I am a hyperactive person.
This is pretty much a universally accepted fact.
Thank God I get to teach yoga and qi gong, as this is an excellent way for me to channel my physical energy.
I have been going to the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, www.aszc.org, for some time now on Monday nights, and finally at long last I feel like I am beginning to go deeper in my meditations.
In the beginning, I took great consolation with the fact that the Zen teachings say that if you are simply sitting on your zafu trying to meditate that you are in fact in a state of enlightenment, even if it feels like war and peace struggling for dominance in your head.
Like most people, I sat there, night after night, trying not to listen to the endless ya-ya-ing going on up there.
Really, after awhile, if you watch your mind, even you will get bored with yourself.
That’s part of the gift.
There will actually be a part of you that would simply rather be at peace.
After awhile, that peaceful yearning part will win, even if for a few seconds, and you may get a glimpse.
While I have been meditating regularly, of course I have been endlessly re-reading my favorite author, Dr. David Hawkins, author of numerous spiritual tomes. Dr. Hawkins says the quickest way to enlightenment, in a nutshell, is to be aware of awareness.
Being aware of awareness for some time felt like just another of those Zen koans we would talk about after meditation.
After awhile your ego mind just gives up trying to figure it all out.
And then one night, I crawled onto my cushion at the Zen Center and actually figured it out – at least momentarily.
I am not sure why or how, but here it is.
My typical practice would be to adopt my seat on my zafu and shut my eyes. I know that the Zen technique is to keep your eyes partially open and stare at the blank wall ahead of you, but as the typical rebellious student that I am, I kept shutting my eyes as I had for many years before meditating at the Zen Center.
I would sit down, repeat the Lord’s Prayer many times like a mantra until my mind drifted off and then sit in what I would hope would be silence until my errant thoughts popped up.
But somehow, on that fated night, I tried something else.
Being a medical intuitive, it is easy for me to shift the focus of my mind anywhere.
I can think of a person in England, for example, or Japan or Australia and know everything that I need to know about them. I can read any person any time anywhere. My gift never shuts off.
If I am away from home, I can think of my home and suddenly see inside my bedroom or anywhere in the house or around my garden.
It’s I guess like having Google Earth inside my head.
Just ask me, and I can shift perspective.
So I decided, Dr. Hawkins says to be aware or awareness, so why not actually follow an enlightened person’s instructions? What a concept!
I decided to be aware of myself meditating.
I shifted my perspective so I could see the top of my head. Brown hair, part on the left side. Me sitting on a cushion.
Then I would see the room.
Other people dressed in comfortable clothes sitting quietly on cushions.
Then I would become aware of the entire building. A boring white building on a back road in Atlanta. Not much going on.
Paradoxically, when I became aware of awareness, all of a sudden I went deeper inside myself than I had ever been.
By looking at myself, knowing myself, seeing myself sitting, I became quieter than ever.
I felt I had reached a new threshold.
Now that I have figured out my new technique, I can do this anywhere. I can be driving my car and see myself driving. I can see myself as I am right in this moment, lying in my hammock typing this blog on my laptop computer.
I am aware of my awareness and suddenly go deep in meditation as if I have discovered the only wormhole available.
And as I have been practicing this technique, and as I keep sitting in meditation, I get to the point where my sense of self dissolves and I feel at one with all that is.
A few weeks ago, after we had been meditating and were drinking our green tea and discussing Zen as per usual, I mentioned that I felt a sense of one mind when we meditate.
The next week, a very kind gentleman who is studying to be a university guidance counselor took me aside at the Zen Center to ask me what I had meant.
I told him that when I meditate now, my sense of self totally dissolves. I feel quiet, I feel deeply at peace. There are no ripples in my consciousness and I feel at one with all that is.
I still would not consider myself to be any kind of advanced meditator.
I am simply sharing my path, such as it is.
I defer to the people at the Zen Center, who manage to sit in zazen for as much as weeks at a time.
It is very fun for me to watch the personal development of other people who come and meditate with me. They seem happier and happier as time goes on. There is a simplicity about them. They laugh easily, and yet they have the most profound insights. Everything they say seems fascinating, whether they are talking about how bad the green tea is that night or the meaning of the Zen text we are trying to decipher. Their energy field seems to expand. Their aura gets brighter and brighter.
Being a recovering hyperactive person, at the moment I am content to sit in zazen just once a week.
Sometimes I feel like the person who goes to yoga class just once a week. Maybe I could get better and better if I sat for longer, but I am content to progress at the pace I am going.
The day after meditating, I laugh a lot, I feel light hearted.
My sense of oneness continues and I am at peace.