Day 8-9 of my 21-Day Meditation Experience was focused on going deeper into the mind through awareness and meditation. Deepak explains that (and if you have meditated for any length of time you are aware) whether you are using a mantra or are just focused on the breath, there is a “gap” where you are not focused on the mantra or breath because you are in between repeating the mantra in your head or in-between breaths. This is where the magic happens. There are no thoughts in the gap. They are little blips of silence and that is the core of coming in touch with your true self. I absolutely treasure these moments in meditation. It doesn’t always happen, as sometimes thoughts come about and you steer yourself back to your mantra/breath. Over and over again. But that is also good because that is how you build muscle memory in your brain. I’ve heard it compared to working out. It’s basically the same thing. Keep building that muscle until it gets stronger. The best part is when this calmness that happens in the gap transcends into your everyday life. I have seen this happen in my own life and it’s something to behold. I’m SO grateful I have found this practice. No drugs or therapy required!
Next I was to come up with times in my life where I felt in the flow and “close to the source of my existence”. That’s pretty deep! When I thought about it, I have to say that when I’m near water and especially at the beach I feel like I’ve become one with nature. Something about the warm wind, hot sun, the sand at my feet, the sounds coming from the ocean and the beauty and awe of the ocean itself has that effect on me. It just feels natural. And more recently when hiking. I’ve occasionally had these peak experiences in yoga where I’m so mindful that I truly feel like I’m the only one in the room. I am overcome with calm and peace. I just love it. I routinely put myself in the front row of the studio, even in the beginning, mostly so I could clearly see the teacher. I needed to see what is going on. In the beginning it felt like a game of Twister.. right hand here, hold left leg, look over right shoulder, left hand in the air… it took A LOT of concentration and mindfulness on my part. If you are at all scattered, it will show up in a yoga class. If you miss a cue because your brain is somewhere else, you will be twisting left when everyone else is twisting right. This happen to me over and over again in the beginning. So, not only am I getting the physical benefits of yoga, flexibly, strength and improving my nervous system, I’m getting all the benefits of meditation. I can’t say enough about it.
This week I suggest that if you are already not meditating that you give it try. Once you get comfortable you may experience the calm in the “gaps” too.
I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments! Thanks for being here!