What’s the Big Deal with Meditation?

Meditation is about giving the fractured parts of us a space to commune.

Last night, the rain slammed against the windows of my home and woke me up, thunder making sure I stayed awake. I tossed and turned, not quite asleep but not awake either, as the light bled into the bedroom with the dawn.

A couple of years ago, a storm like that would have easily rendered me hitting my pillow, counting, and recounting the hours of sleep I was missing. A couple of years ago, I perceived life coming at me more than coming through me. A couple of years ago, I saw my brain’s worst-case-scenario game as something belonging to me instead of a mere function of that organ warehoused in my body.

My external life hasn’t changed much in these past couple of years. There’s still bills to pay, traffic to maneuver through, personal challenges to face — you name it, life stressors continue.

So, what’s changed? What’s given me the gift of inner peace, the ability to both strive and surrender, to relish experience over destination, to trust that everything is always working out — even at those times when my brain is telling me a very different story?

Meditation. I love it and cannot recommend it enough.

The prefix medi is Latin for middle. When we meditate, we are putting ourselves into this middle space between waking and dreaming. We are both in our physical bodies and beyond them.

In the middle, we are able to watch our thoughts without judgment or censorship. Meditation allows us to go from a micro to macro perspective. The late and great, Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote powerfully about this in his book, The Shift: Taking Your Life from Ambition to Meaning:

“Becoming the observer (step back) you begin to live in process, trusting where our source is taking you. You begin to detach from the outcome. That detachment allows you to stop fighting and allows things to just come to you…You get to a place where you begin to be guided by something greater than yourself.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer

The gift of meditation grows over time. Each time I take those 10–15 minutes in the morning to meditate, my spiritual muscles are stronger than the day before. If I find myself in what I perceive to be a stressful situation, I am able to catch myself that much sooner and breathe through any unpleasant feelings that arise, “welcoming the unwelcome” (Pema Chodron), knowing as the pithy goes, “This too shall pass.”

There is no wrong way to meditate. Go for a walk, listen to the air conditioning as you sit comfortably on a chair, fold laundry, paying attention to the sensations of the fabrics your fingers touch.

Meditation is about giving the fractured parts of us a space to commune. It’s an opportunity to slow down and observe, to watch without fixing, to feel without concealing, to allow our sheer being to just…be. Over time, you learn to trust both the Universe and your inner knowing (which, in my book, are one in the same).

“People can tell you all kinds of wrong directions, lead you around any corner. You can’t trust any of that. You can’t even trust me. What do they say in car adverts? About the navigation system? Comes as standard. Everything you need to know about right and wrong is already there. It comes as standard. It’s like music. You just have to listen.” How to Stop Time (author, Matt Haig).

Meditation is the portal to listening and by extension, knowing ourselves.

What’s the big deal about meditation?

In my opinion, everything. Cultivating our inner compass is where the real magic happens.

Thank You, Matt Haig!

Enter Haig’s Midnight Library: A world where you get to make different choices that affect the trajectory of your life.

There is nothing like living on the brink of World War III on the heels of a pandemic to cause one to wax reflective, if not, downright depressed. Take your pick of observations: the murder of George Floyd, the deaths of civilians, police officers, and a veteran both at and due to the January 6, 2021 capitol riots; as of the writing of this post, 115 children have died as a direct result of the Russia-Ukraine War. 

Since March 2020, whether we were masking up or hoping that our Amazon order didn’t get taken by porch pirates; whether we were worried we would never see Lysol Disinfectant wipes ever again or contact tracing with dread after learning a friend at a recent dinner party tested positive for Omicron, life on Earth has often felt like an apocalyptic Twilight Zone episode we can’t Rod Serling our way out of.

Enter the ingenious writer: Matt Haig and his new book, The Midnight Library. This is the kind of book that reminds us: even the most ordinary of lives has the ability to experience an extraordinary life. It’s the butterfly effect on steroids. No spoilers here, but Haig’s protagonist, painfully depressed in a way humanity can empathize with now, discovers the profound life changes brought about by the most minute of alterations. 

Again, no spoilers but Haig’s writing is food for the soul, nourishing our hearts with the poignant reminder that what we do matters. Like us, the protagonist and her family are fallible and contend with their own Achilles heels. Like life, this story pulls every emotion from our funny bone to our heartstrings. Haig is both therapist and entertainer with his words; through the insights of the main character, we understand ourselves more.

One of the quotes in Haig’s book is from the philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre:

“Life begins on the other side of despair.”

The Midnight Library has the potential to resuscitate the heart of the heartbroken. It is as complex as it is simple, like humanity itself. 

Mr. Haig, thank you for the invaluable reminder that regardless of what is occurring externally in our topsy-turvy world, each of us has the power to choose a different thought, word, or action; by extension, each of us has the power to create and experience delicious possibility. 

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/russiaukraine-war-115-children-killed-140-injured-so-far-says-report-101647775243391.html

Source : https://www.americanscientist.org/article/understanding-the-butterfly-effect

Source : https://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Library-Novel-Matt-Haig/dp/0525559477/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ZLREKKEQC2OR&keywords=the+midnight+library&qid=1648005044&sprefix=the+midnight+library%2Caps%2C130&sr=8-1