I’m walking now; exclusively powered by instinct and muscle memory; life has momentarily transitioned into a state of tranquility, shifting back and forth between bouts of conscious rumination and subliminal stillness. This unworried feeling is foreign to me; remarkably unlike the artificial, bottle-fueled abyss I have so often been self-destructively hurled into time after time. I welcome it; a rare condition of mind I can only compare to winding up enthralled in an episode of lucid dreaming, but rather than feeling awake actually locked in a dream, I’m actually awake feeling locked in a dream – a role reversal I ungrudgingly usher in – a breath of fresh air readily embraced. Satisfying warmness inundates my face as the sun locks me in its crosshairs, firing the rays of its life-bearing light into my soul; its glare creates a prism effect as I gaze down the beach; the blur of distant objects; these metaphorical indications of what’s to come vehemently scream warnings not to be concerned with what the future may consist of; procuring the blind faith to accept that everything is blurred out in a condition of ambivalence for a reason – acceptance is key, staying locked in this moment is not only enriching – it’s vital.
Invigorating sand sneaks up through the divide of unsheltered toes – a tender and rugged euphoric fusion yielding to my presence and giving way to every step; if only each aspect of life was so accommodating; if to the exclusion of everything and everybody else, my wants and needs were habitually met without question while concurrently encompassing absence of shame or guilt – not the case however; those narcissistic thoughts only intend to lead towards supplemental suffering and the means to conserve my sickness. This place is my constant in a world overrun by variables; right here I am free; an authentic solitude unaccounted for back on the mayhem occupied streets of society; streets which persistently lie in wait a couple hundred yards away for my assured return – I retreat here in the surf to charge a worn soul, revamping my spirits in order to survive when I set foot there once more. Flashing a quick glance behind me, I catch sight of the tide gently over flowing impressions left by my feet; footprints of my past washed away into nothing but a recollection – evoking a subtle truth that what took place back then is finished; it cannot be modified or revised; it’s gone now; so I stay the course; trudge on; press forward – a happy destiny still awaits; magnificence obtains its majesty over the duration of the ride.
For me, meditation isn’t practiced in a dark, candle lit room, burning incense and playing music to the tune of Kumbaya in futile efforts to clear out all of my conscious thought life – it’s a stroll along the shoreline, being mindful or connecting with the texture of the sand and the sounds of the ocean; it’s hiking up to the peak of a mountain and overlooking the valley below or walking a trail through the woods, searching out the stunning sight of a secluded, jaw-dropping waterfall. The sole purpose of meditating is to engage in contemplation or reflection for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness – the beauty is, there are no set guidelines or boundaries – it’s ambiguous, it’s personal; we are all free to customize meditation to how it best suits ourselves – something religion can and will never offer us. Spirituality, for me, is simply an assessment of my interior being – the life, power, and energy in my mind and body; I have the ability to honestly conduct this assessment in a meditation style customized to my personality. Adopting this is so pivotal for my journey due to its genuine cleansing of my soul; when the tank is empty, I require fulfillment; as long as I’m replenishing my spirituality tank with positive vibes, I’m not being permeated with the desire to escape.
I think the word “meditation” itself can initially come across as off-putting or threatening, immediately turning culpable folks away in contempt prior to investigation; its uninviting, pre-determined ritualistic nature or religious connotations supply enough reasonable doubt to justify these conclusions in the eyes of skeptics. Although there are many religions that embody meditation as a part of their rituals, it is by no means all encompassing – at least not if we are able to open our minds up to the innate differences separating religion and spirituality into entities completely independent of each other – and they are, no doubt, quite different. Every religion around the globe incorporates specific traits or qualities which make it just that – a religion. This includes a definitive god (i.e. Jesus, Allah, Yahweh), a creed (i.e. rules or belief system), rituals (i.e. communion), prayer (i.e. The Lord’s Prayer) and organization or hierarchy’s (i.e. priest, pastor, parishioners, church buildings, etc.). The saying goes, at least around the rooms of twelve step programs, “Religion is for those who are afraid to go to hell; Spirituality is for those who have been to hell and never want to go back.” The spiritual aspect for me is, as I stated earlier, simply the assessment of my inner being, which meditation allows me to complete – no rules or guidelines or hierarchy’s; no definitive god, at least not in the sense that major religions of the world are concerned; just connection, self-awareness, and mindfulness; that’s all, plain and simple.
I’m not religious; far from it actually, but feeding the spirit inside me through how I exercise meditation and incorporate it into my life plays a large role in why I can now achieve so much acceptance and feel so much peace, even considering all I’ve been through and all I still face – it allows me to take a step back and realize I cannot “play god” in an attempt to control how I believe things should be; that everything will fall into place as it should, which is perfectly fine – and that is enough. Now don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t bother me in the least that there are people practicing or taking part in any of the multitude of organized religions either – millions do, so who am I to say there is not any validity to it whatsoever – that would be insane or at the very least, intensely egotistical; I believe people should follow their own paths and partake in what works on their own individual playing fields – it’s just not my path and I know that now – I’ve tried it and my experience was fueled by deceptions and contradictions that render it highly unlikely for a return – but that’s just me. By the way and in case you are wondering, yes I do have a higher power, but that, my friends, is a tale for another day.