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Monday, December 28, 2009


Meditation is a form of art to the Buddhists. There are various ideas of what one is supposed to do or who one is supposed to praise while meditating, but one of the more popular schools instructs would-be meditation practitioners to simply focus on their own breath and sit up straight. When you focus and concentrate on your breathing, not in the sense that you're controlling the pace of the breath but in the sense that you're concentrating on just listening to it, experiencing it, your mind seems to get overwhelmed with random thoughts that work their way out of the depths of your head.

Meditation in this fashion tells us lots about life in general. Life is a series of moments, and sometimes we're blessed to be so enamored by something that it's as if we're simply listening to our own breath. Maybe it's a sunrise or a painting. Maybe it's a piece of music. Maybe it's the face or the touch of a loved one. Whatever the cue, something jolts our souls into feeling that which we are tied into, reminding us of what we've had, what we've lost, what we've loved and what we've neglected.

We don't realize, when we get so caught up in life, that connecting with that simplicity is so close to our realities that when it does get cued from that piece of music or that picture of a face that you haven't seen in years, we are deeply touched. Our emotions are driven to their bloom, the flower of all that we believe in.

We all have many thoughts, feelings, beliefs that we cannot explain. Some of these are simply raw emotion, emotion that may seem to us to be bigger than the biggest mountain in the world yet completely contained within our chests. Some of these emotions make us swell with pride and give us a euphoria, convincing us that we alone can change or even conquer the world. Others can cripple us, put us in a state that we would gladly trade for death.

These raw emotions are divine. They are the closest we mere mortals can get to communication with something so much bigger than we can wrap our heads around. They're not prophesies for interpretation. They're not orders or missions for you to improve your life. They're simply reminders from the Universe or God that you are significant, that you matter, that you have a purpose. They are expressions of pure love, albeit not pure love itself. Emotion that powerful, that overwhelming, while crippling to our own senses is but a grain of sand on the beach of what divine providence can show us.

The Buddhists and people from many other faiths (and even the absence of "faith") have found their own ways to tap into these raw emotional waves. Some, the masters, have even found ways to control them and use them for good. Mythological stories which some hold true often involve someone who was so at peace with themselves and so connected to some form of "God" that they, too, achieved enlightened divinity. From the resurrection of Yeshua of Nazareth to the enlightenment of Siddhattha Gautama to the apotheosis of George Washington, many inspirational figures in history, regardless of any opinion of fact or fiction, have been models of this connection with pure emotional energy.

These figures had spent a significant portion of their lives learning how to control their minds to be receptive to these emotions. The more you practice, the easier it gets, like anything else. Next time you have one of these moments, embrace it, breathe it in, and let it move you. Depending on what you believe, it could be the closest you could get to God before you die. And while I'm no expert or even a student of these thoughts, I've had too few mind-blowing moments in my life lately. This holiday brought me a few, and I figured I'd pass on to someone how intense it was.

Thanks for reading.
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