Monday, March 31, 2014

What It's All About

"You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out...

Not exactly what I'm thinking all about. I'm thinking about my attention, and where I should direct it, namely to alleviate stress. St. Paul, in 1st Corinthians 3:16, said (variously translated, but the meaning isn't lost) Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? To me, I see this as meaning to look inward or inside myself, for God, whatever God is. God, most likely, if there is one, is so far beyond our ability to understand or comprehend that we might as well not look, at least "out there somewhere." Science keeps looking more and more inward, at smaller and smaller things, for "the meaning of life," leading to the discovery of atoms and their components, then  quantum mechanics, quarks, Higgs boson, and wherever all this takes us. But it seems to be taking us to smaller and smaller places, more and more "inward."

Where it takes me is back to my discovery, in a time of need, of Transcendental Meditation. I was feeling very stressed, and finding no solution in exercise, yoga, nature, or other places I looked. I was working in Hilo, Hawaii, and wandered into a bookstore and discovered a small book on TM. I purchased and read it, and decided it was exactly what I needed. So as soon as I got back home to Honolulu, I sought and found the local TM center and signed up. It involved classes so that I would know exactly what I was  getting into and what to expect. Then I was assigned a teacher who sat with me and taught me the actual technique. And I was hooked. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi spoke of a "field of all possibilities," a place where there was at once nothing and the potential for everything, all at the same time. And I went there, an absolutely indescribable place of not quite nothingness, but of infinite peace. It was as if I was all alone in the entire universe. And that is what is hoped for all who learn it, although I found later that not everyone achieves that. But my teacher(s) said that is the magnet for continuing the practice, to keep trying to get back to that place.

Let me regress: I had a lateral lisp for most of my life. All my "S" sounds came out of my side teeth, not my front ones. I had speech therapy as a child, and continued to try to figure out how to get rid of it into adulthood, even going to the U. H. speech therapy center when I was in graduate school at the University of Hawaii. And nothing worked, until about a week after learning TM, I noticed (without thinking about it or trying to do anything about it) that it was GONE. I was speaking normally for the first time, then and forevermore. The only thing that had changed was that I was looking inward twice a day for twenty minutes.

Coincidentally, I once worked with a show conductor who had a similar experience: he stuttered, and his stutter disappeared when he learned TM. When he stopped practicing for a while, it came back, but disappeared again when he returned to meditating. Stress therapy? Looking for God? Shutting out the outside world? Just relaxing by closing one's eyes? Who knows? There is lots of information about research that has been done on the benefits of practicing TM, but I have my own story, and it's a good one. You put your right brain in, and your left brain, and your whole consciousness, and look what happens. And that's what it's all about...

1 comment:

M. L. Benedict said...

Good one. Thank you!