I love to meditate.
Well, let’s just say the “love” part is true. The “I meditate” is questionable. These days anyway.
Once upon a time (in a land far, far away from traumatic loss and grief), I woke up every morning and sat in a worn out wicker chair that I consider my Sacred Space. I practiced long enough to understand how meditation is powerful medicine. It wasn’t long before I was addicted.
Meditation became a big part of who I was. I learned to settle my heart. Quiet my mind and hear the most important things to hear.
My Sacred Space would literally beckon me to visit.
Come sit awhile, it says.
I’ve got something to tell you.
Most mornings, this would happen long before sunrise. I am a morning person and to me there is something soothing and comforting about the hour or so before dawn. There’s a sweet, tender quiet…a sense of rest mingling with anticipation of the break of a new day.
I wonder. Why is that said? The breaking. Who comes up with these anyway? The familiar clichés that have been around for hundreds of years. Quipping off the tongue without a second thought. There’s really something to it.
Yes, that’s a pretty good analogy to set the stage here.
I have recently picked up the practice again. This time it isn’t as easy. I’ve had to drag myself to the Sacred Space.
I’m afraid to stop and listen to what the daily noise drowns out. I know that in the quiet, many demons will want to surface. Demons like it stuffed down in the dark covered up by distraction and chaos. They don’t much appreciate being stirred up. The light hurts their eyes.
That reminds me. I once heard a pastor say this about learning and growing and stretching oneself. How to handle those taunting monsters that lurk in the recesses of the mind.
“You’ve got to kiss those demons in the mouth,” is what he said.
I guess that’s one way to disarm them.
Face to face. Lip to lip.
Can’t get much closer than that, can you?
Not more than a few days ago, I sat again in my Sacred Space, set my trusty timer, and closed my eyes.
Have you ever heard of Monkey Mind? I’ll bet the mere name gives you a clue. It’s pretty much as it implies. Thoughts, visions, and emotions swirl all confused and tangled up and swinging together hand in hand, tail to tail (I wonder, are these monkeys demons in disguise? Certainly related, I’d guess) making so much chatter and noise that you would do anything to make them stop. That anything for me would be to open my eyes, turn off that timer, stand up and simply leave.
I didn’t do those things. No, I sat there knowing from past experience that it would all pass. It might take a sitting or two, or even more. Minutes or hours. Because, you see, these things did not appear overnight. No, mixed up emotions and twisted thinking comes from years of negative programming. Years and years. All of those past situations and people telling you things about yourself. And then you started believing them and telling yourself the same. Over. And over. And over. One by monkey one.
These thoughts, visions, and emotions can’t hurt you. Oh, they will try to take you down. They’ll fight real hard to take over your life and knock you out. I have to remind myself that these things are mostly imaginations.
The truth is, they are all lies.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself as the minutes ticked by and I didn’t even look at my timer to see how much time I had left. I may not have quieted myself completely, but at least I showed up. Yes, I am one step closer.
One step closer to that liberating kiss.
This Sacred Space of mine is on my little screened in porch. As I type, I can feel the cool, damp air and smell the scent of predawn dew. I’m glad about this, because it tells me I am being drawn back. It is still alive and well.
It still has something to tell me. Things I need to hear.
Down the road about a mile away is a farm that houses what most farms do. I have never seen it because it sits way back at the end of a long and winding driveway that is gated off at the entrance. I can see it in my mind’s eye, though. I imagine there are beautiful wood posts fencing off property lines and within those lines are gardens and trees and small pastures where animals roam. I can hear cows lowing and donkeys braying from where I sit. I know there is a chicken coop. I know because I can hear that, too.
As my meditation time was nearing an end, I could hear a faint and familiar sound that I came to count on those days back when I was faithful in my practice. A sound honest. True. Reliable.
It started out low. Slow. All crackly and rusty and sleepy. Like cranking up an old tarped over engine that’s been sitting in a barn way too long waiting for a spark to jolt it awake.
As my timer wound down and the dark of the sky began to turn into a light gray, the ring of that rusty call broke the air. It could be a little annoying, a sound like that trumpeting through my Sacred Quiet competing with my timer.
But I want to tell you what it has done for me.
Somewhere over at that farm about a mile away, a rooster sits. With an understanding of something I long to grasp. Maybe this rooster has wisdom that’s pretty simple. I doubt that it thinks much about it, really. Maybe it doesn’t think at all.
The rooster just knows. There’s a breaking up of the darkness with the light shining through the cracks coming up. It’s only few minutes away.
That light always comes. Every single day.
It doesn’t have to be so painful. It really doesn’t have to be so complicated, this breaking of a new day. In fact, there’s no stopping it. No matter how comfortable it might be keeping the demons stuffed down and covered up by the dark.
There is simply no reason to allow all of that. And listen, if I do, well…
About the very same time tomorrow, as I sit in my Sacred Space, the Rooster will call out to me again.
Wake up, it says to me.
I’ve got something to tell you.
Daybreak is coming.