image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Meditation… I don’t do it every day, but I do it when the connection to my soul is on the fritz, when the wi-fi that is the pathway to my heart has been slow for days, even though it’s been reset… it’s time to call for professional help. That is what meditation is to me.
Each sitting is different, but usually they are similar in the fact that it takes a while for my head to stop talking. As a meditation teacher of mine described, it is like a bicycle when turned upside down: give it time to stop spinning.
I refer to it as the chit chat of my monkey mind.
You ever heard a monkey? I have, once, in Costa Rica.
I was in shallow water, figuratively and literally, waiting for my boyfriend to join me. We had just hiked through a jungle to cool water on the other side. I threw off my clothes immediately and jumped in; he, worked over by the coc he did the night before, took a tree branch and dug it into the sand in a circle.
There was a sound so fast, I didn’t even begin to compute what it was. A drum roll had nothing on those little feet: a fuzzy, spunky little thing grabbing my shorts, sticking his hand into the pockets, then the same with my boyfriend’s… he found something there, ran up the nearest tree and shook whatever he found, before I could even realize he was a monkey.
He dropped his jaw and shook his head, a noise falling out across the branch like a man screaming with marbles stuffed in his mouth.
That is the monkey mind.
That’s what I usually get when I sit down.
But, recently, after not meditating in over a week, I sat down in the morning with two new daily meditation books. I had bought them for myself after Christmas, having given one to my dad for the holiday and then letting him know he could give it back to me if he wasn’t interested.
Catching myself, I ordered another copy three days later. I never said I was perfect.
I closed my eyes, leaned back with my favorite crystal in hand… and what was that? There was nothing there.
Immediately, I could hear myself breathe, sense my chest giving way… my heart pumping what it needs to. It was damn silent!
I judged it… could it be my head cold, slowing me down?
I was forcing myself to think. So I stopped. And that is when the gentle magic began…
Gentle magic is what I call something greater, something quiet and light, revealing truth I need to see – like fairy dust for the spirit.
There is only one way to say what happened next. I felt my soul inside the body it lives in, separate from the walls that house it.
It was breathtaking to watch, to witness. But I wasn’t done with my lesson yet. I perceived my mind, and it felt incredibly small… insecure.
It looked back and around, nervously, at my soul – unsure of what to do.
It sounds kind of crazy, I know. But is it? Our minds give us so much grief, coercing us into battle against things we have no power over. Our minds tell us we are alone, pathetic, disgusting… that we might as well eat the entire pantry because nobody will ever love us.
That our parents, or our spouse, can’t stand us, and so they hurt us. Or things will always be so hard, so we might as well give up on ourselves.
The mind, just like the monkey, moves so fast that we don’t even recognize what it is, and so we cannot come to terms with it.
What I saw that morning was the fact that our minds are just small, angry, nebbish little men that will bring others down and point out all that is wrong with them, just to feel better about themselves.
Our minds have the Napoleon complex… don’t buy into the little men!
Your soul is strong, and tall, and it wants to grow. No amount of untrue doctrine spit out by the monkey mind can keep it from doing so… all you have to do is turn a blind ear to it!
Do the work to separate your mind from yourself, and you will find your truest self. Breathe in, breathe out, and tell that chit chatting little man he has to go!
|Katherine Ellis is a writer, actress and entrepreneur. She is a native of Los Angeles, where she spent her childhood accumulating numerous acting jobs under her (vintage) belt. When she is not playing dress-up or writing about it on her vintage fashion blog Breakfast at Gemini’s, she is writing her memoir Going on Nine. Needing snacks to munch on while writing is essential, and thus her unique natural toffee company was born. McFaddy Candy Co, as featured in In Style magazine, currently caters large scale special events in Los Angeles and is sold in boutique stores across Southern California.|