I finally did some long overdue spring cleaning in my home office.

Even though I moved to New Mexico from New York about one and a half years ago, I still have boxes and piles of books and notes to sort through.

As you can imagine, I spent most of my weekend weeding through my notes and handouts and preparing workshop outlines for next week’s teaching trip in China.

Thankfully, I had a little help in my cleaning frenzy.

And it came from, as they say, an unlikely source.

On my innovated desk, which is actually a door on top of two small blocks of drawers, is one of my Buddha statues.

Looking nice and settled in line while I work, I can look out the window or gaze at this meditating Buddha when I need a moment to meditate.

But during my cleaning spree, I noticed something different about my Buddha for the first time: His eyes aren’t closed!

Actually, the eyes are not open nor closed. This Buddha’s eyes are in a non-directional gaze — an almost pleasantly drunk, eyes-half-closed stare.

I wondered: Was the artist making a statement about meditation?

To me, this gaze communicated something important to share with you, especially in light of my upcoming album Meditate Forever.

What does it mean to meditate forever? Considering what the Buddha’s stare meant, meditation means something different to everyone.

It’s not just about what it means to me, but what the experience of meditation means to you.

Maybe your kind of meditation looks different than mine.

Listening to music for five minutes.

Driving in your car with the top down.

Gardening among your shrubs and daffodils.

Meditation doesn’t always have to be sitting quietly, doing something or even nothing.

When I was in college studying comparative religions, the concept of Samadhi puzzled me. The practice of meditation was broached as more of an intellectual concept than experience.

But I yearned to learn how to meditate. That never happened in the college classroom.

Getting back to the Buddha sitting on my desk: Meditation is more than an intellectual discussion. It’s a way of life.

Life as a balancing act to do as the Buddha statue portrays where you have an internal life within your external world.

Your inner life is such that you and I, in the West, often spend little time exploring. You consume yourself with being busy, working and eating — and saving enjoyment for the weekend.

While you and I are constantly considering things in our worlds, this Buddha on my desk shows me the real meaning of balance.

Of inner contemplation.

Of having eyes open and closed at the same time to the world, striving to be present in your life and body.

Ah, a balancing act.

In that spirit, and since today is Valentine’s Day — a day for both self love and love for others — I’m sharing a preview of a new song from my upcoming album, Meditate Forever.

Click here for the free track.

Maybe listening to music is your kind of meditation.

For listener Linda Jones in South Africa it certainly is, who wrote to me, “I have [your music] playing every day in my office – you move me! I absolutely connect with the free download you sent me.”

I hope you continue to meditate and learn to find the right kind of inner practice for you.

 


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