Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category

Planting a Seed

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green light

This is dedicated to my mom who inspired this thought.

Several years ago while meditating I decided to ask God to show me Himself. I asked Him to show me what God is, and to remove any of my preconceived thoughts of God and of existence itself. I asked that any internal and external biases be removed so that I may come to understand.

As I asked this through my heart, I attempted to quiet my mind. What I experienced and what I saw I could not expect. With my eyes opened, I became blind. I could not see anything. Slowly my vision went, and everything became black. There was not even a hint of light. With my ears straining to hear any voice or sound, I could hear nothing. The buzzing of the street lights disappeared and the distant traffic became non-existent to my ears. I had become deaf. Next my racing mind seemed to pause. All thoughts sank away. Not even an image or random thought had crossed my mind. It was quiet, yet at the same time I was all too aware that it was quiet. It was not overwhelming. I was peace.

Not a worry had occupied me. As I became aware of this emptiness, this lack of sensation, I began to see a tunnel in my mind’s eye. At the end or perhaps it was the beginning, I saw what appeared to be a green light, beckoning, almost like a cocoon. With that, I began to hear again and I began to see again. The image had disappeared and thoughts came flooding back.

At the time this occurred, I thought I had understood what happened. I thought I knew what God or perhaps my inner self was trying to tell me. I found solace in this quietness, this communion of sorts. And yet today I found myself seeing more understanding in this experience. I found God to be everything, and at the same time I found God to be nothing. I found God to be peace, inner peace, a choice seemingly made by me, but not entirely by me. Perhaps like a seed in our heart, God is there waiting to be nurtured, waiting to show us our true selves, our true potential.

What or who is God to you?

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Meditation Inside Out

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Spiritual understanding and peace are not just found in meditation. They are not just found in churches, mosques and other places of worship. Life itself is a spiritual experience.

Open your eyes from your meditative sleep and see all that is in front of you. There is no duality of body and spirit for all are the same. One need not escape the physical life in order to see and experience a spiritual life. Like two hands clasped together, they are the same, for hand in hand they go.

When we attempt to compartmentalize our spirituality, we defeat the purpose. We separate ourselves and place ourselves into a seemingly protective bubble. Instead of gaining understanding, all we have done is insulate ourselves from the parts that we have yet to accept. When we can learn to have the same peace outside of the bubble as inside of the bubble, then we have begun to understand ourselves.

Only when we bring the inside to the outside, can we fully embrace existence. God is not in a jar. Peace is not in a jar. Unconditional love is not in a jar. When we can share these with others without hiding from ourselves and without forcing another to be someone else, then we have found peace.

Prayer, Meditation with Purpose

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people in prayerThe power of prayer does not come from how many times we recite a prayer. The power of prayer does not come from how many people pray for the same outcome. It does not come from facing Mecca, or facing the Wailing Wall. The power of prayer does not come from sitting in a church or peering through a glass floor at the supposed birthplace of Jesus. It does not come from ringing bells, or lighting candles. The power of prayer does not come from intermediaries such as saints or devotees. The power of prayer comes from one’s true intent. Prayer is like having an intimate relationship with the Creator. Prayer allows one to speak directly with God/Allah to give thanks, or to ask for guidance. Prayer allows for communing with all that is. Prayer is meditation with purpose. Prayer is peaceful awakening.

Meditate on This

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Shiva's third eyeTwo eyes to the front, and one to the totality of all that exists. Visions can be beautiful or downright terrifying, but without context, there is no inspiration. The mind is fed, and the soul is hungry to learn. Seeking bliss in meditation is a wonderful exercise, but to bring that bliss to others outside of meditation is a true gift. Some may say, bring meditation to the masses, but a quieted mind and an open heart will say, bring that joyful love to others outside of meditation and into the waking life. Bring the inside to the outside and allow them to be One. Do not get lost in images. Do not get lost in colors. Do not get lost in tones. Life is more than a vibration. Life is more than perceived levels. Everything is a sign, with open eyes or closed, with an active mind or a quieted one, everything is a sign.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

February 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Silence Misguided

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silence pinSilence by itself does not bring wisdom. Silence by itself does not bring enlightenment. Silence by itself does not bring understanding. All too often, silence is sought as a refuge in times of turmoil and turbulence in one’s life. In seeking solitude, one must ask if they are in fact running from their problems, and in the end, running from themselves. Although silence is a useful tool, without contemplative meditation, or looking into one’s own heart for what causes them pain, it simply serves as another back drop for what is really occurring.

Pain in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. It can serve to correct us. Pain can often serve as an indicator that we must look into ourselves, and into the things that bring us anguish so that we can avoid those situations if there is a next time. And although we may stumble and continue to make mistakes or make waves in this existence we call life, we’ll have at least stopped long enough to see ourselves as we truly are, a naked soul for all to see. So if silence is something you seek, seek it not for the sake of silence itself, but for what can come of it.

May the silent mind bring peace to the forefront. May it envelop you in an everlasting joy. May it bring clarity and understanding for all you seek. And when that silence has become deafening, do not be afraid to share the songs of your heart.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

February 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm

30 Seconds of Nirvana

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bite of an appleNirvana is not confined to 30 seconds of peace, nor is it solely in the confines of meditation or mindful breath. It is not the cessation of life nor is it the deprivation of all bodily perception. Nirvana is not a state of mind nor is it the lack of a state of mind. Many gurus have had their say, and so shall many more. Some claim peace on mountain tops, and others in secluded caves. And though this may be the path they have chosen for themselves, it is not the only path to your heart. It is true that the life many lead now is not the same as those long since past, but what has always been will continue to be. Men may create constructs, and boundaries from where there are none, but it is each person’s choice to live by the rules of other men, or by the eternal light in each person’s soul.

Look beyond the world you have come to know, and tear down the walls others have told you to build. Peace is eternal. From all things it is created. Bite of the fruit and know the orchard is all about you.

 

Written by Sidewalk Bends

January 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Concerto of Life

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Brian Stone conducts the UD Orchestra and Schola Cantorum
Brian Stone conducts the UD Orchestra and Schola Cantorum

The path we choose to understanding is only as long as we choose to make it. In the path of the spirit, there are many self-proclaimed masters, prophets, wise men and learned men. Each seems to have his flavor of the truth, and his method for discovering enlightenment. Some prescribe meditation techniques. Others prescribe prayers or amulets. Some defer to the guidance of spirits, angels and so-called guides, while others still, defer to men who have come before them. Though some may speak in absolutes, who is right is anyone’s guess. Few, if any, will say they do not know, and can only tell of their own experiences. Fewer still will admit that what has been given to them is attainable by all.

The path to understanding is a personal one. Life is like a personal concert, a song between the Creator and each of His creations. Together we are harmonious. Each person, each creation, each instrument, plays its part in the grand arrangement that is life. So although some may try to tempt you to take another path, or to walk a moment with them on their path, your path is your path. The path to understanding is as long or as short as you choose to make it.