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Letting go through meditation

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I’ve never been one for meditation. The formality of it seemed a little too — ceremonial. A meditative ‘practice’ always seemed like — well, a lot of fancy sitting. I mean, seriously. Sitting still, eyes closed with excessive posture, weird incense stinking up the house, not thinking about anything in particular, just seemed like a big waste of time. Well, it turns out I’m an idiot. Add this to the colossal list of things I got wrong.

I recently realized that I need meditation. I need the break in the action. I need the quiet. I need those few moments away from my work. I need the peace away from my spirited three-year old, and the minutia of details my wife and I seem to hash out with tireless enthusiasm. More than anything, I need the space away from myself. I need the chasm of calm and silence away from my relentless monkey mind. I need to know I can go there in an instant, so far from the noise and the chatter. Amidst the chaos and exhilaration of my life, I need to know that place of stillness lives within me and that’s it mine to access whenever I want it.

I practice a Vietnamese style of martial arts called Cuong Nhu. There are two schools in the Roaring Fork Valley, both with highly accomplished instructors and a national reputation for depth and substance. At the start and finish of each lesson, there is a moment of pause for meditation. The time is set aside for intentionally grounding in this moment, leaving behind emotion and distraction in order to become fully present in the now, fully accepting of new teachings, fully aware of a higher potential for growth. In the conclusion of those brief moments, I increasingly realized that I craved more time. I wasn’t ready to come back. I needed more time.

I now experiment with a meditative practice of my own. I look for a moment of quiet and I sit up straight, cross legged on the floor, hands resting on my knees. I close my eyes and I allow my mind to drift. I pay no attention to anything in particular, and observe fleeting thoughts float by like clouds on a summer day. In those first few moments of stillness, I do something I never do. I. Let. Go. I give up. I experience my being without judgment or preference. It is as though the top of my head opens up and I slip away, connecting to the far away vastness of dark serenity. I don’t know where I go, but coming back is one of the most re-invigorating experiences I know.

I must have been living under a rock. I am amazed to discover how many people I know swear by their meditative practice. In addition to our flexible yogis and hippy existentialists, it turns out there are distinguished CEO’s, executive directors, and powerfully influential corporate leaders that adhere to their own practice as a part of waking up and doing business. The result is a powerfully restorative effect on one’s ability to show up with clarity and resolve.

Knowing who we are and what we are meant to do in this world can be a daunting struggle between grief and hope, failure and triumph. Nothing is certain, just as nothing remains constant. In the midst of so much turmoil, confusion, doubt, and sadness in the world, anything that can restore the inner light is worthy of a little time and cultivation. Anything we can do as individuals to rekindle our inner flame for courage and love, to remember our shared cosmic roots, to reconnect with the collective consciousness; these small things have a tangible impact on how we show up for each other on the planet. I think that is worth a few moments of fancy sitting.

— Evan Zislis is founder and principal consultant of http://www.MyIntentionalSolutions.com, delivering hands-on organizational solutions for households, businesses, nonprofits, students, and life transitions. To comment or suggest column topics, visit the Facebook page “Intentional Solutions.” For more information about simplifying your stuff and organizing your life, call 366.2532 or email Evan@MyIntentionalSolutions.com.


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