1:10 PM EDT, June 30, 2013
The main vehicle for a search for truth is a meditation practice. Meditation is not something we do for 30 minutes a day, but a state of awareness to be maintained minute to minute throughout our day. A total awareness. That means no more mechanical responses conditioned by culture and expectations. Meditation helps us to make this jump into awareness. Everything and anything is an opportunity for meditation. Live wakefully.
Having spent three-to-four hours of continuous periods of meditation on many days has placed me in a position to face the question: "Why do I do what I do?"
My answer for myself is this: I am utterly committed to a life of service. Helping others, looking and finding ways to improve our lives, since it is no longer "I" but "we" and "us" and knowing that we have a ripple effect. A life of yearning, exploring, discovering and evoking whatever is possible. This is of significant importance to me. Life is always exciting to me because I am always learning something new. No matter how hard I may try to not do this, it is who I am. I am a perpetual apprentice of life. This creative work to me is my constant daily prayer. I always want to become something more — spiritually — than I am through an inner search for increased awareness. To be and to become are the goals of an evolving life.
I wonder what you may come up with if you answered the same question during one of your cocooning times. Also try to answer what makes you sad, happy and what is it that you would most like to change in your life? Only if you know your slavery can you aspire to be free. Don't let your mental machinery keep delivering to you the very same things you say you don't want.
Pause long enough in the head-long rush of life, and remove yourselves from society and wait for infinity to fall into your hearts. Cocooning is a good way to do it, to allow the inner light to break through into your soul, no matter what the age, station in life or geographic location.
Wounding allows for the opening of ourselves in ways that nothing else seems to accomplish. Wounding teaches us about patience and about our limits. Most people think that if you are spiritual, you will always wear a smile on your face. Think again. Some of the most spiritual people lived lives of despair, at times such as Mother Teresa and St. Francis of Assisi — even Buddha and Jesus. Through suffering, when we feel beaten down, we can either fall into despair, get stuck, not grow and perhaps regress. Or, we become enlightened and begin to understand larger patterns. We then begin to forgive ourselves and forgive others since we have learned the fascinating comedy of existence.
Know that the way you lived yesterday will determine your today; the way you live today will determine your tomorrow.
Dr. M. Teri Daunter is a Petoskey-based psychologist with Family Psychological Services, where a strong emphasis is placed on the benefits of meditation training. The office also offers individual, couples and family therapy, hypnotherapy, premarital counseling and therapy for sexual dysfunction and eating disorders, among other services. Call (231) 347-7665 for more information.