Mind’s Contents vs Consciousness: Meditation and Thoughts

Jennifer Ngan Photography
I tend to be a thinker. Over analytical and often scatterbrained with questions, ideas and sometimes delusions  far-fetched idealism or the opposite of it. This often means i stay up into the wee hours of the night, thinking about things that become a distraction when I should be asleep, deep in slumberville. In the mornings (i actually am a morning AND night person), I tend to wake up fairly early, and go about my day. It’s not always healthy, and I do suffer from self-diagnosed anxiety, which stems from childhood (I guess? Because Carl Jung says so). Which led me to the wildest Friday night ever. Seated (somewhat guided) meditation.

It isn’t the first time I have tried meditation as my yoga classes, from time to time, will incorporate light meditation for 7-15 minutes. This was the first time I went to a gathering that was purely for meditation, 30 minutes seated, in a studio. It was so legit i had to mentally prepare myself for it. The room is as you would imagine – dim, calming and spiritually alluding. There were string lights and small shrines, tapestry-like drapes. Zen colored walls.

Focusing on breathing and getting to that space between your thoughts and consciousness was hard for me. When you’re not used to breathing properly, it’s a struggle to envelope that feeling, or sensation. My leg kept falling asleep and I had to adjust and re-adjust quietly. My body was trying to distract my mind. I tried so hard, incredibly hard, like it was my J-O-B.

The whole idea of closing your eyes, igniting that sensory deprivation – some people find that it is better to tune into their consciousness. For me, whenever I close my eyes, it sort of makes me feel anxious, like someone’s going to lock all the doors and burn the place down.

The moment when I closed my eyes, I took in all the oxygen I could. Settling the mind. Unwinding. Peeling the layers of thoughts and outward insecurities. Attempting to understand it, taking over it, side by side, instead of it taking over me. Thoughts were arising and not particularly good ones. Though not bad, just…thoughts. Insecurities… more thoughts…

More and more, i’m starting to slowly understand the underlying connection between all things in life. Or rather, i’m not so much understanding the connection, as realizing that it exists, and how vast and meticulous it is in its undying efforts to link. This is the big picture, the sum of all things, in which everyone is both a director and an actor. And now, more than ever, it pains me to see how sadly unaware of this fact the majority of the people we all deal with throughout the courses of our lives truly are.

I see that fighting passivity is as useless as trying to contrive energy. When i am passive, i am an actor, I am playing with the current of the energy flowing through people, words, music, and any other mediums around me, reacting to it as the stimuli that it is; yet at the same time i am aware that this is happening, and so even in my passivity i am not entirely passive. When i am energetic, when i do not go with the flow of the energy, but rather conduct it myself, then i am the director, the architect. Life is a picture in the background, it is scenery, but it is also constantly being created anew as often as it is being destroyed.

When we create something, like this utter word salad of emotions, we are truly in those moments, so seemingly commonplace though they may be, realizing our own power. When i write, when i speak, when i express, when my voice speaks imagery to the minds of others, i am showing strength. Our vision, our drive to create – these things are sacred, almost to the point of being untouchable by others. But i suspect that feeling of being so unworthy to hold or possess or own the potential of sacredness is itself the greatest evil of all, the instilled and confused social evil of inwardly perceived worthlessness. That seems to be the root of my anxiety – the feeling of worthlessness. Helplessness.

I left the studio feeling lighter than when I first walked in. I suppose confronting the negative energies do help with our spirituality journey. I felt it in my heart and soul. I dislike that expression, by the way. But i suppose it’s the one that resonates the most with what I am feeling right now. I’ll paint these cliches on walls with sponges…)

I still don’t understand meditation fully yet but it is something I think is worth exploring, the cleansing aspect of it. And that, my friends, I can get onboard.

Jen Signature