Life, The Universe, and Everything Else (with apologies to Douglas Adams)

I have an idea:   let’s talk meditation for a moment.   I’m eager to get my mind and keyboard off of the incessant and venomous political crap for a time and settle into some earnest conversation about Self.

Notice the capital S.   The Self I want to discuss is the true essence of you, me, and the little snot down the street; the limitless, holy, eternal being that we all really are.

We’ve all heard and many have attempted meditation. I’ve written about it here before, and I’m not going to start all over where I began, but suffice it to say that I’m a believer. With only a couple of lapses (generally when I travel and stay overnight with family), I’m a twice-daily meditator. Very first thing in the morning, and last thing before sleep.   Of course, occasionally “meditating before sleep” becomes “falling asleep while meditating”, but, c’est la vie, eh?

The thing is, as I’ve become accustomed to meditating, sometimes, perhaps inevitably, I’m just going through the motions. some days, I really don’t manage to get out of my head and truly surrender into the moment. But not last Wednesday night.

On a good night, I’ll do a little reading beforehand, just to set my mind onto a more spiritual path.   Anything from The Upanishads to Rumi, or Lao Tzu, or maybe (often) Wayne Dyer. Wednesday, it was Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”. My brief reading encompassed Tolle’s talking about space. About looking up into the sky and, rather than counting and naming the stars, feeling the immensity of the space between the stars and planets. Because as fascinating as the planets and stars are, as fun as it is to contemplate the likelihood of other life out there, most of what we see when we look up is the vast emptiness of open space, and perhaps it is that to which we are truly drawn.

Being a good science-fiction kid, I obviously have plenty of space stuff in my head, so this made me happy to contemplate as I turned off my light and turned on the small Himalayan Salt lamp I meditate by. I chose a soft, choral chant to fill my headphones with and settled into myself.

Almost as soon as I closed my eyes and took my first “deep, cleansing breath”, I felt an intense warmth and light in my chest. Eyes still closed, I looked inside and was surprised to see a light as big and bright as a sun bursting from my chest. INSTANTLY, I was a sun, burning brightly in the vastness of space. I could feel the incalculable distances between myself and the nearest body, but still I could sense the intimate connection I shared with all uncountable the stars and worlds I could behold.

Then I felt myself moving.   I was no longer a star, but was something less and more at the same time. I was me, but not Matthew. I was the eternal and limitless energy which comprises Matthew but is not limited to being just Matthew, and I could move through space at a whim. With merely the intent to do so, I could swim from one star to another, skim through planetary atmospheres, and bathe in the deep, empty blackness. I could even feel the unique texture of nothingness as I moved through it.

I realize that this sounds like fantasy. I’m an artist, a writer, and a very imaginative and creative sci-fi nerd, and things like this probably run through my mind all the time, so having a fantasy or a dream while “meditating” is hardly news.   But not this time. This was no “wouldn’t it be neat” mental masturbation. This was the most profound moment of my adult life. You have my word that I’m not pulling you along on some comic book acid trip.

Now, I’ve had a couple of “out-of-body” experiences before. I may even have related them here before. But this was different. This wasn’t something I tried to do or envisioned myself doing.   I was there. It wasn’t by choice, either. I truly feel as if this experience was given to me. I was shown a just tiny bit of the potential of the soul, just as I was beginning to feel that maybe this meditation thing had run its course for me. “Just look at THIS,” I was shown, “Don’t give up now when there’s SO much more to see and learn!”

Shortly, I would find myself just me again. Smaller, simpler, compacted but not reduced, I floated down onto the roof of my own house.   There I sat, almost oblivious to my surroundings, contemplating all that I had just experienced. I remained there for a moment or two, gathering mySelf, then I settled back into myself (small “s”) on my bed and slowly opened my eyes. At some point, the background music in my headphones had stopped (it was about an 8-minute track), but I hadn’t noticed.

I’m changed today.   Not greatly, but profoundly. I don’t glow and I’m not suddenly bulletproof or even insultproof. But I’m just that little bit more awake than I was when I got out of bed Wednesday morning.   That little bit more conscious of and excited for what’s to come. I was given a peek at the universe and my unseverable connection to it and everything in it. Alice fell down the rabbit hole and she will never be the same again.

Okay, I began this with the word “conversation”, and that’s what I’m after. Do you have a reaction to what I’ve written here?   Have you had a profound experience in meditation? I’d LOVE to hear about it. and share any insights you may have gained.   Comment here, if you wish, or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/simplyuplift.

No politics, I promise.   No venom, no judgment, and no criticism. Just love and spirit.   Please join me.