Last week I listened to a meditation. Now that sentence doesn’t even make much sense. How can you listen to a meditation? Well, for people like me who find it hard to think about nothing, we must be instructed how to meditate. Apparently organizing the day, planning the menu, and practicing conversations are not what mediation is all about.
Facebook flashed an intriguing ad about meditating and I clicked. Then I listened and for the first time in my life, 15 minutes passed without me wondering what time it was. Or thinking that surely this is longer than 15 minutes. Or if the carpet needed to be vacuumed. Or what we should have for dinner….
At the beginning of the meditation the instructor, who had a deep and gentle voice, told me to repeat the words “I am” whenever I found myself wondering. He actually said it in another language but I couldn’t understand him. I figured I could repeat sounds I didn’t know or I could just say them in English. I stuck with I am.
I heard the newspaper delivery guy and I said, I am. I thought about my day and I said, I am. I thought about Miss Piggy wanting to kiss Kermit a lot and I said, I am. I even asked myself, What am I? and then I answered, I am. I was quiet, I was peaceful, I was.
Then I heard a soft chime and I opened my eyes just a few seconds before the gentle soft voice said, “Open your eyes.”
Wait till he says, “Open your eyes” next time, I noted to myself.
“I am”, he repeated and it sounded calming, soothing. I felt that this was good!
And then he ended the meditation by saying, “I am my deepest desire.”
Pause….long pause….what the hell does that mean? My deepest desire! What’s my deepest desire? I loved the sound of it but what did it mean – I am my deepest desire?
Any stress that had left me in the past 15 minutes came rushing back. I felt pressure. I felt the calling.
Now I have to find my deepest desire!!
I repeated the question over and over and my mind immediately went to…
all the things I want to do,
all the stuff I want to have,
all the words I want to speak.
Reading over that list left me sad and a bit depressed – because a lot of those things have been on my list for a very long time.
Maybe this is about being and not about doing. That thought rang true, but I really didn’t want that to be the answer. I wanted all the things!
I ask a few of my friends and they too went to the doings: they had their projects and adventures.
“What if this is about who we are rather than what we do?” I asked. “I wondered if this might be about being and not about doing.” They nodded in agreement, yet none of us could quantify it.
When we define ourselves with what we do, or have, or achieved, it’s a defined list. These definitions come to an end when the need for us to do is no longer needed. If they are our defining moments, we will someday become undefined.
When we can define ourselves based on character and desire, our definition continues to redefine itself to the end of our lives.
This sounded really good, but I still wasn’t sure if it was right.
I repeated those words for three days. “I am.”
What? I don’t know, but I am.
This morning I woke-up defined. The words were so solid in my mind that I don’t think they’ll ever leave me. “I know who I am.” I said to myself. “I am my deepest desire.”
What’s that desire? To trust God with reckless abandon and live each day as a new adventure. This is a definition I can live with. This is a life I want to live. It’s amazing what happens when we quiet our minds.
Meditation isn’t new. It’s as old as the Psalms. It’s a gift that we’ve been given and one many of us have forgotten. It’s a time of peace, a time of stillness, it’s a time of knowing. Sometimes it’s a time of self-discovery.
On rare occasions it can be a defining moment.