“If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts.” Alan Cohen
When I was 19, I hurt my back pretty badly. I was a dance major and just about all I did was dance. When the prospect of never being able to pursue a career in dance presented itself, I was overwhelmed and scared. When I woke up one morning and couldn’t get out of the bed, I called Gerda, my modern dance teacher, to tell her I couldn’t make it to class. Crying hysterically, she could hardly understand me. The only thing I remember about that morning was this:
Gerda, “Can you meditate?”
Me, “I don’t know how?”
Gerda, “Just close your eyes and try to relax. Don’t think. Just be.”
Me, “I can’t!”
Looking back, if I would’ve tried to meditate that morning, my journey through the back thing could’ve been a lot easier. I couldn’t get control of my mind. It was racing around like a monkey and I was just going along for the bumpy ride.
The back thing sucked, but there were many more (much worse) struggles to come. And each time, I did the freak-out dance in my head. I’ve always prayed. But my prayers during hard times were so desperate and intentional. I would negotiate, beg, apologize.
What meditation has taught me is that it’s okay to be with me. I can sit quietly and calmly with no apologies about who I am or what I’ve done. I can feel what it feels like to be inside of this body, and know that I am so much more than just this body. I know that for the rest of my days, I will have this awesome gift to give myself whenever I want it. I feel so much closer to God than I ever did before. I am convinced there is peace…everywhere in everything. We have to tap into it ourselves to find it. No one else can give that to us.