On meditating...

It has now been one year since I asked a simple (or maybe not so simple) question to mountaineer and snowboarder Stephen Koch: how to deal with fear? I reckoned back then that if this athlete had snowboarded down the highest peaks of the world, he would know a thing or two about how to face fear, which was something I was really struggling with. He recommended back then that I try a bit of meditating (see earlier post).

Well, that has taken a lot of work, time and effort- at the beginning. But the pay-off has been so immeasurable, that I cannot imagine life without it. These days, even if I am going riding or climbing early in the day, I will make sure I get up 20 minutes earlier just so I can meditate before I ''go.'' Meditating gives me peace, warmth, and an all-encompassing feeling that everything is just fine, that I am enveloped in goodness and nothing can go wrong.

When I close my eyes and see, or imagine, ''light...'' it takes hold of me. And it runs through my entire body, limb by limb, cleansing me of any left-over aches of the previous day, any unnecessary thoughts, any lingering ''crap.'' It's energizing, healing, and it leaves me ready to do metta meditation, if I so choose.

That is when words, and will, come into play. I needed to do some research when I first started in order to figure out what words worked for me. That exercise seemed daunting back then, but it has become easier with time, as new words come up and transform themselves into action. The key to it is to stay focused within myself, and use intuition as a guide for things that I may not see- at first. How does intuition guide me? If it feels good, then it is good. There is no right or wrong.

It does not matter how I meditate. Whether I use a word, an image, sound, breath, mantra... what is important is what I get out of it. When I silence my thoughts, and have a clear head, I am able to be in touch with my own body. I realize what my body really needs, instead of what I, or others, tell me it needs. I was surprised, for example, to find myself awake today after 4 hours of sleep. I noticed that I was already busy telling myself that I would be tired that day as a consequence of ''no sleep...'' so I meditated, emptied my head of that useless thought, and found that I was actually quite fine for the day, on those great 4 hours of sleep. No thoughts. Just in the moment.

The most important realization I had through meditation happened last week. I opened my eyes and understood that the sensation of good and warmth I had just experienced while meditating was a feeling that only I can give myself. I knew then that I am the only person who has the power to make myself happy. And the only person who can make myself miserable as well. So simple. My whole day can be one wonderful event after another, or peaceful event, or happy event, however I choose to conduct that day for myself... I can be smiling all day. Or I can find wrong and ugly everywhere I look, and be miserable all day- the choice is mine. And so is the choice to ''talk'' to myself throughout the day, or just be with a clear mind. I can choose to tell myself all kinds of things; judgements such as ''I am this, I am that, this person is this, that person is that...'' or I can get rid of all those tiring, painful thoughts, and feel light and energetic- with no thoughts. Energy to lead a great day, and throw myself into whatever it is that I choose to do. With a quiet mind.

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