Since I started working with him my boss has been telling me what a powerful tool meditation is and whenever I have a problem his answer is to meditate on it. But for me, meditation has never provided any sort of insight into the problem, or into myself; I have never come out of a meditation knowing what I should do or which direction to go. In my eyes, meditation got me nowhere. I didn't feel rejuvenated or serene; I didn't get any answers or clarity, all I got was a sore back and a numb butt from sitting still so long.
Today I was having a hormonal, sleep deprived, and generally cranky conversation with my mom about not knowing what to do with my life, and men, and work, etc. The general consensus of people is that I should "trust my instincts" and "follow my heart" and they won't steer me in the wrong direction. OK, great but I can't figure out what my heart is trying to tell me. I mean, I don't even know if it's trying to tell me something; I don't think we're on speaking terms right now. Maybe I've disobeyed it so many times it's not going to give me any more direction, maybe it's all huffy and saying "Well, you're not going to listen to me anyways!" Maybe my heart is giving me a big ole raspberry and telling me I can kiss it's ass (does my heart even have an ass to kiss?).
So, back on track, in my talk with my mom that somehow turned into a bit of a rant she remembered seeing some guy on Oprah talking about listening to the signs the universe is sending us. So I decide to check out Oprah.com to see if I can find out who this guy was and what he was talking about, because this would be better than listening to my heart anyways; it's been on Oprah, it must be good!
The first thing I see on Oprah.com is something called Oprah's Lifeclass. I'm in! Oprah, I bow to your superior knowledge on how I should be living! teach me, oh wise one and I will follow you and praise you! Ok, not quite, but I did check out Episode 1 and she talks about ego. I'm not going to summarize, you can go watch it yourself, it's actually pretty good and I may even watch it again. What I got from it was how to see the distinction of the separation of Ego from Self. How she says it is if you close your eyes and listen to your thoughts you get this experience of being aware that you are observing your thoughts. The thoughts, running wild and chaotic in my case, are your Ego; the part of you that is aware of your thoughts is your Self.
Putting this distinction together with the basic practice of meditation, clearing your mind of thoughts, and I got this: Meditation is really just a way to hang out with your true Self. Why did it take me so long to figure this out? Who knows! But I figured out how I was actually meditating incorrectly; I was so focused on trying to get all the thoughts out of my head that I was actually looking for the thoughts instead of enjoying the quiet place I had just created and taking the opportunity to chat with my Self.
There you have it; do with it what you will. I am going to meditate.