So yesterday I was feeling a bit spiritual and thoughtful about the world I live in so I decided to try meditation again. When I was younger I used to meditate on occasion to relax, relieve stress, and escape my world for a bit. It has been so long since I blocked out all distractions on merely focused on my inner self and finding deeper truths within my mind.
Ok, so I know this all sounds kind of crazy and hippie-ish… but I promise, it does wonders. I don’t know if my form of meditation is “correct” or standard but its what I learned and it helps center me.What I do is I lay on my back (can be done sitting if you want) with my palms up and I establish a steady breathing rhythm. I then visualize and count the numbers 1-10 in my head. After this I visualize a bird flying from the left to the right and then a curtain goes up. To come out of meditation all of this is done backwards. Once I am in meditation I can do anything I choose. Sometimes I have a scenario I want to explore in mind ahead of time, but sometimes like last night I just let whatever happens happen (somewhat like dreaming).
So here’s what I envisioned. I started out on the beach of my childhood neighborhood watching the waves crash against the shore. Unsure of why I was here and what I should do I began to swim out as far away from the shore as possible. I kept swimming until I had exhausted my body and came upon a kayak in the water. I switched to kayaking, moving faster than I was able to without it but after a bit the waves became too choppy for my small vessel and at this point a sailing ship appeared to me. I now switched into the ship, sailing together with other crew members, battling the raging waters of the sea.
Well, since this was my first time meditating in a long time that’s all I had the focus for. So I came out of my meditation and thought about what I had seen. Everything I had seen was a product of my own thoughts, feelings and memories yet instead of controlling my thoughts, I let them guide me. After a little analysis I realized there was a message in this journey of my mind. The beach near my childhood home symbolized my beginnings and swimming away from the shore out towards open sea was my journey through high school and early college. I wasn’t quite on my own yet but I was forced to be independent and carry myself forward into my life. As I moved farther and farther away, distance representing time, I am unable to continue on merely my own strength. I employ the help of a kayak or in real life, my college education. This goes faster and brings me farther away in less time. Sometimes it is hard to come to terms with the fact that I have learned the basics to what I need to know to be an engineer in a mere four years.
When the waters have become too choppy for me to make it in my kayak, I graduate to a ship where I still must work but I have others to help me and be my companions. This may symbolize my family and coworkers after I graduate. Maybe I was kayaking I had company too, but we weren’t so much in it together. In school I have acquaintances but when we graduate we will all go our separate ways; to jobs, families, and our futures. Maybe our paths may cross again but we will not be sailing together, always going to the same places, completely invested in each other’s well being.
My meditative journey last night helped me come to terms with graduation (on a very simple scale) and it has encouraged me to make meditation a regular thing. Not only does meditation make things clearer, but it is an excellent way to escape our world of constant communication, media, and noise. It’s a way to relax and have a few minutes (or more) here and there that you have all to yourself to reset your mind and have inner peace.