This morning I woke up at 6:30 am when the alarm on my iPhone went off. It was still dark out, cool, rainy, and almost completely silent, but I could hear my friends moving about the room. Sharon Kenny and I were upstate assisting our friend Zhenja LaRosa with an Anusara® Teacher Training retreat and the three of us had personal meditation practices that we planned to do before joining the group. As each of us moved into our individual meditations, I found my mind wandering off, distracted by my fatigue and my curiosity about the dent in my mattress, detoured by a recollection about a party I had been to Saturday evening and by the color choices I had made in a drawing that I had just started. I began wonder about what I would eat for breakfast.
Meditation is like a mysterious structure that you enter into that contains within it every rasa, or flavor of experience. As I wandered through the hallways of my meditation, I ducked under one thought, pushed another one behind a door, and in frustration, was about to exit, when…there it was…my own personal space of meditation. Just when it seemed like an impossibility, I softened, stopped being so hard on myself, let my daily thoughts and distractions rest to the side, and stepped into the unknown.
Sometimes it is difficult work to get to the space of meditation, and it is frequently interrupted by a meta-cognitive train of thought such as: Am I there yet? Oh yes, I think I’m entering into that place now. But wait. Is it happening?” Meditation is entering the mystery that resides at your very core. You don’t know exactly how you will get there, or if you will get there, or what you will find once you arrive. You are traveling without a plan. But to grow as a person, you need to enter into unknown parts of your self, and to do that, you must begin by opening to all the possible experiences that may emerge.
Not knowing what will happen is opportunity. Not knowing is possibility. Embracing the unknown is an ecstatic affirmation of your own hunger for experience and self-knowledge. The practices of yoga and meditation are, as my teacher Dr. Douglas Brooks says, “the creative pursuit of uncertainty.” They are a glimpse into the vast structure of our own consciousness.