Earlier today I thought I had a breakthrough with mediation, but after a conversation with my sister, Clarissa, I’ve been questioning this thought.
I’ve been living in my current abode for roughly four weeks, and until recently, our house has been very quiet at night. Recently, however, my downstairs neighbor has been playing her music loudly late into the night (until 4 am sometimes). She’ done this about four nights in the past ten days, but only on the first two instances did I go downstairs to kindly ask her to lower the volume. The first time she was really nice about it; she even turned the music off! The next time it happened I went downstairs, but her music was so loud she couldn’t hear me knocking at the door!
A few days went by. I was filling these days with much more yoga and meditation than ever before. The next time my neighbor played her music late I didn’t bother getting up, but I cursed her in my head over and over, and the next day I was a bit cranky all day.
Last night, after meditating for a long time before bed, I fell asleep quickly. Around midnight I woke up because my neighbor started pumping her music, and this time, I only cursed her maybe once or twice. After a few grumbles, I tried to relax and decided to use my time awake by doing some meditation. And this morning, instead of waking up cranky, I woke up really happy. After rising, I meditated and it was beautiful!
I saw a column of light. It started at the top of my head. White light poured from the universe onto the crown of my head. The light filled my seventh chakra bringing forth a beautiful shimmering white lotus with a thousand petals. The light continued down into my brow chakra creating an indigo lotus with two petals. Spreading into my fifth chakra, the beam filled my throat and a blue spark fired. Out of a void came a silver cresent inside a white circle with sixteen pale turquoise petals. I consciously sent the light like a flashlight into the chakra. It started to shine. My neck and shoulders relaxed. The column of light moved into my chest. There appeared my heart chakra: a green circular flower with twelve petals. It was beautiful, but obscured behind a smog. As I breathed light into the chakra, the smog began to clear. My shoulder blades released. Down to the solar plexus, the light found a downward facing triangle with ten petals. I saw it spinning. As the column of light followed it’s path, there came at the sacrum a cresent within a white lotus with six orange petals. The chakra pulsed. Finally, the light rested in the root chakra: a red lotus with four petals — I moved the light into each petal.
The light created an effervesant feeling in my body. I sent it spilling down my head and neck like an oil, pouring over my shoulders and down torso, arms, and legs. Excess light flowed out of my hands and feet filling the space around me. Consciously, I allowed the light to connect me to the center of the earth.
After my morning practice, I went to a yoga/pilates class with my aunt, Shawna. While I was there, I felt incredibly calm and happy. The teacher was new and a bit awkward (to be polite), but I was feeling my muscles relax like never before. I was breathing deeply and truly connecting with myself and the moment. I left the class feeling uplifted and like I had gained as much as I could despite its mediocrity.
Later, I volunteered at a homeless shelter with my roommate, Thea. We were teaching the children some hula hooping and playing hoop games with them. On the car ride over I set my intention to have fun with the children and to be enthusiastic and positive. Not only did my intention lead to actualization, but I was able to clasp the hoop at my hips with my right hand, spin it above my head and bring it back down my body to spin at my hips. I also spun the hoop on my neck and chest. After the experience, I felt amazing!
I was convinced I had a meditation breakthrough!
And then, this evening, I got on Skype with Clarissa. We had a great conversation. At the end, I told her about my minimalist goal and that I would give her any clothes and shoes I couldn’t sell.
My goal reminded her of a jacket she took from my parents’ house: “Oh, remember your green zip-up jacket? It’s kinda military.”
“What about it?” I asked.
“It’s here,” she said. She lives in New York City.
A deep-seated anger rose within me. Years of feeling betrayed by my sister caused a rage to bubble. I didn’t say a thing for a couple beats. And then I let it out: “Clarissa, you’re a bitch.”
She was shocked, but not offended. “Well, I was going to take your black winter jacket, but Mom wouldn’t let me,” she said as if to appease me. My winter jacket is very warm, stylish, and well-made.
“That’s rude. That’s rude to even think about doing that.”
“Yeah, well I didn’t do it.”
“You should have asked to take the green jacket.” I can understand the way our history was playing with me and making me upset, but wow. I was really attached to this possession. My minimalist ideals went out the window. I should have thanked her for taking the stupid thing. I saw it happening. I saw my meditation breakthrough slip through my fingers.
She made excuses: “You weren’t wearing it. You were half way around the world.”
“That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to come home to it. Plus, now I’m going to have to buy a new light jacket and I didn’t want to spend the money. That wasn’t nice.”
She considered my reason for being upset, and I think my honesty allowed her to share her feelings: “Well, it hurts my feelings that you would call me a bitch.”
“Then don’t do bitchy things.”
And like that, our altercation was over.
I can already see healthy ways of responding to and interacting with people emerging. In the heat of the moment, I vocalized my unhappiness in an honest way and I was able to step back and realize that I was upset over something trivial; thus I was able to stop being mad. Finally, I was inspired by this interaction to write a new post! If I can turn all of my challenging moments into an avenue for growth, I can’t imagine how wonderful my life will be! I believe it’s possible. Meditation makes everything better. Every aspect of my life has improved since I became more dedicated to meditating.
This moment also shows me how much room I have to enhance my meditation practice. I may have had a breakthrough today, but it was coupled with a reality check. I’m still very much attached to my possessions and this attachment is causing suffering.
As a final note, I will say that when Clarissa and I ended our conversation we were at peace with each other and agreed to skype again soon.
Have you had any breakthroughs lately?