secrets and a reservoir of arousing revelations. Dust breeds dust while revelations breed hope. There will always be both.
Return to the space between stimulus and response (is there one?). Within this space are scattered intentions and conspicuous mistakes. Align the lessons learned with worthy intentions, for there will always be both.
Breathe out cosmic dust.
Breathe in spirited revelations.
Her skin tastes like nectar and salt. Her tongue burns before it soothes. Her eyes shine light where there is darkness.
Magic lies within
Magic lies within
Magic lies within.