March 25, 2008
I’m calling our latest podcast episode “advanced” because to experience the love that the meditation points to requires that your mind be settled enough to notice some subtle experiences. The meditation prompts you to become aware of tendencies to resist what is happening in your thoughts and emotions, and even further to the feeling that underlies those tendencies — a sense of things being not quite right. It’s a sense of not being alright as you are. It’s a sense of life not being alright. It’s at the core of the suffering which is part of the human condition.
Of course, we all like some feelings and experiences more than others. That’s natural. But suffering results when we feel that things should be different, that we should be different — that we should feel differently than we do. When we are able to let go of the resistance to how we feel and stop trying to make ourselves be or feel something else, then what is left is love.
I’m not talking about love in the way we usually think of it. When we say love, we are usually referring to a sentiment or feeling. The feeling of love can be mixed with affection, respect, gratitude, infatuation, passion, all sorts of things. What we usually identify as love is something we feel in response to someone or some thing. The love I am talking about is not an emotion, and it is not dependent on anything. It is the very essence of our existence and reveals itself when we let go of resistance and attempts to manipulate our experience. It is the natural state of our own awareness, of our “beingness”, which is always there in the background but is largely ignored. My hope is that with this meditation, you will be able to recognize and enjoy it.
You may need to use this meditation a number of times before this love is clearly experienced. If you are new to meditation, it might help to try the podcast episode one (Relaxation Break) or the Breath Awareness Meditation until you are able to settle down enough for this meditation.
I’d love to hear your experiences with this meditation. The feedback we’ve received here and at the meditationoasis.com website has been really helpful. And, as always, we welcome your questions.
March 10, 2008
We named our podcast Meditation Oasis. The name came to Richard early on. Then we spent a lot of time brainstorming to find the “best” name, but Meditation Oasis stuck. We didn’t realized that the name would have a life of its own. I recently did a search on iLike.com in order to “claim” our artist pages. Not only were we listed as Mary and Richard Maddux and Mary Maddux, but Meditation Oasis was there as well. When we started a page on MySpace a couple weeks ago, the only kind of page we could fit into was a “band” page and now we’re a band called Meditation Oasis on MySpace!
Instead of just “going with the flow”, I found myself saying hey, whoa, is this really the name we want? Let’s sit back and think this thing over. Maybe there’s a better name. It’s something about how I was raised. It’s always been a challenge for me to buy the first thing I see. I can find the perfect pair of jeans right off, but end up having to try on all the rest “just in case”. I measure my progress sometimes by my ability to go with the first thing that comes along when it feels just right. But this one really challenged me — the name our work is coming to be known by. Life once again is challenging me to walk my talk (or I should say follow my own meditations!)
As Lennon and McCartney once sang it, “Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream…”.