Get Higher

Climb a tree or a hill, or go to the roof of a building, or climb the mast of a sailboat or to the top of a monument.

Stand on tiptoe, or sit on someone’s shoulders, or climb a flagpole.

Sit in the window seat your next plane ride, get up onto a ridge trail in the mountains, or zoom way out on Google Earth.

There are times to follow the water deep into the ground but this is not one of them.  This is the time to trace the river up to its spring.  This is the time to rise above where you live and find a place that gives you greater perspective.

Perspective opens your mind; it cracks the bounds that hold your daily life together.  We need to have our shells cracked and our boundaries broken.  We need these catalysts to allow us to expand.  We need to shed our skin, we need to break the ice, and we need to shatter the windows.

Enlarging our perspective can bring understanding and context to things that make no sense on the ground.  Can you imagine trying to understand the winding river and oxbow lakes of the Mississippi without having the visual understanding from above that this river snakes and winds and loops and whorls on its eventual movement South?

Hey! Listen up!

I am describing meditation.

Meditation is climbing a tree, it is going to the roof, and it is walking a ridge trail.

Meditation brings perspective to our mind.  It allows us to see ourselves from above and without.  It allows us to crack our shell and shatter our windows.  It lets fresh air into our closed house.

Can you imagine trying to understand your self and your thoughts and emotions without having a greater understanding from outside that this life of yours snakes and winds and loops and whorls on its meandering movement through a lifetime?

Meditation had taken a bad rap.  It had gotten a bad name.  Too much hippie drippy fake spiritualism had taken meditation and made it sound all gross and gooey when someone said it.

But all that is changed! 

The media loves meditation now.  The great hospitals and doctors and teaching institutions love meditation now.  Oprah loves meditation!  Kobe, LeBron, Michael, and Derek love meditation!

Angelina, Demi, and Arnold love meditation!  Katy, Hillary, and Holly love meditation!  Madonna, Mia, and Orlando love meditation!

Oh no!  Say it isn’t so!

First meditation had a bad rap so you ignored it, and now you’re left in the dust.  Everyone’s meditating except for you!  The whole world is meditating except for you!  What are you doing?  What are you waiting for?

I want to reclaim meditation for you.

I don’t want you to not meditate because all of a sudden it’s the In Thing!  It’s really easy to miss the boat on something that is really good because everyone is doing it.  A lot of artists and mavericks and poets and loners and free spirits don’t like doing what everyone is doing.  So I want to say something before you go and turn off on meditation.

Meditation is like breathing and it is like walking and it is like talking.  Everyone does it whether you call it meditation or not.  We all meditate all the time.

There are so many kinds of meditation that I couldn’t name them all if I started now and typed for a year.  I would even argue that there are as many types of meditation as there are people.  I’ll go even further and say that each person has at least a couple of different ways that they meditate.

You don’t have to make a decision to meditate.  You already do it.  Wasn’t that easy?

But just like with walking, talking, singing, and dancing, we may all do it, but we can all learn to do it better.  We can use practice to nurture our natural talents and strengthen our weaknesses.

Meditation is all about the practice.  I’ll be talking about meditation and practice for a little while in these posts.  It’s that important.  Right now you just need to know that you already do it.

Today, I just want you to go get a little higher.

Climb a tree or a mountain, or get up to the rooftop, or get up into the nosebleed seats at the arena, or walk over a bridge.

Stand on tiptoe, or sit on someone’s shoulders, or climb a ladder.

Get a window seat on your next plane ride, hike up onto a ridge trail in the mountains, or zoom way out on Google Earth.

There are times to follow the water down to the delta, but this is not one of them.  This is the time to trace the river up to its cold, bubbling spring.  This is the time to rise above where you live and find a place that gives you greater perspective.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

And please, leave a comment and let me know how you feel when you get higher!

6 thoughts on “Get Higher

  1. Thanks for the inspiration to get higher by being more present to our ongoing meditations, Mike. It’s so easy to get lost in the everyday issues we deal with and then miss out on the opportunities to break out of our self-inflicted boundaries by embracing new experiences when they’re presented to us. It’s a challenge for sure…but a good one!

  2. Thanks, Mike! This was perfect reading for me today. My last few weeks traveling gave me that exact perspective and returning home has felt like trying to shove a butterfly back into a cocoon. Needless to say, that’s impossible. I need to stay in the place I found metaphorically through meditation to get even more perspective. More time to notice because I don’t feel clear enough about the “river” to name it. I will be waiting for the next installment.

  3. Yabba dabba doo! That’s right! Watching hummingbirds meditation. Eating Cheetos meditation. Icing torn ankle and swearing and crying meditation. We are fearless because we stay at it, and it’s not even so damn hard. Thanks for the nudge to see this and also what’s beyond and around and, and, and—

  4. To paraphrase one of my favorite educators, Neil Postman, “Nobody ever said [meditation] had to occur in a small room with [your butt on the floor]. Thanks for reminding me- I’ll bet meditation is one of those things that makes your liver happy, too! Happy Day!

  5. ooohhhmmmmmmmmm……. ALL day EVERY day….. The reminder and validation are priceless as you are Michael!! Thank YOU!!! OH HAPPY DAY!!!

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