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I was summoned by the lady. The lady was different. She was personal yet not maternal. She asked me to close my eyes, so I did, and then she began. After a few moments, she paused and asked me to halt all forms of analysis and critique. She already knew. I had been thinking of the number 75, and 75 was an attribute, so I ceased.

I began to adhere. I could now feel the vibrations of my inner being. With my eyes still closed, dark lavender drifted into my plane of view, and I looked up at the sky. The sky was vast but limited, so I stepped out of the domain and into The Cosmos.

There, in a splendid array, I could see all the planets perfectly aligned with one another. I made my way through the gallery on foot, but I did not need to walk. I was alone and soon others would come, for I planned to spread the word. But at this moment, I did not need anyone. It was just me, the planets, and the infinite horizon.

I stopped for a few moments to observe every planet…each had its own unique blend of color. I smiled in appreciation of the unearthly palettes. Every planet was its own painting…every rock formation was its own sculpture. Overcome by desire to know and to feel more, I reached into one of the planets…I ran my hands through its fine soils and even sipped from a stream. And I did the same with the next and the next and the next and the next.

I could feel the lady grazing my shirt collar with her finger, so I silently acknowledged her. Yes…I agreed. It was. I was. Everything…just…was. And that was it. It required no planning, no understanding, and it did not ask anyone’s opinion. And I didn’t feel the need to offer one.

It was at that moment that I realized that not all had been lost to Earth. I still had an inner and outer being to explore, and so did the rest of the world. Members of other civilizations, of other galaxies, had an open invitation to visit my gallery. Because it belonged to them too. And this invitation did not need to be sent. We would meet when it was time.

I sent a telegram to the Sun…she agreed to restrain when the gallery had visitors…for the exhibit was not in need of climate. In fact, she welcomed the rest. She told me stories of all of the paintings in the gallery…I heard tales in languages that did not exist. She smiled at me and suggested that I be a good host for all the visitors. She had already met them all! I blew a kiss to her and she waved back at me…she wasn’t one for formalities.

And then, shortly after, a few guests made their way to the gallery via space expedition…members of the so-called Third Planet from the Sun. This gallery was the main stop on their intergalactic tour. An old lady with a cane making her way about the exhibition was enjoying herself to no end. She clasped the hand of her elderly husband and told him how much this moment meant to her, this moment that she shared with him. But he wasn’t very verbal…he smiled and then he kissed her on the cheek. That was all that she needed. Her hand quivered delightfully in his.

Soon after, a young man in a suit and a tie holding a briefcase approached the elderly couple. He seemed rushed as he pulled a portable device from his belt and looked at it. ‘Pardon me, Sir and Madam…what time were we told to re-join the other members of our expedition? And what time does the gallery close?’

The elderly lady, without turning toward the young man, looked off into the distance and smiled.

‘Young man…do forgive me…I haven’t any earthly idea’.

Time, as it turns out, is a concept unknown within The Cosmos. Its manifestation is exclusively earthbound. ~Mark Simon

The recent release of Elizabeth Gilbert’s heralded memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, in the form of a critically acclaimed movie has people all over the world delighting in self-discovery, most notably, in the form of meditation. The phenomenon surrounding Eat, Pray, Love is a force to be reckoned with in recent pop culture. With a movie deal and a bestselling book topping the charts 158 weeks consecutively, Gilbert’s journey today is anything but homely. However, the root of her journey finds itself in the spiritual realm, similar to that of Ludmila Goretsky’s own meditative work.

In the book, Gilbert abandons a painful divorce, an emotional affair, and debilitating depression in an effort to transcend body, mind, and spirit in a trip across continents. Gilbert’s book itself is structured using japa mala, the beads used as an aid in many forms of Eastern meditation. The book, like the beads, is told using 108 tales divided into three groups of 36. The second cluster of beads denotes the second leg of Gilbert’s travels, and the time spent focusing most on meditation, and freeing the mind, in India.

Meditation is a holistic discipline focused on training the mind in order invoke or cultivate a calm internal state. Meditation is largely a personal experience, however, guidance from masters and experts largely increases the positive affects of the art. We are not bound by our anxieties, instead we can set them free by training ourselves in meditation.  Meditation is simply the act of engaging with one’s mind in order to cleanse the spirit and free the soul, or, as Gilbert puts it, truly finding oneself at the core of their being.

In a recent interview, Gilbert explained that, “sincere self-exploration requires the insight of everyone. One of my guru’s most helpful instructions is to ‘become a scientist of your own experience,’ which I take as an invitation to explore every possible line of human spiritual thinking. The world has been blessed with some extraordinary teachers over history—use them! At some point… hope that your mind has actually absorbed some wisdom, and just sit there in silence, letting your soul ascend to its own leadership.”

Teachers such as Ludmila Goretsky can assist in synchronizing the mind with the body, in allowing the anxiety of every day life to lift and float away with the calm of burrowing into ones own soul in order to calm their body.  The easiest way to achieve a state of meditation is to be aware of the body, particularly in terms of a person’s health. Reducing stress through meditation is a way to help patients of several illnesses naturally deal with pain, and even the illness itself. Doctors have found that even the most difficult illnesses today are often stress induced. Stress makes us miserable and, sadly, ill. Meditation is the easiest way to confront our stresses head on and move forward with our lives.

Imagine, for a moment, a candle flame flickering in the breeze. Compare this candle to the human mind, constantly affected by the conditions surrounding it, flung by the wind, conflicting emotions, and stress. Meditation is akin to placing a glass chimney over the flame and allowing it to burn fully, gloriously, without distraction from wind, weather, or, in the case of meditation, every day life.

Unbiased awareness of this kind leads to appropriate action, which in turn leads to the reduction of stress and a calm mind. During meditation, one’s mind combines with the body, allowing one to perceive situations as they truly are. Detangling from our internal soap operas and allowing thought processes without cognitive identification largely leads to this appropriate action, making our daily life effective and positive.

Perhaps, this is the reason for the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon. It proves to a world of movers and shakers that taking the time to live fully, to examine the mind, and to release the body from the physical world, if only for a moment, can heal any wound. Gilbert’s journey, at the end of the day, is an inspiration to anyone who has ever let their emotions and every day stresses get the best of them.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a trip to India to discover who we are or who we must be. Instead, it starts with a good teacher and a clear mind close to home. Ludmila Goretsky offers individual and group meditation sessions and guidance to suit every goal and need. Let today be the first day of your own journey into the depths of your spirit through meditation, and let that be a journey worth reading about.