Typically, during a meditation, I don’t “go anywhere,” but rather reside in my IS-ness, and just sit in stillness. Sometimes, however, I experience dreamlike states of consciousness where I might experience something like a journey or visualization. This morning was one of those times, and it made such metaphoric sense, I wanted to share.
During a deep state of rest, I felt as if I was riding rapids down a river, and landed inside a cave that was completely calm, the exact opposite of what brought me there. The floor of the cave was a pool of still water that reflected the light shining in, and stalagmites reached toward the open ceiling of the cavern. The beautiful bright blue sky above barely had any clouds at all, and the opening of the cave framed the sky like an eye to heaven.
I emerged from the cave only to find a desolate, peaceful plain with nothing but a few barren trees and waves of grass for as far as I could see. I didn’t feel sorrow in this isolation, but rather, pure spaciousness and peace.
My experience, while not typical, is the perfect metaphor for the transformation we can experience through a steadfast asana and meditation practice. Our mind and emotions are constantly at battle with our unconsciousness, a la the rough river that I rode to the cave. But, when we are firmly established in our presence, we allow ourselves to come to the pool of stillness that reflects our inner light. The stalagmites are just obstacles that we have to navigate. Not there to attack us specifically, they simply ARE. In fact, the obstacles themselves were pointing to the way out; the way to the light — a cloud-free or thought-free infinity.
Meditation can be like the rapids. Sometimes, you have a barrage of stormy thoughts that seem insurmountable. But, if you allow yourself to ride the rapids, as unpleasant and frightening as they can be, you give yourself to the possibility that there is peace at the end of that expedition. You climb out of the cave and onto the vast plain of your placid consciousness.
– Your Charmed Yogi