Apr 20,2007 00:00
Everyone is in a hurry. We swallow our food whole and consider the stop sign a suggestion. We don’t have time to say goodbye, we’re late, we’re late, we’re late. Our quality time goes to the computer, where we work till our eyes bleed pixels. The sun is that thing that makes us draw the blinds to keep the glare off the screen.
I will tell you a secret but only if you promise to share it with others: you can meditate any time the sun is out. I meditate every day. But I don’t do it with my legs twisted into a pretzel. I do it like this…
Whenever I find myself rushing from somewhere important to somewhere more important and the sun hits my head and I say “ah” because it feels nice, I stop. Right there in my tracks. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
I close my eyes and turn to my old friend, Ra. Then I disappear.
Here. Tune in to the smallest sounds around you. Listen to the birds chirping in the distance; feel the wind whistle through the trees. Picture life on the other, sleepier side of the globe. The idea is to get lost in the moment the way a child does in a Fudgecicle. In fact, I think childhood ends when they take away our Fudgecicle and say, “Think about the future.” So it goes.
Feel the world go about its day. You are no longer a bundle of burdens; you are the Silent Witness. You’ll feel a surge of peace. It may be awkward at first because your ego has nothing to do. Remember that life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. John Lennon didn’t actually write that, but he did say, “Tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.” I’m not sure what that means either, but it must fit in here somewhere.
Allow the sun to penetrate you in a cellular, Deepak Chopra kind of way. Feel the vitamin D seep into your skin; feel the warmth smother your bones. Now envision yourself on a subatomic level. We’re talking quantum physics, baby, where nothing is concrete. Through the looking glass indeed.
You begin to fade out. Carlos Castaneda called it “disappearing in the eagle’s breath,” but bear in mind that he was high on peyote. You are simply a field of energy, and the you who was just paying bills or rushing the kids to practice is now what Kurt Vonnegut calls “an undifferentiated wisp of nothingness.”
At this point, I like to picture Hubble’s Hand of God, the star-forming cloud that is ten trillion miles in diameter (about how I feel after McDonalds). I don’t know why the Hand of God. It just comes. That’s what my heaven looks like. It’s where I turn when things go bad—daily.
Hold it longer. Concentrate. Okay, when you’re ready, come on back.
Open your eyes and rejoin Earth already in progress. Soon you’ll be surrounded by Chicken Littles who want you to know that the fate of mankind depends on their particular demand. The loan officer called; he wants a stool sample. The flower guy is here to discuss the snapdragons. Sugar Ray needs you to listen to Kiss FM every day for two weeks.
Take them one breath at a time. You know how small we are.
These days I don’t have time to hear myself not think, but stopping to “meditate” has given me a newborn quiet, a sense of Something Greater. And no matter how crazy it gets or how I screwed up this time, I can always steal a moment under the sun to find myself in the Hand of God.