I hope you’re still regularly practicing your meditation and that it’s becoming more and more a foundational pillar in your day.
For me, I don’t leave home without it (kind of like the American Express card for a lot of folks). This morning was no exception. Shortly after getting up at 4:30 am, I found my way over to my meditation cushion.
Based on timing, this morning’s sitting was only about 12 minutes or so. Truthfully, my mind was kind of all over the place. But as I do, I sat as an observer and simply let the thoughts come and go, returning to my breath over and over again.
This returning to our breathing when the mind starts to wander is a key tenet of the practice. It is the way to the present moment.
So once I finished up what needed to be done after meditation, I got in my car and headed off to work. As life does, it immediately gave me an opportunity to practice non-reactivity and compassion. You see, at 5:45 am the one lane road I drive is pretty empty and I was simply cruising along at just above the speed limit.
Low and behold, I look in my rearview mirror and a car is fast approaching. I was in a space that was pretty calm, so I was simply going to pull over and allow the car to pass. Before I even had a chance to, the car flew past me using the lane for oncoming traffic.
There was a traffic light about 200 yards in front of us that was yellow and about to turn red. Sure enough, the car had to stop and I was slowly making my way up behind it. However, the driver got impatient and ran the red.
What an A$$ right? Or maybe not.
Without even having seen who was driving, I could feel the agitated mind of this other driver. There was a distinct energy that was coming from the actions I was beholding.
Now, being human, there was a part of me that was a little disturbed by this person’s need to drive that fast right up on my tail, fly past me on the wrong side of the road, then blow through a red light. All of which could endangered someone’s life. And I could have sat there in judgement and anger (which I’m certain I would have done in the past),
But this time, I chose a different response. I decided to wish PEACE to that person. I had no idea why he drove the way he did. Our egoic mind want’s to say, Oh that SOB, what a jerk for being that aggressive and thoughtless, but reality is, we don’t know anything about that other person.
They could have been rushing to the hospital, or yeah, maybe they just got a horrendous fight with their husband/wife, or maybe they were simply being careless. Point is, I don’t know at all.
And rather than reacting and perpetuating the aggressive, hurried, unsettling energy with some form of “What a Jerk” response, I chose to raise the vibration…to remain calm and pray for that person’s peace, regardless of what the reason was.
My mantra in that moment…Let there be peace in my mind, let there be peace in the earth.
The reason, I go into all of this, is because I can say that without a shadow of a doubt, my meditation practice over the years, and specifically this morning, is what allowed me to move into a turbulent moment in my life and remain calm, cool, collected and connected. To care about another human rather than condemn them.
So often I hear folks are expecting their meditation to be some “out of body” experience and if they don’t have it, they think it’s not working. Au contraire my friend.
While it might be amazing to have mind-bending, heart-opening meditations, the real juice is when you can step off the mat and move into the “real world” and have far more compassion for others. To occupy a space where you notice yourself growing in refinement, elegance, civility and wisdom…this is what meditation has the power to do for us.
I know that it can and will have similar effects for you…you’ve just got to stick with it.
Keep on sitting my friend.
All is well, Adam Michael Brewer