Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Meditations on the Purpose of Life

I got some dental work done at the dentist yesterday and they gave me laughing gas.  I think this stuff is the best thing since sliced bread.  While I was under, I decided to see if the laughing gas could help me up my meditation experience, like they say LSD can do.  I'm never quite 100% sure that my meditations are actually allowing me to connect with God rather than just clearing my mind for more focused thought, but I had a very interesting meditation on the purpose of life. 

Once in my meditation, I realized that I had lost touch with God since I had my baby.  This drugged-up moment in the dentist chair was my first deep meditation since the birth of my baby 7 months ago.  I'd done a little light meditation that brought me relaxation, but it had not brought me that divine peace that deep meditation can bring. 

In yogic texts they discuss different levels of meditation, the first step is withdrawing the senses by closing the eyes, the second step is focusing the mind and eliminating that "monkey mind." Just by doing that, I am able to find relaxation.  This is about as far as meditation has gotten for me before my son woke up or I needed to do something.

But, yesterday, I went deeper.  I went to that place of pure peace and clarity.  I went to that place where all the thought waves ceased and the mind was still and quiet.  This is the place where your Word is most powerful.  This is the place where you plant seeds of change in your life.  This is the place of infinite possibilities.  If you have ever heard of "The Secret," or Science of Mind, or simply the power of your word, you may know that your thoughts are most powerful when you clearly set your intention and focus on that which you want.

At the point I realized I was at this deep state of meditation, my mind started revving-up.  My mind likes to try to control my meditations.  It usually likes to think of which mantra I should be repeating -- "om nama shivaya"... "there's only one life"... the gayatri mantra... "be still and know God" or something else.  This time, my mind was super excited and wanted to think of the perfect thing to pray for.  Should I pray for my son's happiness, my husband's happiness, my enlightenment, world peace or my happiness. 

From childhood, I've always thought happiness was the purpose of life.  People like to make things complicated with long books and philosophies but it all comes down to trying to be happy.  Why do I want Cam to be happy?  Because it makes me happy.  Why do I want Adam to be happy?  Because it makes me happy.  So do I think enlightenment will make me happy? 

We see people who do drugs, have sex, party and risk their lives because they think it makes them happy.  But does it really?  I sometimes think that people who choose to live a more reserved life like to think that party people aren't truly happy.  I don't know if that's true.  Just as some pious people are happy and some are unhappy, I think the same may be true for those crazy party animals.  I think it is easier to think that a simple person who lives off the land is happy and connected with God even if they never pray or have a religion than someone who parties all the time. But it does not seem beyond possibility that some people are just as happy and in touch with God as they go from moment to moment trying to find their next high. 

I do not consider myself a true yogi because the yogic texts say that the ultimate goal is be desireless, without any likes or dislikes.  That sounds utterly and completely BORING to me.  Yes, if you can live like that, you won't be sad, but you also won't ever be bouncing off the wall with joy and I love sparkling with joy.   

When I have had glimpses of enlightenment, I felt completely at peace and content.  It was beautiful but I wouldn't call it "happy."  So, have I been wrong all my 30 years of life?  Maybe I should use this time to pray for contentment and peace rather than happiness.  Maybe I should just pray for my contentment and peace knowing that I could never be content or at peace with my husband and son discontented.  Peace is what stays with you during good times and bad.  With happiness comes sadness because you are riding the waves of the world.  You are riding on temporary circumstances. 

With all that being said, I have to add that I often laugh at the way I like to over-complicate this simple thing called life.  As I write this blog discussing my meditation on the purpose of life, I imagine that a farmer tills the fields completely content and at peace and at one with his surroundings.  He's not trying to get there, or thinking about getting there, he just is.  His wife is washing dishes as she looks out the window, completely in the moment, at peace and content. 

Do my perfect archetypes of simple zen living really exist anywhere outside of my mind?  I don't know.  But even as I ponder enlightenment and the purpose of life, I am reminded that the way to peace and enlightenment is not meditation, it's not prayer, it's not study, it's just being fully present and letting go of our desire to control and analyze things with our mind.  So maybe my questions and prayers were answered--just be present and you will be content and at peace.  And, I really think the best thing I can do for my family is be an example of peace and contentment, I can't do it for them, only they can do that. 

As for world peace, just as I am an example for my family, I am an example for everyone I meet.  I hope to be an inspiration for everyone who reads these posts.  I hope that I spread peace and contentment through the world like ripples on the ocean, like the fluttering of a butterfly's wings.  May peace ripple all over the world and all beings know contentment, everywhere. 

And so it is!  Amen. 


Ronda Jyoti Litwin