Mastering Mindfulness: A Thinkers Ode to Meditation

I'm lucky.

When I was fifteen, I was the sole survivor in one of those horrific car accidents involving a bunch of teens, lots of alcohol, and late-night fast driving. While the driver and other passengers were killed instantly when our car hit a tree on a drizzly summer night, I had the most powerful experience of my life.

I felt myself being lifted lightly, and it seemed as though I was actually caressed by a loving presence. I remember feeling soothed, comforted, and cherished. I didn't want it to end.

The next thing I remember is lying in a pile of wet leaves with a bunch of flashlights in my face. I walked away without a scratch.

The others were from a different town, and their families, high school friends and teachers mourned their loss bitterly. When they heard that there was a survivor, someone from out of town, many of them felt angry that one of their friends couldn't have been the survivor instead of me. In their anguish, they called to inform me of this sentiment. It was a lot for a 15-year-old to handle.

Nobody knew about the accident at my high school. This was before crisis teams were in place to deal with tragedies. There were no counselors standing by in my case. I was filled with a tremendous sense of guilt, and my beautiful experience was one I never discussed. I couldn't talk about feeling cherished when others had died. It seemed disrespectful and arrogant.

Months later, one of the mothers of the victims called me. I hadn't had any contact with any of the families or friends, and was mourning alone in silence, in exile, really, pretending that everything was just fine. She wanted to invite me over for tea. I declined. I was afraid of hurting her, overwhelmed by my guilt, and petrified that she would lash out at me.

She persisted. I must have declined her invitations half a dozen times in the next three months, making lame excuses and once even pretending to be my sister, telling her I wasn't home.

Fortunately, she kept at it, and when I finally did come over to her house for tea, she wrapped me in a completely reassuring hug.

She was my first meditation teacher. She recognized my pain, and I am eternally grateful that she taught me skills to cope with it. I truly believe she saved my life for the second time.

I used meditation as a tool. There was no association with any particular religion. Despite the clear sense of a benign presence during the accident, it just never occurred to me that it was God. Others may have responded with a renewed religious conviction. I opted for a simple there-must-be-a-reason view.

Years later, as a college student interested in psychology, philosophy, and science, I was studying with a university professor and meditation teacher in Sri Lanka. Ratne taught a technique for mindfulness meditation that meshed perfectly with my need for logic, order, and my view of the universe as manifesting power in magnificent but unpredictable ways. He taught meditation from a thinker's perspective, validating the notion that we are entrusted with the responsibility to use our minds for both thinking and non-thinking.

Ratne died a few years ago, but his son, Deva, is carrying on his tradition of mindfulness training in Sri Lanka. My friend visited Deva recently and was immersed in discussions to build an environmentally-friendly meditation center on a hilltop there.

Deva's mindfulness technique is growing in popularity with good reason--it's simple, and it is completely detached from any specific religion.

This is not your father's meditation. It's Deva's insightful take on his dad's approach. It's thoroughly modern and inclusive, based as much on our understanding of the brain as it is on our professed need to find bliss.

I've been lucky to be exposed to this unique method. Through good times and bad, meditation has given me perspective and a sense of ease when I needed it most. I've lost two brothers to suicide, one to AIDS, a stepfather and father-in-law to cancer in the last few years. Meditation has been a life raft as well as a surprising source of direction and joy.

Although I am quick to identify myself as a thinker, in the same breath I'll tell you I'm a meditator. They go hand in hand for me. I consider it my favorite ego-attachment.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, you can use meditation to strengthen yourself and your understanding of the universe. If the age-old methods aren't working for you, perhaps all you need is an updated version, an upgrade to Meditation 2.0, if you will.

You can skip the pricey bench or embroidered cushion. Don't bother with the candle. Keep the incense in the drawer. Contrary to popular belief, no equipment is required.

All you need is your mind--and a supportive teacher. I hope you are lucky enough to find yours.

About The Author

Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse. Her work has inspired thinkers in over 80 countries. She serves up a satisfying blend of clarity, comfort and comic relief. To subscribe, visit http://www.massageyourmind.com.

[email protected]

In The News:

Proud To be a Teacher  Eastern Mirror
Write the Story of Your Life  CEOWORLD magazine
BLOG: Amuse yourself during covid  Northwest Asian Weekly
Athletes of the Week  The Republic
Horoscopes Sept. 21, 2021  El Dorado News-Times

Comparison - The Great Destroyer

In speaking of comparison we need to be aware that... Read More

How I Make And Save Thousands Of Dollars Using Only My Subconscious Mind-You Can Do The Same!

Thousands of dollars will be yours, just by using your... Read More

Mental Fitness For Confidence And Winning In Life

Studies show that men and women profit most with having... Read More

Dealing with Criticism and Rejection

Whether it's the other kids making fun of you at... Read More

Is The Glass Half-full Or Half-empty?

Keep focusing on the fullness of your life: Keep remembering... Read More

Our Beliefs Define Our Limits

The universe is vast, it's dimensions inconceivable, it's potentialities unimaginable,... Read More

Release Your Agression In Your DIARY OF EMOTIONS

In order for you to make positive ground daily you... Read More

Creating an Emotional Retreat

Emotions have the tendency to take over our actions and... Read More

How Important is Attitude?

We have often missed the mark because we believe we... Read More

The Mind?s Power Fusion Component

It is widely believed that just anybody has the intrinsic... Read More

Why Positive Thinking Doesnt Work!

There was someone I used to work with who, well... Read More

Are Your ANTs Taking Over Your Life?

One of the first things that I work on with... Read More

Optimism: The Tremendous Benefits of a Positive Attitude

How many times have you heard someone say, "Hey, cheer... Read More

How To Have A Life Changing Experience

Can you really plan a life-changing experience, or do they... Read More

What Do You Believe?

"If I have the belief that I can do it,... Read More

You Are Magnificent! Creating Self-Confidence

The image you hold of yourself determines your success or... Read More

Why You Want What You Cant Have

"You can't always get what you want . . ."... Read More

Down On Your Luck? Heres How You Get Over The Hump!

It's time to put a bad rumor to rest right... Read More

Open the Pandoras Box & Unleash your Hidden Power.

It really doesn't matter what your objectives are in this... Read More

The Power of Passion

Improving this single attitude makes your days fly by. You... Read More

What?!? No Bananas?

"Where are your bananas?" It seemed like a logical question... Read More

Are You Inviting Misery into Your Life?

Often, I've come across individuals who, while in conversation, will... Read More

Dump Those Negative Tapes

Every time something doesn't go quite right (rather frequently for... Read More

Beliefs

Do you realize that what we believe about ourselves, affects... Read More

How Gratitude Can Be Your Partner in Life

Gratitude is one of the most important things you can... Read More