Melting a Snowball of Misery

In 2009, while on a train, I listened to David Lynch's recording of his book Catching the Big Fish about meditation, creativity, and the relation between the two. I didn't know anything about meditation.

Every year since puberty, I'd been rolling up this snowball of emotional dread inside of myself. Angst, rage, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness. All of that heavy stuff. More and more every year. I was miserable. I hated myself and most people. I didn't think there was any way to change that. I saw where things were headed and I felt terrible about the future.

When I finished listening to that book about the effects of meditation, I got off of that train thinking, "Holy cow! I need to try that." I still didn't believe any real change was possible, but I was immensely curious.

I started learning and practicing meditation. I was skeptical and doubtful that anything would happen, but I was desperate for change and didn't know what else to do.

Things got lighter. The dread, the suffering that seems to be a part of the human experience, it didn't go away, but it started to shrink. Slowly and steadily. More joy, more love, and more laughter started to come in. Hope.

That was almost ten years ago. There's still pain. There are still dark days. But there's so much more light! Sometimes I still feel a weight inside, but it's smaller than it was before. Every year, it's a little smaller, a little freer. And when things get too overwhelming, if I feel so much grief or fury that I don't know what to do and I can't focus on anything, I'll sit down and meditate. Afterward, when I open my eyes, the pain might still be there, but it's less monstrous, less consuming, and there's at least a little bit of peace surrounding it. And other times, if I am lucky or if some unknown factor clicks into place, I open my eyes and find that the pain has evaporated. Poof! Gone. Like magic.

Without meditation, all of that pain just continued to escalate, getting worse and worse every day. Meditation is a tool that helps to press the brakes, slow down, and gradually begin to let go of whatever tension I've been unconsciously holding onto. It shrinks pain, opens the heart, and lets love and peace come in. It is a real life-saver. Metaphorically, but also probably literally. I don't know where I'd be or what I'd do without it. And the doors it can open for any creative practice!

I started writing this because I was watching a documentary on David Lynch speaking about meditation, creativity, and peace and it brought up these thoughts and feelings. It's aptly titled Meditation, Creativity, and Peace and you can see it for free at the link below if you're interested.

Meditation means different things to different people and there's a bunch of different techniques out there. Some will work better than others for different folks, but if you're interested, it's worth checking out (and trying)!

On my blog, you can find more writings on art and alchemical thinking, interviews about creativity, psychologically-oriented reflections on tarot, and more. You can check out past posts in the categorized list below.