We live in times of unprecedented change and uncertainty and now, more than ever, it is vital for as many of us as possible to build a meditation practice into our daily lives. Just as we are beginning to re-emerge into the world after coronavirus restrictions, this heart-breaking explosion of racism in the cruel murder of George Floyd, and others before him, are demanding that we address our personal and collective shadows that blight our world and seek substantial, lasting change as one human family.
Now, there is an urgent need for more of us to WAKE UP on so many levels – of our unconscious bias, of our personal fears, ego defenses and anything that limits our capacity to rise into the most loving, compassionate, courageous, graceful human beings we can be. Our world needs more of us capable of staying present in chaotic and difficult circumstances, so we can act with love to help, heal and serve our world in transition.
I do not claim to know how we bring about the multi levelled reforms needed so that every single human being is treated with respect and kindness. However, after almost 40 years of opening my heart and mind towards the stubborn knots of my own ego, and 30 years as a spiritual teacher supporting others in their process, I have seen what obstructs authentic transformation…and what supports it.
One thing I know: If you want to embody the love, clarity, peace, compassion, strength and joy that is your deepest nature, then regular, dedicated meditation practice wants to become your cherished friend. Regular meditation gives you a refuge in the storm, a place to find peace even though the ground around you may be quaking. It helps you relinquish the roots of fear and control. It gives you a compassionate inner platform to face unconscious forces within yourself that must be faced and forgiven.
Regular meditation practice helps you recognize that we are all held by a Grace that is so much deeper than our mind can even understand. That we are held here together – in unity, even though at the same time we are unique and that uniqueness is precious.
I have been meditating regularly since I first found my way to the spiritual path as a teenager. I had already been cracked upon to the state of Boundless Love, and so I had tasted what life could be like minus the filter of my neurotic suffering. Inspired by the great sages I was reading, I sincerely hoped that meditating could help me get past my frustrating patterns and open into the love, truth and beauty I had already glimpsed was there at the core of us all.
Like everyone, I bumbled around a lot at first, not knowing how to drop out of my whirring mind. I was fortunate early on in my path to receive quality instruction from great teachers whose patience and guidance helped me to embrace spiritual discipline, cultivate patience, humility and perserverence as I engaged in classical methods – like breath counting, pranayama, centering prayer, mantra recitation and just good old silence! I have been blessed to receive instruction from Zen Roshis, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu monks, even a Hassidic Rabbi. The great blessing of this early instruction and their loving transmission helped open my subtle body to clarity and open. As my inner agitation settled, whole worlds opened up inside, and specific practices emerged as gifts of Grace within my own practice…taking it deeper, revealing how to relax back into natural great peace. How to let dissolving happen. In time, how we can stabilize in our realization and learn to live and act from its wisdom in daily life.
In recent months, given the intensity of our times, I have increased my meditation practice – for multiple reasons. Firstly, because I find it so nourishing to sit at my altar, on my simple cushion, and just let go back into natural great peace. I feel like a plant that is growing ever deeper, broader roots in the Infinite Ground of Grace, while I am drinking light, receiving what is needed for each day. Some days it feels like the dust of the world and its suffering is being washed clean, sometimes personal stressors being released, but mostly “I” just disappear back into no-thing-ness.
The more I allow emptying out, the more Grace shimmers. Everything is available. Sometimes at the end of this silent time, I pray, or listen and journal, read some scripture, give thanks. I emerge refreshed and spiritually ready for whatever the day brings. I feel naturally joyful.
On occasion when this meditation practice does not happen, or it is shorter than usual, I feel the lure of my altar and the practice itself with me, and yet notice I look forward to when I can come to drink light.
These days, my focus is mostly on embodying the fruits of practice in every moment. So, when I notice my consciousness contracting for any reason – too many emails, daily stressors, or even the heart-break of watching the news and seeing yet another painful explosion of ignorance, I have found “on the spot” versions of my meditation practice. This has been a game changer, a beautiful way to live into the gifts of practice amidst ordinary everyday life in this crazy world.
Now, as our world is in a collective birth canal, a time of great intensity, I feel called to share these gifts of practice, that have such an enormous difference in my own inner life with you. My prayer is that this course truly supports you to drink deeply from the inner stream that is alive within us all, that can truly quench our thirst and give us the spiritual resilience we need to live in this world and serve its evolution.
You might have had good intentions to meditate, but don’t actually get to it on a regular basis. You may have tried, but struggled to gain real traction in your practice, not quite knowing how to drop out of the commentating mind into deep stillness. You might have an established practice, but things have become a bit dry inside…going through the motions but not quite experiencing the nourishment you suspect is possible. Perhaps you have fallen off the horse, and need supportive structure to get back into the saddle and drop deep.
Wherever you are with your practice then I invite you to join me for a new online program called “Deepening your Meditation Practice” which starts on 6 July 2020. This program is for anyone sincere who genuinely wishes to either establish a deeper meditation practice or re-ignite and existing one. Click here to find out more and I do hope that you will decide to join me and other students from all over the globe at this important time in our collective history.