I meditated today. I’m tempted — sorely tempted — to say “I don’t know if it worked.” But, I want this to be about me, about my path and I’m going to assume that, if I completed the full guided meditation and got something out of it, it must have worked.
What is meditation supposed to be like? I asked my wife if she’d ever considered meditating and she said yes “but she never found the quiet to try it” (it didn’t rhyme in German, my appologies). We laughed together at the idea of not having enough calm to, you know, perform calming exercises. So, I don’t know anyone who can say “I’m a huge fan of meditation! Here’s what it feels like.”
Maybe it’s best I just do this, and don’t try to replicate a feeling that is ‘success’ for someone else.
I’ll tell you this: I didn’t reach another state of consciousness. I wasn’t on the astral plane, surrounded by my ancestors. I was sitting at the kitchen table and awkwardly rubbing my face with the heels of my hands as I was instructed to relax. Then, eventually, I just laid down on the kitchen floor.
I was relaxed.
Was it a success? Hard to say. I’d go for partial success.
I have been filled with a strange energy lately, a dissatisfaction and frustration. This is partly what’s put me interested being a bit more active about my spiritual needs, but also partly a frustration that my effort isn’t immediately rewarded. A frustration that declaring an interest in druidry didn’t immediately fill me with a sense of ‘who I am’ and the corresponding strength to be true to that self. (While we’re at it, how about the wisdom to communicate better with my children?)
And, no, meditating didn’t give me all that or magically dissipate all that negative energy. Or, not for long.
Using my breathing-in-colors strategy that had worked with my son before, I did find some comfort in breathing that energy away, though I feel it creeping back already. (And maybe I should accept that it might not be a part of who I want to be, but it is a part of who I am right now.)
At first, I mostly thought of the bit I’ve already shared with you from the biography of Aleister Crowley. Like Aleister, I’ve realized how hard it is for me to control my thoughts. I knew — still know — that I have trouble with focus. In this case, it was driven home that I have difficulties excluding thoughts from my mind as well.
Nonetheless, I learned more from the experience than that I’m not good at focusing on meditation. I was, briefly, really comforted by the experience. Enough that I downloaded the free audio file to possibly try the same thing out of doors, or just at a whim later.
Even more, at some point, a thought came to me unbidden. That’s not how it felt at the time, at the time it felt as though I were in a conversation with myself (as I — and, I think, most people — often am) and that this was the logical result of that conversation. But, as you may have noticed, I can generally give the context of thoughts that I have (I find the context to be relevant, to shade the ideas to a certain degree) but I can’t tell you what the context for this thought was.
It was a thought that comforted me on my perceived lack of progress in this spiritual journey, and one that I’ll share with you when I’ve been able to let it steep into my consciousness a bit more.
And it’s a thought that I’m thankful for. Maybe more profoundly thankful because there was something about the whole exchange that makes this thought less ‘mine‘ and more something that was almost external to me, and given to me. It’s enough to make one wonder if maybe the gods do exist, after all.
To be honest, when I cradle this thought in my breast (that’s how I imagine it) and take comfort from it, I think that thirty minutes of my time and the awkwardness of wondering ‘am I doing this right?’ was a small price to pay. So, yes, I’ll be meditating again.
If you’re curious which guided meditation I used, the ‘Druidry & Meditation‘ page from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids has two free meditations on the website. I used the one named ‘A Meditation with All Four Elements.’