I was having dinner with a friend who recently restarted meditation. I was thrilled that she was practicing regularly again and was looking forward to sharing our perspectives and profound experiences. But when she began describing her observations and declared, “Meditation isn’t special,” my heart skipped a beat. I caught myself wondering how she could say such a thing.
But as she continued, and told me more, I loved her take on the matter. “Meditation is no big thing. It’s like eating or bathing or brushing your teeth,” she went on. “It just works on a different level. I can decide to skip a shower or to eat crappy food, but after a while it’s unsustainable. So in the same way, now it just makes sense to meditate every day.”
All my life I’ve been searching for an effective access to spiritual ideas I’ve known deep down were aligned to truth. Only after taking up a daily meditation practice have I begun to peep into reconciliation through experience, beyond mere conceptualization. Only now have I begun to radically shed layers of tension and judgment that have held me down. And, to my delight, more and more of my friends and family are deciding to take a stab at it too. As we do, our interactions become more harmonized and joyous.
I love the way Eckhart Tolle opens his A New Earth with the idea that the evolution of consciousness is similar to the evolution of flowers on earth: precarious and delicate with the first few blooms, a gradual genetic viability taking hold and an eventual proliferation, covering the whole world. I think it’s safe to say that, in the bleak face of the alternative, the blooming of humanity’s balancing is underway.
We’ve marched through the ‘manifest destinies’ of countless frontiers: cultural, geographic, political, technological, sexual, astronomical, economic, materialistic – you name it. Despite our best efforts to find ourselves outside ourselves, we’ve run into the a post-post-post-modern quandary of the proverbial brick wall. But the good news is that now, when we’ve exhausted all conceivable possibilities and permutations, comes the possibility of the unthinkable – the inspired!
Star Trek had it wrong. Space is not the final frontier, our internal world is.
Contemplative interiorization is the most direct practice I’m aware of to undertake this voyage to the truth contained inside us all. But it doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be as simple and as natural as feeding ourselves, as routine as taking a shower. I suspect for many of us meditation will become as vital as breathing, and with practice, as automatic.
May we all turn away from whatever brick walls we’ve run into and inward to the vital and natural beauty within. May our resonant practices flourish into a natural, enlivening cornerstone of our daily lives.
If you liked this post from Emma, you’ll love: Beyond The Plate, Mindful Eating of All We Consume.
Regular Contributor: Emma Hawley
Since childhood, Emma Hawley has always asked the “million dollar questions.” She grew up in a family of thinkers and always found her comfort zone outside the box. Since graduating valedictorian of her class at UCLA, she has found her footing in Los Angeles’ wealth of consciously oriented communities. Emma’s respite is in her daily Sahaj Marg sadhana: a form simplified of raja yoga meaning “Natural Path,” that has vastly transformed her inner world. Check out some of her musings on her personal blog, Spark in the Husk. Catch her tweets at