What is Meditation Good For? The Answer Still Surprises Me.
I recently had an experience with a student that fascinated me.
We began the Meditation in the usual way and her body became still and quiet as we relaxed and calmed her physical energy field. We then shifted her Awareness to her emotions and feelings. Usually, I teach that emotions and feelings are just bits of fluff that float in and out of our consciousness and we practice letting them be. Not reacting or getting attached to each bit of fluff that floats into our Awareness. But in this Meditation, I asked her to hold on to the next emotion or feeling that she became aware of. Whatever it was. Just hold it. And then really lean into it. Fill up on the emotion. Give it fuel by reacting to it, attaching importance to it, really taking a deep dive into the story that surrounds the emotion. Imagine how this emotion affected her past and what it might do and feel like in the future. I then asked her to allow the feeling to grow, to literally seep into her cells, to spread through her body. Actually become the emotion and allow it to take over. I asked her what it felt like to feel and become this emotion.
She began to fidget. To move about. Her breath became both ragged and shallow. Her body was no longer tranquil and at ease. I was literally watching the emotion become a physical thing. Her EMOTION was becoming her REALITY and it was affecting, changing and creating a physical change in her BODY.
I let her sit there experiencing and being aware of what this particular feeling felt like in her body.
I then had her shrink the emotion into a tiny ball and just notice it. I asked her what this same emotion now felt like in her body. What was her experience when the emotion was tiny and not given too much attention. Her body instantly eased and became still.
I pointed out that she had this choice in every moment of her life. She could give every emotion all her attention, make it bigger than it was, feed it, believe it, let it take over her existence
she could choose to just be aware of it, not react or attach or spin a story about it and simply let it be what it was and watch it float away without too much energy directed at it.
The choice was hers.
When she came out of the Meditation, she shared how when the emotion was fueled by her attention and thoughts her back began to feel stiff and ache. She felt a lump behind her eyes, her leg became numb and there was a general unease in her body. She had trouble with the flow of her breath. Everything that I had observed. She had been relieved when she could shrink the emotion and let it go.
She learned a valuable lesson.
But so did I. I learned that the mystery and magic of Meditation could still surprise and fascinate me.
I was surprised at my surprise.
It is nice to know that I can still be surprised and fascinated by the power of Meditation.