Ever since I was a child I’ve had repeated dreams where I can fly. I literally just bend my legs and lean upward and I fly. At first there is a bit of an unsure feeling, but I quickly get the hang of it and delight in my ability to fly!
A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to attend a day long retreat/teaching with the Dalai Lama. He spoke of meditation within our current frenzied cultural context as a source of peace, focus and something that engenders compassion. He also spoke about the endless chatter that we all have going on in our minds, whether or not we are aware of it. He said: “Who wouldn’t want a break from all that every now and then!”
The other night I had another dream that I was able to fly. As always I woke up feeling sad that it was a dream and that I really can’t fly. Yet, for some reason, this particular dream of flying began to get connected with my meditation. Meditation is a way to fly on this side of life; it’s a taste of the total freedom and total weightlessness that we will experience – both a psychological weightlessness and a physical weightlessness. When one meditates, the deeper we go, the more unaware of our body and mind we are and, in a sense, we begin to fly! Some even say we get more in contact and at one with everything that is around us – because, as physicists say, everything that exists is simply wave energy vibrating at a certain frequency. This creates matter. When we meditate I believe we are in touch with this Energy (capital intentional, i.e., God) at more fundamental levels and so we begin to experience a freedom from this particular body and a unity with all that exists, all Energy – and in this sense, we fly!
Jesus said “the kingdom is at hand,” it’s here! What a blessing and what a relief that we can begin to experience the kingdom right here and now. I believe I can fly!
In the musical Wicked, Elphaba, the “wicked” witch sings a song called “Defying Gravity.” In it she sings a wonderful line: “Unlimited, . . . My future is unlimited!” Later in the play she sings that line again, but instead of singing “unlimited,” having experienced some hard knocks, she sings “I’m limited.” However, despite the fact that she is feeling limited at that moment, she holds fast to her original vision of being “unlimited” and life is transformed for her.
How often we get bogged down with thoughts and feelings of our limitations. Instead of keeping our focus on our dreams and visions, we so often focus on the day to day things that we all must do to live in “reality.”
Does living in “reality” preclude us from feeling unlimited and keeping our focus there?
It is those who have not allowed themselves to be bogged down, or held down by the way things are that have been the movers and shakers in our world. It is those who have constantly stretched the limits imposed by “reality” who have created new spiritualities, new cures, new technologies and new ways of being. Where would we be without such unlimited thinkers?
I was reading Wayne Dyer’s new book Excuses Be Gone. In chapter 4 he reminds us that we are unlimited. “Know that you are a soul with a body rather than the reverse” (p.75). That is, our souls are from eternity and are eternal – where there are no limitations. Remember this! If I could be or do anything I would want, without any current limitations imposed on me – what would it be? Ask yourself this question. And when you get the answer, this is what we need to keep before our eyes – not the limitations of “reality!”
As I continue “Just Sitting” – my Zazen practice – I remain intrigued by what it’s doing, yet at the same time trying to be unattached from expectation that anything will come of it. This simple (and not so simple!) opening of the body, spirit and mind connects us directly to Source Energy, God, Spirit and when you think about it, that’s freak’n amazing!! I find myself more aware, looking to see what this silence will bring.
Most of the time I find it difficult not to think, and simply concentrate on my breathing. The mind, the ego will not easily shut up. It does NOT want to give up control! Yet, what a relief it is to stop the incessant chatter within! I can only imagine what this must do to the brain. I can’t help but believe that in the process of this silence of the mind, the brain is literally making new connections. I am convinced that in this silence I am more lined up with Source, and Divine will becomes my will. In this silence the ego is shut up and I somehow feel more directly connected to God – I let go of control. I get out of the way. Maybe that’s what “let go, and let God” means. Normally when I give up control, I find myself, at least apprehensive, if not downright fearful. Yet as a result of this silence I find myself looking forward in hopeful expectation to see what will unfold in my life – and that of the world (because it‘s not just about my life, but affecting the world). Instead of a problem to be solved, life is becoming a Mystery to be lived. I look forward to the journey!
Today I was meditating, and, as often is the case, my mind gets going and I want to get up and start getting something done that I’m thinking about. Sometimes it is “work” just to sit there. Funny huh? “Work” just to sit there?
The White Robed Monks call this “Just Sitting,” a practice adopted from Zen, where one simply sits 15 minutes a day, concentrating on the breath and clearing the mind of all thought. When we do this our mind, our ego revolts. That little voice in our heads just doesn’t want to leave us alone.
What struck me this morning again is that when I want to heed that voice within, when I want to get up and start moving and stop this sitting – I am not trusting! In essence, when I break the meditation and start running, I am saying that I trust more in myself than I do in Divine Power. My experience, however, says that when I stay with this “work,” when I simply sit and make an empty space in my mind, I connect directly with Source Energy, God, the Spirit. Suddenly my work is given energy and much more is accomplished – and somehow – directly as a result of thinking no-thing, my thoughts are clarified and my life is given meaning and direction. It’s like I have suddenly been plugged in!
Can I trust enough to stay with the silent embrace and make a space in my life to connect with Source? Try it. And see what happens!
To live well I must live in such a way that I remain within a flow of good thinking. Various tasks, pressures and bad habits can confuse thinking, and, as a result take me off center.
It’s no accident that 12 Step programs and various spiritual teachers through the centuries recommend daily prayer that our thoughts be guided. The importance of this practice has come back to me of late – asking, . . . just asking that my thoughts be directed by a Power greater than myself. Left to my own devices, I quickly get off course. But left open to a Power greater than myself who can restore me to right thinking (aka “sanity), I feel more grounded and more useful to others. This openess comes from clearing out as much as possible that which gets in the way of clear thinking and bouncing things off of other people. Again, left to my own devices, my own thoughts, in isolation from a Divine Power or other people, I quickly get off course.
God, direct my thinking today!
As a musician I am sensitive to music’s vibration. This vibration contains within it the power to literally move us. Just think of it, something we can’t really see, a vibration, unites hearts, makes us cry, moves us to dance, to exercise, to relax and to inspiration. At times it gets us motivated and keeps us moving. At other times it slows us down and is like a peaceful calm to our spirits. It lifts us up to inspiration and places on our lips words and melodies that can unlock the depths of the heart and give expression to what may otherwise lay dormant within us.
If we can perceive that this invisible vibration has the power to move matter, is it such a stretch to believe that thought can move matter; to believe in a Force, Universe Energy, God or whatever we want to call it, that has the power to change and move matter?
Are my thoughts in vibrational harmony with what I want to create and who I want to be on this planet? Do my thoughts sap the Life Force from me, . . .or do they create an energy that makes me dance?
The other day I had the pleasure of visiting a friend of mine who is a monk. I drove to his monastery to spend the greater part of a day with him. As I headed out of the city and into the country I could literally feel my body relax and my mind calm. As I entered the silence of the monastery I could feel something shift within me. It felt as if my inner gas tank was being filled and as if a Divine Chiropractor was adjusting my body spirit so that I could be more lined up with the Source Energy within me. It was wonderful visiting with my friend; but, to be honest, I yearned for a bit more time in solitude.
On my way there and back I listened to a set of talks by Dr. Wayne Dyer on “The Power of Intention.” He spoke eloquently about being lined up with Source Energy within. It struck me that this is one of the most important things that we need to be about in our living – to take time to line ourselves up with this energy. If we are lined up, then the rest of life will flow. If we are lined up with this Energy within wonderful things simply begin to manifest in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
We live, however, in an ever more frenzied society that runs at fever pitch and is suspect of such a “waste” of time. I am convinced that this incessant stream of activity keeps us forgetful of the Power within us and so we live like squirrels running on treadmills, . . . going nowhere fast. The irony is that if we would “waste” a little time in silence getting focused we would live much more meaningful and productive lives. It is no wonder that those who we would consider “enlightened” spent significant time in silence and meditation; . . . and they accomplished wonderful things! The fact is, the more we “do” and the more we avoid this “holy waste of time” the LESS we will accomplish. Perhaps we should waste a little time today and step into the stream of Divine Energy.