Today’s guest post is our second from Laura Beth Eschbacher, a freelance English teacher and translator living in Kleinbottwar, Germany. Today she shares with us a bit about meditation, Jesus and the multitude of ways we can see the Divine.
Since my first yoga class in grade school, I’ve fostered a reverence for the idea of meditation. Truly peaceful and wise people always seemed to do it. Meditation meant self-knowledge, health, and fulfillment!
Too bad I never got the hang of it. I tried breathing consciously and reciting motivational catchphrases. I bought a giant yellow tapestry with an image of the Buddha and hung it over my bed, hoping it would remind me to be mindful. But I never set aside time to give mediation an honest try. It’s just an idea on my bucket list. Something I should do… someday…
But it worked one time. During the last few weeks of Lent last year, I joined an interfaith, but catholic-flavored prayer circle to swing myself back into belief after a few months of skipping church. One of the homework assignments was to choose a meditation from the list and try to spend time with Jesus.
I chose a scenario where you were supposed to imagine yourself a statue, a handmade creation of God. You couldn’t speak or move, but had to stand in Jesus’ workshop, and simply exist while he came in, inspected you, and looked at you lovingly. The point was to bare it all in front of Jesus and feel his acceptance.
But I felt violated. During the first few minutes, I kept thinking “why is this bearded guy with a robe walking in circles around me, staring at my body? I feel extremely uncomfortable and I don’t appreciate his inappropriate behavior. And why am I not allowed to speak?”
I felt restricted, being made of stone. A carpenter was eyeing me, and I couldn’t run away like you can when construction workers whistle at you on the street. Even worse, if I had imperfections, it was probably this craftsman’s fault. He and his father designed me, after all.
I felt agitated and frustrated. My mind screamed, “I want out! This isn’t helping me spiritually!”
In that exact moment, imagination-Jesus exploded. His body burst into music and a billion multicolored lights, swirling and forming beautiful patterns with the rhythm. I felt the lights whoosh past me in warm and cool breezes. My heart beat to the music, and I felt absolute freedom, absolute peace.
When the song ended I slowly came back to consciousness, sad to leave the cosmic particles and drumbeat behind. The feelings were still lingering in my heart as I returned to reality, and I thought, “Okay, what the hell just happened?”
When I look back, I think Sophia was reminding me that I don’t have to shove the Soul of the Universe into the Jesus cookie cutter. Perhaps God is the stars, the music and the forever-swirling of the cosmos. Perhaps God is Jesus and Buddha, heartbeats and light. Perhaps God particles are in all of us, little bits of the universe realizing itself and creating meaning. God could be so many things! Why imagine Her in just one way?
And if God can speak to me through a psychedelic acid-trip of a meditation attempt, then She can certainly speak to others in ways that I do not understand.