There’s No Place Like Om

Have you ever had one single ripple effect every other ripple in your life? Like a domino that gently falls into a line of dominos, making a beautiful and unexpected mandala. A year ago I was driven by an unexplainable frenzy to get an infrared sauna; it just had to be NOW, this instant. In hindsight an act I now see as divinely guided. The first time I entered into this sacred 3 x 4 hot box, a place I now refer to as my ‘Himalayas’, something wholly entered into me.

Alas, I had found my spot without even knowing it. No more excuses! The first day begins here in this box. And then the next day, and the day after that – well you know where I’m going. In a blog entitled, “the Right to Speech,” I asked the question, “What would your life look like, if for one year, you committed daily to something meaningful?” I wished, intended and willed for that special something, and the gravitas that allows me to finally walk my talk. Never dreaming I had it in me to follow through with this, and yet, with just one step, one Sauna, and a lot of sweating later…

I’ve spent the last year meditating every day (often times for hours on end), rigorously studying a particular path – which has been an all-encompassing commitment. There are many kinds of ways we give our attention and our energy: to our work, to our children, to exercise, to maintaining youth, to finding or keeping love, to shopping, to playing, to wasting time, to our drama, just to name a few. We have a certain amount of hours in a day and I suppose each of us chooses according to what seems important and necessary at the time.

My time, energy, and focus have revolved in some form around knowing, contacting, and experiencing the Divine (which I’ll call something else if you keep on reading). There’s very little else that quenches my longing, which can be really challenging because I am a wife and a mother, a family member and a friend, a psychotherapist and a member of different communities; I cherish all of this.

Simple truth is I had come to a fork in the road where the longing for the Way to a higher life – a life committed to knowing Spirit, and the sorrow for not following through with this Way had became intolerable. Go north to live my truth; go south to live as I always have. This is the same street where my clients become sick of their own story, that if they tell it one more time without changing it, they will be swallowed. I tell them that disgust is a powerful remedy, and offers a dose of great opportunity. Did you know that in the Chinese language, Crisis is the same word as Opportunity? Choosing north, however, doesn’t make the path any less excruciating.

I have entered into a no-nonsense place; a do not waste one more minute of my precious life place. This is one of the great offerings that Menopause (yes, that cat is out of the bag), or Menopausitive as I now call it, has already shown me. If I didn’t go behind the curtain of thoughts, to see what lives beyond, I would have gone stark raving mad. You’ve heard of women losing the plot during Menopause? Perhaps it has something to do with the demands that the Psyche is asking of us to truly meet our calling – whatever that may be for you; the calling that exceeds a job, or raising a family, or wasting time. We all have one after all, a Divine purpose I mean. Menopausitive is already weaving its magic, granting me the vision that I have no more time to waste.

So let me finally say it. Knowing God through meditation is my life’s single purpose! There, I have just come out…

It’s not easy to come out and boldly state, “I need to know God! Nothing else matters.” But in truth, nothing is more important to me than this, as striking and painful as this revelation has been to me. It’s almost sacrilegious to admit that my child is not my raison d’être, especially when she is the great love of mine. This is not how anyone around me is living. I’m certainly not watching any movies about this. What is it to live a life of complete and utter devotion to knowing God? I have few living models and even fewer people around me who relate to this way of living. Many of my nearest and dearest around me don’t even utter the G word unless it has an expletive attached to it.

In our Western Culture, how many ways of longing do we use to cushion us from feeling alone and to connect us to something numinous?
We seek, pray, chant, and call out in pain to: Spirit, Universe, Divine, OM, Soul, Mother Nature, Great Mother, Creator, Deity, Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Allah, Holy One, Holy Spirit, Life force, law of attraction, Angels, Spirit guides, Animal totems, Soul Work, Dream Work, Psychics, Intuition, Something Greater, bla bla bla, Om, Om, Om, God, God, God.

Dear Universe…Please help me…Isn’t it all the same?

While I’ve been sitting and courting God, my Beloved, I’ve witnessed my two closest friends sky-rocketing in their separate careers, watching them achieve greater and greater professional success. I’ve watched others around me live a more external life that no longer fits for me. I’ve become even more introspective which is comical because if you know me, you know I am speaking many less words a day than the average Joe. Just saying…Often times it is difficult, wrestling with an inner nagging voice that says, 
“This is frivolous. What you’re doing is not enough. You’re suppose to be doing more: you should be writing, but you have nothing of value to say; you should be marketing to reach more people; you should be making more money.” More, more, more. At times, I have drunk in the pain of poisonous comparison. I have painstakingly sat with these pervasive thoughts; the ones that feel so real, and can just as quickly steal us from our Truth. The ones that tell you bigger are better, and busier is more exciting. But I am being called…

So I continue to sit day in and day out, breathe in, breathe out, truth in, non-truth out. And every time the voice in me says, “Work harder, get more clients, make more money, I revisit what I’m coming to know deep in my bones: that there is a place inside that is untouched by external circumstance and that my work is to continue to dive deeper and deeper into this beautiful spacious field. That healing occurs here behind the curtain for me, and for everyone. I have entered my Himalayas with various struggles of feeling afraid, angry, lost, restless, numb, or some other version of life’s drama, and have exited feeling connected, spacious, and more equanimity than I’ve ever known in this Menopausitive body of mine. It’s not sexy, it’s not exciting, it just is.

My daughter and I struggled the other day; we just couldn’t find our way. She wanted to play through the struggle, and I wanted to talk – which is part of our struggle to begin with. She is going through the nine year change which means she is finally coming out of the Garden of Eden where she now sees I am SO not her God. By the end of the night we had seriously turned south – the locale of habitual response, a region that blocks us from knowing we are the love of one another’s life – a state of no God.

I walk into her room and she is writing one of her millions of little notes that she does just after a quarrel. “I’m writing to God,” she boldly pronounces. This is a first I might add. She asks if she could read it to me. “Dear God, Hello. If you’re real, please play tic tac toe with me,” and she draws a tic tac toe board as a sort of pseudo challenge (to me and to God). She had me at hello! She asks me, “How does one know if God is real?” Well isn’t that the crème de la crème of a question?

Like my daughter, aren’t we all waiting for the proof, for the chance to go behind the curtain to meet the great Oz, for the clouds to open up and the heavens to part? This seems to be THE question many of us who are seeking the Divine want answered.

What I do now know without question is that the answers come from within when I meditate deeply and continuously, and I begin to feel a great joy and equanimity welling up in my heart. This joy begins to increase more and more as I continue to practice, and it offers a whole lot of intuition. I know that God is not a concept and cannot be found in a book, even a very smart book.

Developing concentration is a key ingredient though. Try and count to one hundred and see if you can remain focused. It’s not so easy. It takes a lot of practice to learn how to concentrate, to keep choosing north. It’s worth it though. I have yet to have an outer experience that exceeds what I have felt in this magnificent open field. Well birthing my daughter did it, and my wedding came close, but like I said, I want more, more, more. And, yes, when she fell asleep I placed an X in the lower left hand box, and the heavens in my heart opened as big as the Universe. And in the moments when I’m really lucky, the curtain begins to part and I get a brief glance that assures me there’s no place like Om.

Comments

  1. Read this for the second time and came away with a lot of muddled feelings. Being an agnostic has never swayed me from God, but I think how wonderful it would be if God could be a conscious part of my everyday life. Thank you for bringing this to my attention one more time…

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