I have spent the last six months working as a hospital therapist. While being profoundly moved by the spirit of many of my patients, the surrounding decay and disease has given me my greatest (and most painful) lesson on meditation and spirituality.
I love movement. Whether its movement of notes, body, emotions, words….I gain energy from this movement. So, six months ago when I found myself face to face with stagnation, decay, and disease, I knew I was in for a ride.
I have spent much of this time examining my relationship to this stagnation and decay. At 25, I have begun a deep exploration of existential psychology, which will continue to blossom throughout my life.
This relationship to our own mortality is paramount in our experience of loss. When we meet loss and grief, we also meet a deep part of our spirit. Sometimes what we find there compounds the grief and sorrow, and sometimes we find our greatest source of healing.
There is a real and imagined spirit. We cross paths with spirit every day through that shiver in our spine telling us to pay attention, or the synchronicity that brings us pure joy, or the intuition that you naturally follow.
The imagined spirit lives within our thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts and emotions directly and immediately influence our biochemistry. I have noticed in my time spent with the dying that thoughts and attitudes shine through in a very real way. I can see a difference in the health of my patients who have positive mental resources.
In essence, our relationship to our suffering and loss will effect our body as it inevitably declines. This process of positive mental resourcing through meditation is a practice that deepens with time. Positive mantras, meditation, prayer, and other deep states of consciousness will help our body sustain equilibrium throughout our entire lives. This is medicine.
For those who are curious I highly recommend the following guided meditation by Kelly Howell. Notice how you feel.