When meditation plunged me into depression, I realized that it was actually effective. I was never good at measure. I dove in headfirst, like a couch potato trying powerlifting.
It’s been over a year since then. On my way home from walking the dog today, I got a sense of calm. It was such a surprise that I could almost feel it walking beside me, an unfamiliar sense of ease.
It made me realize that an entire year had passed. Nothing seemed to have happened, yet everything had tilted in its angle where my feet had left the ground.
I raised my eyes. It’s not a full moon just yet.
I’d lost myself. I was all encumbered by the self-awareness that prevents meaning-making. That self that is a consumer and that self that pursues the road traveled by feigned choice. How did I get here?
What bothered me wasn’t the choices I made. It was how I chose what to do. It had begun to feel as though my decisions had no connection to who I had been. I experienced the feeling of being a present-day prisoner without a past.
This was the feeling the pandemic had left me with. Two years of staring at screens and listening to the exact same phrases repeated over and over again in order to save people from going nuts. You’ve got to learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. We are all in this together. It would appear that some of them are a little more eager than others.
Two years in a full moon.
When I saw my mother for the first time after 18 months of travel restrictions, I felt a surge of sanity. It was momentary. It remained. It nearly drove me mad. You can’t swim on top of chaos if you reach an anchor of sanity. It drags you underwater and ties you to a vast expanse of the deep sea.
That’s when I began meditating. It went wrong.
I tried using meditation as medication. And I soon understood that this is not how it works. Meditation does not sedate you. It’s not a pill. It does not make you happy. It makes you swim.
But you have to move.
The inhale. Wave after wave, the world pushes itself through you. And while you watch your sense of self disintegrate, you must move, one sensory atom at a time.
The exhale. The world has tides. And they tear down walls, exposing the bare chest of longing, the void of hope, and the still, beating heart of simply being there. Behind all that noise of existence.
A year later, and I can smell the gravel when I walk. I can feel the slackness of the ground beneath my feet. In an effort to maintain equilibrium, I can feel my muscles finding themselves in their bond.
The dog follows me as I go. At peace.