The Mind’s Illusion

Source. Sue DeGregorio-Rosen

by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Contributing Editor

Meditation is one of the most misunderstood paths we take……….so many people truly believe that meditation is to stop thinking, to shut down and remain quiet.  Ok, well good luck with that.

My first meditation teacher asked me if I knew how to meditate, and of course I said no, not really.  I had no idea how to quiet my mind, even if my thoughts were of peaceful content.  But then she asked me if I could close my eyes and count to ten.  Of course, I said, I could do that.  She told me ” then you can meditate.”  I soon learned that meditation is action, it’s strength and it’s also a gift of choice. And sometimes it’s just going through the motions. 

I can’t even begin to suggest how many times I have sat quietly and attempted to concentrate on one specific commitment I wanted to make, only to drift off somewhere else, no matter how lovely or peaceful………I could not find the one place I was looking for, Ananda = bliss. Meditation, regardless of our intent, is not bliss, it is a place that can originate from one’s authentic self.  It’s a sincere desire to heal, heal within us.

I have learned, which came easier to me as I went along, to sit and meditate on the flow of my breath.  Breath is life, and if we do not breathe, we cannot live.  Meditation is life, its dreaming, thoughtfulness, and it’s passionate. Breathing is all of these wonderful acts.  When someone is sick or distressed the first thing, we ask them to do is to breathe…. nice deep breathes.  That simple act stimulates healing within us. It creates space within us. It’s a beautiful commitment to ourselves.

When we breathe, we accept ourselves as living feeling beings.  When we meditate, we can concentrate, even if it’s only on our breath, because breath is the essence of the soul, and our soul is the essence of our being.  

Meditation is not that complicated; we are what is complicated.   We have trouble learning to believe in ourselves, but once we begin on such a journey we can begin to believe.   We breathe. We make it real. 

” The mind cannot transcend by pursuing it, we have to believe we can……….and breathe.”