The Opening

The very first time I sat down to meditate it felt like being in the dentist's chair. Actually for the first many, many attempts it felt that way. My nose itched, my legs seemed leaden; I was a squirm hoping to be done with it.

When the time was over my body literally raced upright, like a prisoner released on bail. Had I been graded on these early efforts, the mark would have been F minus.

Yet I persisted, because something deep within me knew it was imperative that I continue. Waking up cannot occur while our attention is fixed slavelike on the screen of the external world; in our normal ego state that is precisely where we are staring. We are in a trance.

So I would come to the dreaded exercise in silence prodded from within, and hating it. I did not tell anyone about this agony of resistance, because I didn't want to be marked a failure.

But privately I was certain I was hopelessly backward as a spiritual apprentice. I brought my flawed and resisting body along and willed it through it's paces. Eyes closed, my mind would jump from thought to thought to thought like a mad leapfrog.

Everything in me wanted the meditation to be over; and somewhere an imaginary eye kept consulting an imaginary watch. Week after week, month after month, I kept trying. It was a comedy, really: me fighting off God. The battle went on like that for about 8 months. Far from bringing peace, each and every meditation was a lesson in mistery.

Then. One day, like a feather cutting through cement, Something suddenly took over my meditation. One second I was noticing an itch on my neck , and in the next -- for no reason whatsoever -- a Presence rose up and engulfed me in a huge unearthly smile. All resistance melted away like vapor and all there was left was the Smile. I was swimming in it. I floated on its waves, a cork bobbing up and down on Love.

When I finally opened up my eyes, a ghost of the Smile still remained. My mind was incredulous -- I knew full well I had done nothing to earn such a gift! Yet there it was -- it had happened. Following this experience, I looked on meditation in an entirely new light. I now saw becoming still as an immense luxury, even though at first I had no idea if I would ever be revisited by the Smile.

To my complete amazement and joy, I discovered the Smile would return whenever I entered the Silence. To this day, it is still with me -- it shows up each time I get still, and sometimes even during the day, when my eyes are open and I think of God.

Meditate. Meditate even if you dislike it, and do it daily. It tells the Presence you are ready. Let me hear from you!
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