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The Very First Time

by Elsa Joy Bailey

© Daniel Holeman

	

The very first time
I sat down to meditate
it felt like being in a dentist's chair.
Actually for the first
many, many attempts
it felt that way.
My nose itched,
my legs seemed leaden;
I was a squirm hoping to be done with it.


Meditation


When the time was over
my body literally raced upright,
like a prisoner released on bail.
Had I been graded on this effort,
the mark would have been F minus.

 

Meditation


Yet I persisted,
because something deep within me
knew it was imperative
that I continue my meditation.
Waking up cannot occur
while our attention is fixed
slave like on the screen
of the external world;
yet in our normal ego state
that is precisely
where we are staring.
We are in a trance.

 

Meditation


So I came to the dreaded exercise
prodded from within,
and hating it.
--Meditation! Oh, no!
I did not tell anyone
about this agony of resistance,
because I didn't want
to be marked a failure
. But privately I was certain
I was hopelessly backward
as a spiritual apprentice.

 

Meditation


I brought my flawed
and resisting body along
and willed it through the meditation.
Eyes closed, my mind
would jump from thought
to thought to thought like a mad leapfrog.

 

Meditation


Everything in me
wanted the silence to be over;
and somewhere an imaginary eye
kept consulting an imaginary watch.
Week after week, month
after month, I kept trying.
It was a comedy, really:
me fighting off God.
The battle went on like that
for about eight long months.
Far from bringing peace,
each and every meditation
was a lesson in misery.

 

Meditation


Then.
One day, like a feather
cutting through cement,
Something suddenly
took over my meditation.
One second
I was noticing an itch
on my neck, and in the next
-- for no reason whatsoever--
a Presence rose up
and engulfed me
in a huge unearthly smile.
All resistance melted away like vapor
and all there was left
was the Smile.
I was swimming in it.
I floated on its waves,
a cork bobbing up
and down on Love.

 

Meditation


When I finally opened my eyes,
a ghost of the Smile still remained.
My mind was incredulous -- I knew full well
I had done nothing to earn this gift!
Yet there it was
-- it had happened.
Following this experience,
I looked on meditation
in an entirely new light.
I now saw becoming still
as an immense luxury,
even though at first I had no idea
if I would ever be revisited by
the Smile.

 

Meditation


To my complete amazement,
I discovered the Smile
would return whenever
I entered the Silence.
To this day, it is still with me
-- it shows up each time I get still,
and sometimes even during the day,
when my eyes are open
and I think of God.

 

Meditation


Meditate.
Meditate even if you dislike it,
and do it daily.
It tells the Presence
you are ready.

 

Meditation   Meditation   Meditation

Enjoy Life and Take Good Care of Your Self

 

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© - 2001 Elsa Joy Bailey. All World Wide Rights Reserved

 

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