Meditation: like snow tires?

Meditation: like snow tires?

Over the years, I’ve tried to convey to people what meditation is, what it does, details, research, etc., and I feel like my “left brain” explanation has always fallen short of the value of the practice.  But now, I have finally found the perfect metaphor for meditation:  studded snow tires!!  Really … hear me out.

Driving in the ice and snow the last week in December was an amazing, transformative experience.  This is the first year I got studs instead of using chains.   Now, I grew up on the East Coast, and there was snow, snow, snow all winter.  The roads were maintained and winter driving was rarely an issue.  We did it all the time.  No problem.

Move to Portland, and 1” of snow … big problem.  And then it turns to ice – which makes things really crazy.  In the past, if I dared, I put the chains on the car and crept out very, very carefully.  No matter where I went, there was always the unasked question in the back of my mind, what if the chains break? Is there too much ice?  Will I be able to get back up my hill? And so as I headed out, it was with a certain amount of uncertainty and fear.  Plus, there was the issue of the road conditions changing and having to drive on bare pavement with chains on.  Or have to put them on and take them off.  Very inconvenient.

So this year I had studded snow tires put on, and -wow- the last time I felt this confident on snow and ice was literally climbing up Mt. Hood with crampons on my feet.  These tires are fantastic.  When I need to go, I go.  When I need to stop, I stop.  Steering is completely in my control.  No problem when the road conditions change.  This confidence, this grounded feeling is the difference meditation makes in my life.

Without meditation, life is good; I pretty much know what I’m doing and where I’m going, but there is sometimes a niggling thought of uncertainty and fear in the background.  I sometimes feel like I have to change who I am depending on who I am with.  Maybe something about me isn’t good enough.

Life with meditation is completely different.  After I meditate, I can feel a change happening almost immediately: calmness, clarity and a certain confidence starts to permeate everything.  My mind and emotions are much more within my control.  So when I need to focus on something, I do.  When I need to stop focusing on that, I stop.  If someone says something unkind, no worries.  The direction of my life feels completely in my control.  And this confidence continues even with a change in terrain.

For 2018, we are offering a monthly, open meditation practice/gathering in SE Portland on the first Monday of the month from 7pm to 9pm.  Please join us and experience how transformative a meditation practice can be for yourself!

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