Over the years, I have had a couple of experiences (one is still strong for me) that occurred as I practiced meditation.
But for the most part, meditation itself doesn’t lead to any kind of psychic bliss, which some folks assume is its purpose. Peace, perhaps, but not bliss.
I see the fruits of meditation in the rest of my life, developing an eagle’s view, a deepening of hope, openness to the teaching offered me by nature, a consciousness of time, of connection, cause and effect.
Understanding of people, their struggle to be free, seeing them in their bondage.
So life in this way, is changing.
But do I feel bliss when I meditate? No. And somehow seeking it is to set myself up for disappointment.
So I do it because it seems the path chosen for me, an act of obedience.
And yet, I think of moments when I feel true Oneness, especially with nature, when I can call the trees and flowers or a blade of grass “companion”, when I am prodded to listen to critters, birds and four-leggeds, for the message they bring, when a word from a friend, a child, an author – that strikes me as a word from my God – a revelation, a direction, an assurance, a comfort.
Moments when I have peace and serenity, akin or close to moments of Oneness, stillness in the midst of drama, often someone else’s drama, an “okay with the world”, accepting “life on life’s terms”, Okay, with a touch of joy.
From my journal September 8, 2014.
Reading my thoughts of 7 years ago, I see that I was on to something. I had practiced meditation for years in search of an experience of some kind. By the writing of this reflection, I had learned that spiritual experiences are not to be sought, they are given unexpectedly and uninvited. Their timing seems perfect most often in hindsight. They are not necessarily blissful or even good feeling. Think of the proverbial, “When God shuts a door, he opens a window.” Having a door slammed in your face is not pleasant but it is a spiritual experience.
Extending the door metaphor, over time one can stop before hitting the wood. They can ponder, prepare, rest in the awareness that God has another path that we might consider. Bliss comes when we trust that so totally that every experience feels right.
Today is always a good day. It is always, as my mother would say, “an adventure.”