Sixteenth Post – Contemplation

One year ago – oh dear, so long… – I wrote about “spiritual gravity” because my boyfriend’s seminar in contemplation has spurred my philosophical thinking.

He successfully convinced me to join him for that same seminar a year later – two weeks ago – because he thought I might benefit from it. The last weeks were emotionally troublesome so I welcomed the idea of a respite away from everything.

As expected, the weekend-long silence wasn’t hard for me; I enjoyed being quiet and more so being surrounded by quietness all the time. Joining the mass at the monastery’s church, however, didn’t give me any positive feedback like it did for my boyfriend. It made me feel left out, separated. When everyone stood up and said “amen” or did that cross sign I just stood there quietly. Not doing anything made me feel left out, just repeating what everyone else was doing would have made me feel like a liar. It’s not my faith.

The next breaks I spent walking through nature, taking pictures, listening to the birds and wind. That felt much closer to my “spiritual gravity”.

Contemplation itself… I tried my best until Saturday evening, when I realised, after the discussion round, why I, again, felt left out. Most people described their struggle with emotions welling up inside them, trouble with staying in that moment, enjoying the small things, opening towards the presence of God (it IS a Christian meditation technique). I felt no emotions at all. I felt completely neutral throughout the meditation sessions. That was the first hint for me that it seemed to be different for me.

Also, most things the monk guiding through the meditation said seemed very familiar to me. Focusing on this very moment; I do that every day. In fact, I only really feel myself if I can be in this very moment. My trouble is when the world forces me to do otherwise. Opening myself to the presence of God; as I said in my previous post, I’ve always felt what I termed “spiritual gravity”, it’s just not something I spend much thought on. It’s just there. And lastly, there’s something called the “death of the ego”; it means to not have any expectations, aspirations, wishes for oneself. That is actually currently my biggest issue. Not having any aspirations for myself. My goal in life is that those I love are happy. The rest doesn’t matter too much to me. My career, for instance.

After realising that these goals you’re supposed to work towards in this seminar are things I’ve always had in my life, I felt sad and lost for a while. After talking about it I understood that there’s no reason to be sad, really. It’s a reason to be happy. I AM all this what other people try to reach. I feel like this empty bowl that you’re supposed to become – here my boyfriend said he wished I could see how overflowing with love and holiness I truly am.

I felt happier then, but still a little lost in the contemplation as I didn’t know what to strive for if I already had reached those things. The silent, calm focusing on my breath felt still nice but somehow… shallow. Aimless. I’d need a mediation that gives me strength to go through those moments I cannot be in that very moment, when I have to have aspirations for myself, when I have to find a motivation to live my own life for myself, rather than for the people I love. I felt that contemplation was not what my soul needs right now, because it already has all which it could gain from that.

Sounds a little arrogant, writing that here like this. Considering how many people follow these meditations, read self-help books, etc. But I have other struggles. I fail at understanding the world all these people swim through like fish in water.

My boyfriend said I have a spiritual obligation to finish my therapy training and help other people struggling in this world. Maybe he is right.

 

And maybe I won’t take ANOTHER year for my next entry…