Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Knock On The Sky"

"Knock on the sky and listen to the sound..." --Zen proverb

One part of the program that I've never been very good at is meditating. I do it from time to time, will even get a run in where I meditate every day in the morning, then it usually passes and I don't do it for a while. Usually a long while. I'm a spiritual guy, pray frequently, and am pretty good about practicing the principles in all my affairs, but this one piece always seems to fall by the wayside for me.

It might be some personal prejudices I have against the process. I've known a lot of hippie-happy-kumbaya types. And I do have a general distrust of people who scratch the shallow surface of new age-ish practices and claim to have found deep, profound meaning. Or it could be that I don't like to be alone with my busy brain.

Regardless, I'm trying it again. This morning, I felt the resistance, then heard a voice inside tell me to just listen to the sound of my own mind. I did, and what a cacophony. Thoughts bouncing all over the place, comments both real and imagined being passed back and forth. My brain is a chaotic mess. Maybe my higher power is aware of this and has been welling the urge to meditate up inside me because of it. Kind of like the Infinite All's way of saying, "Dammit, Zach, your brain's so loud--shut it already!" Ha!

Sometimes I'm very centered. One night a few weeks back, I was shooting pool and was having a great night. The balls fell into their pockets one right after the other. The chaos of the pool hall around me faded away. It felt great. But it wasn't the great night I had that brought the feeling of centeredness, it was that I was centered and that's why I had a great night.

A lot of people use meditation to center themselves. I admit, I did feel better after I took a few minutes this morning. I felt more grounded. I've heard of folks having deep insights from meditating. I have had the occasional light bulb. Something about it still seems touchy-feely to me, though.

Step Eleven talks about increasing our conscious contact through prayer and meditation. When we work the 12-steps, we're working a spiritual program. Step eleven is where that point really hits home. We've admitted our powerlessness, given our lives over. We've addressed our defects and cleaned up the wreckage of our past. Moving forward, we do so intentionally and under the guidance of something greater than ourselves. Meditation is as old a spiritual practice as praying. I don't do it all that much, so I can't say with any authority that it works. But it works for other people, so I'll keep at it.

Besides, I'd kind of like to know what the sky sounds like.

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