Late last night while I was lying in bed losing myself to anxious reveries, I had an experience. It’s not the first time I’ve had this type of experience, but the first time in a long time.
My eyes were closed and my thoughts were bouncing back and forth in conflict regarding a certain event happening the next day. My mind shifted from imagining one course of action, then to another, then back again, as if role playing the scenarios to see which would yield the best outcome. As it was, none of my imaginings seemed to leave me feeling any more secure with what was going to happen; nor did they have me feeling any more satisfied with whether my conjectured courses of action was the most acceptable and appropriate. I continued laying there, absorbed in the tumultuous tension teetering back and forth in my mind, and I began to slowly drift, not from consciousness, but from my thoughts. They began falling away, growing distant and less forceful, until they were nothing but a mere hue at the periphery of my awareness. Now, I certainly didn’t forget they were there, but my heart seemed to claim less ownership over them.
As this silent drift slowly unfolded I began to wake up, that is, my consciousness began to rise, and I don’t mean from sleep because I was wide awake. I found myself totally renewed, totally rebirthed, and my thoughts consisted of nothing more than a pacified blanket of awareness. I noticed my emotions were no longer bound to thoughts that, just moments ago, had consumed my being. Instead my mind was subsumed in profound cleanliness, a clarity, and my feelings were fluid and flexible, as if they were standing at attention ready to flow at my will.
I remembered having this experience before, many times before, and I became pregnant with nostalgia as I recounted the days when I would actively seek this comforting solace. Years ago, when I was bent on mastering my thoughts, I would practice holding a single ideal thought before my mind. As it often is with things that are necessary and good, these idealizations would appear totally alien to my being. The foreign intrusion would result in a cognitive dissonance that would swell within me and create a flurry of confusion and tension that threatened to cripple my capacity to assimilate and carry out the idea.
I poignantly remember grasping these ideas firmly between my adroit mental fingers so that all other thoughts could exuviate and slide into nothingness. The tension, the dissonance and disharmony, would slowly evaporate into a cool cerulean sublimity and all that was left was my idea, unimpeded my competing memories and conflicting convictions. I would meditate like this- supposing this is meditation- for hours at various times throughout the day until I had constructed myself a consummate, coherent belief system, untangled from contesting emotions, that remained utterly harmonious and synchronic.