Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meditation relieves depression

Several days ago I felt a depressive sadness, and then I remembered not to collapse into the feeling, but to meditate on the arising feeling itself, therefore dismantling my reactive emotion to it, as Ken McLeod describes in Wake Up To Your Life. What happened is this.

I had sent a video email of an amazingly complex musical instrument to my brother, wanting to share my wonder that such an object was in the world, and he sent back the reply, “isn’t it amazing what they can do with computer animation these days.” This seems like a simple exchange, but I watched my joyful belief in the usual magic of art crash into self-doubt and then self-criticism as I felt such a fool to believe in magic at all.

I appreciate that my brother’s comment didn’t have to be understood as a judgment, but since we don’t talk much, what I hear when we do can easily become distorted. Then I read in Joseph Goldstein’s book, A Heart Full of Peace, that “sometimes we feel the painful aspect of experience is a mistake.” With the awareness that all experience is a valuable teacher, I asked the Journey Oracle Divination Cards to show me what my lesson in this exchange with my brother was.

The card I drew is the most unusual one in the deck. It represents fate and is much like the blank rune in the runic alphabet or the Fool in the Tarot. Each person answering life questions with the divination cards must name the meaning of this card for herself as it has no statement, question or number like the rest of the deck. I have named this white side, with its full moon shining on a journey through spring and summer: “Plenty to eat in every direction.” This means to me that whatever meaning I assign to my conversation with my brother has a lesson for me, and that this lesson is coming to nourish me. As I realized this I regained my joy. To me the amazing musical instrument is playing magic, and that is enough to believe.