Grounding & aspirations help us fly higher

I remembered how to fly this morning. The first thing I needed for liftoff, I recalled, was good, solid grounding. Everything must be secured and brought to a complete stand-still before I could ever dream of taking off into the air.

I ensured that all movable parts were resting comfortably, and that nothing would shake, shiver or shatter against another moving or immobile part. You don’t know how disturbing flight could be when loud, bumpy and attention-grabbing knocks and bangs interfere with the pilot’s concentration.

That’s where my focus shifts. As I get everything calmed down, I concentrate on that part of the vessel I call the cabin. I clear my vision of all obstructions. Nothing should prevent me from discriminating among sounds I need to focus on and those I need to filter out.

Next, I begin working on the most critical aspect:  breathing. I take three deep breaths. Each inhalation gives way to a much longer exhalation. By the third cycle of breathing, the parasympathetic system begins to kick in, and I know the moment I’ve been looking forward to is about to finally arrive.

My body parts are now merged into one object, one part. I feel heartbeats pulsing throughout– from my temples through my chest and into all four appendages. It washes over me one beat at a time, keeping time with the airflow I have slowed, as I level off the deep rhythms and sail almost effortlessly above the body below.

I now exist at a place near the nose, ears and the eyes. My entire focus resides in a triangular spot at the top of the nasal passage. It is where the mystical “Third Eye” forms to offer me an inner vision to guide my pathway above and beyond the everyday world.

My breathing is creating soft sounds from the back of my throat. It’s almost like the sound of a “Darth Vader” zeroing in on a Death Star to create a rebirth somewhere in a galaxy far, far away. The sound helps to block other noises. A clock ticks, a truck brakes, a bird chirps. I am aware of them all, but none interfere with my piloting skills.

Where am I? I am lying on my right side, feeling the air stream in and out, creating a platform inside to rest and simply enjoy “being.” I am in a modified fetal position. I care about nothing. There are no annoyances, no worries, and no desires. I am on autopilot, sailing to nowhere, but going everywhere without leaving my house.

I can’t do this without putting aside time in each day for such explorations. I’m not rushing to work or to complete chores at home. This tour I’ve begun can only continue without a hitch when I’ve made this a top priority. My day goes more smoothly, less stressfully and more meaningfully once I’ve gone into orbit. Confusion, irritation, and anxiety too easily slip into my psyche, filling me with thoughts of a career, my job, or even family problems or concerns when I don’t practice.

I am having the closest thing I know as an out-of-body experience from meditating. It is rare. I think it manifested because I attended a five-day retreat for veterans with PTS (post traumatic stress) while meditating day and night. We meditated while sitting , while eating, while walking, and while working at chores. I stretched this “practice” into a sixth day by meditating with a group of young men and women at the Philadelphia Shambhala Meditation Center. (See: Meditation.)

Flying above the radar of this world is innate. I think we all can leave the physical universe behind by focusing inside with an awareness of the present moment. If you get the proper liftoff, you might even get a little taste of heaven and a splash of nirvana.

One comment on “Grounding & aspirations help us fly higher

  1. Oh how beautifully poet and inspiring Michael!!!! I know I would be so much better off if I committed to this practice everyday. We not only help ourselves, but the whole universe, when we practice stillness/connection in this way.

    Sounds like a marvelous retreat you and the others had.


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