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Meditation: Expanding our Capacity to Appreciate

Beside Restful Waters, a column by Greg Hermann

Elephant Love

Today (January 26, 2015), I am experiencing a bit of a revelation (I think). I am new to the practice of meditation (practicing about a year). As a good student, I have read several books, listened to meditation instruction from our library of CDs, and established a fairly good routine to practice the meditation process. The readings speak of attaining a state of “bliss.” They also relate the stories of adepts who have spent many years, or their entire lives practicing to attain this state of “bliss.”

Well, truth to be known, I am wondering if I have enough years left in the material world to get to this state. We’ll see. I find myself wishing that the Yamas and Niyamas I learned in my yogi training included a practice more directly resulting in the patience I need at this point in time. I am sure I will find it, somewhere, sometime, soon, though there is a question mark hanging over this statement.

Now, about my revelation: I have experienced several episodes of what I would call “warm fuzzies” during my meditation practice. Somehow, they don’t fit my expectation of bliss. However, I recently took my 3 year old grandson and 4 year old granddaughter to watch "Frozen on Ice.” In the midst of the joy of the music, the thrill of the pyrotechnics, and the heroic outcome of the story line, I glanced at the faces of the grandkids. Bliss? Wonder and awe? I cannot put their facial expressions into words. However, there is a place in my soul that was moved to a point of emotional implosion upon witnessing them. I truly believe that my practice of meditation prepared me to fully experience the appreciation of this particular moment in the lives of these two little people.

The completion of this experience of soul occurred when we arrived back home at 11:00 pm. As I gently extricated the slumbering wee body of the 4 year old from her car seat, she wrapped her arms around my neck and said “Oh grandpa.” (A moment for a tear). She will never know that she delivered me immediately to a place ‘beside restful waters’ where I enjoyed a moment of repose.

I will continue to practice meditation as preparation for these very moments. Thank you to all the sages, teachers, and friends who have contributed to my appreciation of these moments. I pray the same for you.

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