During Meditation You Become Someone Who Has No History
Rev. Rachel Hollander is an Anchorage, Alaska-based metaphysical minister. By “metaphysics” we assert that she teaches ONENESS. We are all one: an extended chain of expression called collectively – humanity. We are reflections of each other, although we exist as individual expressions.
For a clear mental picture, please think of an ant colony. While there are millions of individual ants, the colony eats, sleeps and breathes as one living, collective organism. What happens to one of them creates a ripple effect among them all. That is a good metaphor for what we do inside of the collective humanity.
Metaphysics echos Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous saying, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Framed in this manner: when one of us is hurting, we are all hurting. When one of us is oppressed, we are all oppressed. When one of us is denied food, we are all denied food.
Rev. Rachel teaches meditation as a spiritual practice. It is a way for people to get in contact with their “real” selves; not the personas developed to serve social interactions. Who you are really are lies beyond the individual category.
As a spiritual leader, she has chosen to accept the task of reminding the By2015:AMERICA movement of the inner work necessary to raise awareness that child hunger exists in America. Some fear that our actions will create polarizing conversations about poverty and politics in America. That is not our goal. Our goal is to fashion bridges where bridges are not and facilitate more and more people coming in contact with their humanity – on the collective level. To assist us, she begins with a quotation from Brother Lawrence, a Christian mystic.
“We should fix ourselves firmly in the presence of God by conversing all the time with Spirit….we should feed our soul with a lofty conception of God and from that derive great joy in being God’s. We should put life in our faith. We should give ourselves utterly to God in pure abandonment, in temporal and spiritual matters alike, and find contentment in the doing of Spirit’s will, whether It takes us through sufferings or consolations. ”
“Think often on God, by day, by night, in your business and even in your diversions. God is always near you and with you; leave It not alone.”
~Brother Lawrence (slight editing by Rev. Rachel Hollander)
“Your ego is a set of thoughts that define your universe. It’s like a familiar room built of thoughts; you see the universe through its windows…..To give up those thoughts, it seems, would annihilate you, and so you cling to them…..Thought after thought with the rapidity of a trip hammer.”
“Meditation raises the question: Who are we really? If we are the same as our ego, then if we open up the ego’s filters and overwhelm it, we shall be drowned. If, on the other hand, we are not exclusively what the ego defines us to be, the removal of the ego’s filters may not be such a great threat. It may actually mean our liberation.”
.~Ram Dass, Journey of Awakening
“When I teach meditation, I like to begin at the simple stage of asking participants to give up the baggage of the past and future. You may think that this is an easy thing to do, but it is not. Abandoning the past means not thinking about your work, your family, your commitments, your responsibilities, your good or bad times in childhood, and so on….During meditation you become someone who has no history.” – Rev. Rachel Hollander
“The five hindrances to meditation (and what to do):
1. Sensory Desire – anything pertaining to the five senses DO: choose a comfortable space to sit, put full attention on the breath and continue to bring it back to the breath, accept all distractions as part of the flow and let them continue to pass on by.
2. Ill Will – toward self or others (anger, resentment, un-forgiveness, expectation) DO: mantra of embracing self with an open heart, compassion for all, release of anything else (even if just for that moment)
3. Sloth and Torpor – dullness, boredom,
DO: make peace with it, stop fighting it
4. Restlessness and Remorse – Restlessness: not appreciating the beauty of contentment, a sign og not finding joy in what’s here. Remorse: holding onto hurtful things one has said or done
DO: For restlessness, find contentment in the moment we are in, find the moment fascinating, come to peace with the moment
For remorse, forgive oneself, we all make mistakes – let it go
5. Doubt – of self, teacher, process
DO: release in the moment, surrender. After meditation, ask oneself, “What was that? That was really interesting.”
~Ajahn Brahm, selected from Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond
Various ways to meditate:
- Breath only (absence of everything listed below)
- Using music (no words, simple melodies, not distracting – wanting to “listen” more than have it support the inward journey)
- Focus on an object (candle, tree, stone, etc)
- Mantra (repeated word or phrase that keeps one present)
- Sitting (usually cross-legged, on a cushion. Be comfortable!)
- Walking (conscious steps, maybe incorporating a mantra)
- Eating (consciously smelling the food, taking a bite, tasting as one chews,
- swallowing with awareness, breathing between bites –with release of the fork or spoon)
Create your own meditation practice that works for you!