Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Woo Woo

By Pauline Evanosky

Aspects of Meditation in Everyday Life

I first began meditating when I was in high school after I had read “Be Here Now” by Ramm Dass, some of the Seth books, and “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yoganda. I figured meditation was likely the next step I could take.

An interesting story about how I came to read, “Autobiography of a Yogi” was that I found myself in our local public library. I was taking a shortcut through the religious and spirituality section which I generally avoided like the plague, it being a “geeky” area of the library and not an area I frequented when a copy of the book fell off of the shelf. It was on the lowest shelf and it just sort of pushed its way off of the shelf to land on the carpet in front of me. What? Nobody was on the other side of the bookshelf who could have possibly done that. I knew then it was special and picked it up to read. It pretty near changed my life.

Little did I know what role meditation was going to have in my life as a psychic and as a writer. Meditation is sort of like a vitamin pill or a supplement. It rounds out your basic spiritual nutrition. We can be concerned about our outward appearance, so too can we be concerned about our mind or our inner selves.

I still don’t know how to meditate but I do a better job of it than I did fifty years ago. I have learned that it doesn’t matter if you are an expert meditator. I suppose that’s why people refer to it as a practice of meditation.

I used to admire people who would say, “I just meditated for 3 hours.” Actually, meditating for long periods of time can have sketchy results unless you have a meditation coach. One of the things meditation does is it loosens up psychic and mental sludge and brings issues you probably need to have a closer look at to the surface. You could ignore stuff like that but the situation typically only gets worse if you don’t do anything about it. Having a meditation coach can help you navigate past these rough spots.

A big thing that meditation does is it teaches you how to be a little more focused in your daily activities. You will be able to keep your attention on the things you do in your normal life. Like drawing. It is easier for me to sit and draw for 2 hours than to draw for 10 minutes. Drawing was also something I had to learn to get myself into a place to make the shift into channeling. I had no idea meditation was connected to anything else I did, the drawing and channeling came 50 years later when I was an adult, but now, as I think about it, they are connected. Learning how to channel is like unlearning things. Or, relearning them, or maybe just rewiring your brain. With channeling you are still the same person you were before. Except now, you are just more noticeably woo woo for want of a better word.

When I first started meditating I thought there was only one way to do it. I almost dislocated my eyeballs trying to look through my third eye (located in the middle of your forehead). I was also young and supple enough that I was able to sit in the lotus position. Sure can’t do that anymore.

What you do if you would like to learn how to meditate is read about it. There are hundreds of ways to meditate. In the beginning, your psyche and body will rebel against it. I remember four things that would happen to me as I began to settle into a meditative state of mind. My back would itch. I could not sit still. It was maddening. The other thing is I would want a cigarette and the third thing was that I would get hungry. With each of those small rebellions, my meditation would be wrecked.

It wasn’t until later I discovered taking a really deep breath was enough to bring me back to the task at hand which was trying to meditate. The fourth thing that would happen was I would start thinking of all the other things I needed to do. So, I kept a pad of paper next to me and jotted down the thoughts that came to me: Onions, milk, banking, light bulbs, laundry. Whatever it was that came to mind and there were many of them I would write on a list. This would put my mind at ease, let it relax knowing I was not losing control, and would attend to those things later on. Eventually, I didn’t need that pad of paper, but in the beginning, it was helpful.

The other thing was that after I’d scratched my back or took a deep breath to dispel the hunger pains, I would imagine in my head that I was taking my toddler-like self gently by the hand and leading me back onto the path of meditation again. Eventually, my inner self came to accept that I was still in charge; that I would continue to be responsive to whatever it was that it wanted me to do. Eventually, that place of meditation could be reached more easily.

This technique is also good when your mind wanders from whatever task at hand you are doing. For instance, as I write this column I thought that lucid dreaming might be an interesting topic to write in my next column. Since I tend to forget more these days I opened up a new document, titled it, saved it, and closed it. Once that was done I could turn my attention back to this column.

Another thing I did to convince my ever-vigilant mind to calm down for a few minutes was to imagine myself standing on a ladder. Slowly I would lower myself rung by rung on the ladder. With each movement down the ladder, I would imagine myself becoming more and more relaxed. Another technique that seemed to have some success was just to imagine I had died and was completely at rest again. I say that because I believe that we live over and over again. An odd technique I used to trick myself into relaxing was to imagine myself melting like the Wicked Witch of the East did when Dorothy threw water on her.

After I had been channeling for some years I discovered an energetic and effective way to slip into something that was sort of like meditating but more like a Shamanic Journey. That was listening to shamanic drumming. You can find people doing the drumming on YouTube. I learned the technique reading, “The Way of the Shaman” by Michael Harner. Generally, embarking on a Shamanic journey involves going underground so there is a bit of a really fast downhill slide as your body seems to become the drum beats. It’s different. Not quite a meditation, at least the ones I’d been doing, but more of a self-exploration.

So what happens when you are in a meditative state? Well, depending on where you are in your meditation practice all sorts of things can happen. Like I mentioned earlier, the mental sludge you can work on comes up. Oh, joy. You could get flashbacks to times in your life you had forgotten. If you are leaning towards the woo woo side of life but not really knowing how to get there you might start seeing other things like your guides or people in your life who have passed, you could see landscapes, you might even solve tricky things you’ve been working on like the solution to an Excel formula that just wasn’t working right. A new way to cook chicken. What that strange noise is coming from your car.

I remember hearing the story of a student who was wonder-struck by the stuff they were experiencing during their meditative practice. Their teacher said to them something along the lines of, “That’s not important. Keep meditating.” I’m not exactly sure why the stuff you see during meditation might not be as important as the practice of meditation itself. Maybe someday I will understand.

It doesn’t happen often to me but sometimes in meditation, I get to a place of peace. For me it is unusual, but it happens occasionally. Being there will give you something to think about, believe me.

Physically a meditation practice will help on many levels; lowering blood pressure, making it easier to adapt to a different or healthier lifestyle if need be. I wonder if it could help with losing weight?

The significance of your intention during the meditation becomes important. If you are praying, that is important. If you are seeking solutions to something, that is important. If you want to meditate for meditation’s sake, that is important too. Having a clear intention is like driving successfully on a road. You don’t just get in your car and go. Well, sometimes you do, but if you’ve got a destination in mind you will pay attention to the street signs.

I think you are more apt to do something that is fun rather than something that is onerous. Like it is more fun to eat chocolate than it is to do your taxes or clean your house. And, learning how to meditate is like anything else new that you try to do. In the beginning, the results aren’t always that great. It almost seems like work in the beginning as there are so many things that pop up to try to distract you, but if you continue and push past all the physical annoyances of extraordinarily hard-to-reach itchy places and hunger pangs it gets easier just like anything else you learn. Remember what it was like to first learn how to drive a car? Remember how your shoulders inched up and you got all tense holding on to the steering wheel? Remember how you were so vigilant about watching for dangerous situations that you ended up with a roaring headache and backache? After you learn how to drive and spend more time behind the wheel of a car it just gets easier and you do the necessary things to drive a car automatically.

I hope something I’ve said here will encourage you to begin meditating.

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