Meditation helps writer find a gem within

The excitement would start while half asleep, tossing and turning, waiting for morning to jump out of bed, freshen up, and make my way downstairs to discover my latest surprise.

It would be gift-wrapped. I’d have to use patience to uncover it without destroying anything. I’d sit comfortably, close my eyes, extend my arms, and open myself to a process that has never failed to materialize. My thoughts drift away like wind-blown clouds until one image, one thought would surface, that special one that would inspire me to see Life in a unique and wonderful way.

That’s the way writing has been for me lately. I don’t know what I’m going to find when I meditate and let my mind expand. Most of the time, something from the past crops up, something good and memorable. But, it might just be one image, let’s say, of when I was 16, and flying in the air about to pounce on some high-schooler trying to bully a friend.

I’d find exhilaration! Just in remembering that brief moment in the air. By focusing on it, I could stretch it out, recalling in detail my friend Tommy Cannon and the area of the school gym in Philadelphia where I took a running jump to come to his aid. I remember wanting to “rescue” him, by knocking down one of his assailants, but cushioned the blow at the last second when feeling sorry for the misguided bully. All took place in the matter of milliseconds. How do I know this? It’s been imprinted somewhere in side of me. Like other moments in Life, particularly, those filled with physical action.


  • Jumping out of an airplane the first time.


  •  Being French kissed and not see it coming.


  • Hurdling a would-be tackler and running in for a touchdown.  

 And, of course, the more quiet moments. Hearing taps played at the funeral for my brother George; seeing my best fried Johnny Keller go in the hospital to get a kidney transplant from his brother; saying the “Misericordia,” (a Latin prayer) as an altar boy at Sunday Mass.

All have the potential for stories that can be mined, carefully pulled out of my psyche and cleaned up for public display. Just like reaching into a box of chocolates, you never know what the Forrest Gump in each of us might find.

Even the fearful gunk, which we believed we had buried could still be there. The abandonment I felt as a baby being sent away from home to live with grandmom. The kids teasing you ’cause your dad spoke with an accent. People in authority telling me over and over that I’d never amount to anything.

It’s all there. But with the “loving compassion” that meditation creates in it wake, I get to see the “bad” in a softer light, a more understanding light. And, no matter how ugly a black piece of coal might look naked in a jewelry box, it has had the potential to become a diamond in the rough.

If I choose to see it that way. As a gift. A surprise. A part of me lying dormant awaiting a new “airing,” a public showing.

8 comments on “Meditation helps writer find a gem within

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Renal Dialysis and Michael j Contos, Michael j Contos. Michael j Contos said: Going inside to find yourself can be a worthwhile. Try it! Meditation helps writer find a gem within : […]


    • contoveros says:

      Not sure how Renal Dialysis ties into this, but, as long as it is not “anal” dialysis, I think I can live with it. At the least, I can put it safely behind me . . .

      michael j


  2. […] Why We Live Where We Live by …Taoist Meditation Lao Tzu vs. Chuang Tzu | THE LAUGHING COYOTEMeditation helps writer find a gem within ContoverosZen Meditation | Health TipsTestimonials from Mertens' supporters mertens4mayor.comCPIM Course […]


    • contoveros says:

      Your Best Meditation Address:

      Your Best Meditation
      PO Box 216
      Fairless Hills, PA 19030

      Fax: (323) 315-4187

      This site offers a young woman named Rachel offering tips on meditation. Have not sought any. Tips, that is. Mainly, because I feel good about my current “practice,” and am unsure if I’d have to put money out for the tips.

      If anyone uses this site, please let me know if it was good, bad or indifferent.


      michael j


  3. Katharine says:

    Michael J.,

    Just tonight I experienced an autumn equinox celebration with friends, where at this time of year, the balancing of the light and the dark, we looked at both parts of our life – light and shadow – and shared a meditation on transformation.

    It seems to be in the air these days, bringing forward past moments, finding a different kind of energy in them, reclaiming them from a compassionate and wiser perspective. We all have our shadow side. When we are willing to claim it, we can shine the light of our conscious awareness on it, transforming it.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post, one among many.


    • contoveros says:


      You describe in detail what I’ve felt while writing this. Being able to notice the “dark side,” but not let it take control over me in its raw form. “Transforming” it allows it to flourish without doing damage to what is, in essence, another part of me.

      Thank you for shining your lovely light my way!

      michael j


  4. aly says:

    Very nice post, Michael. The glimpses you share from your life are very vivid. Thank you.


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