Achieving Serenity Through Transcendental Meditation and Duct Tape

Achieving Serenity Through Transcendental Meditation and Duct Tape

Rosicrucianism was never spoken about directly in our home but I was allowed to read the magazines that my mom would get. I would see her crystals upon occasion, taken carefully from her velvet lined molded box and only for a few moments when she was not in the room. I was curious, like any child wanting to know what their mom was up to. However, my curiosity brought about the guru, swami, sage, master in her out and she took me under her wing. The most vivid of these memories is one sunny afternoon spent out on our deck over top our carport, sitting and staring at the blue sky above. There were a couple of clouds and they were to be our focus. Through a carefully constructed meditative state I was learning how to focus energy onto that cloud, causing it to dissolve. We sat there, focused in that state until that cloud dissolved. Perhaps an hour had gone by, I am not sure, for my forthcoming discipline of deep meditation would mean remaining this focused for several hours each day.

And thus was the two-sided coin that was my mom. On one side of this coin I had my teacher explaining the mystic secrets of the universe to me as we pursued a state of serenity, and like most young boys at that time, I imagine, we had the other side of the coin, where my mom would pause after breaking a wooden spoon on my backside, fetching some tape to make the repair before continuing my discipline. I don’t know really. In some way this contrast of experiences made sense but perhaps it was because I was becoming more and more disconnected to myself and my present reality. I was numbing and shutting down inside. Faced with the increasing anger of my external experiences of bullying and social isolation and contrasted against the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment strongly reinforced by my mom, my own life was also a distinct two-sided coin.

Wake up. Go to school with a lunch bag doodled with the latest from my mom. Get pulled out of the class from my peers, escaping yet another test. Get beaten up. Go home. Have my backside warmed up with the latest wooden spoon, or Tabasco sauce placed on my tongue where I was to hold it for 15 minutes while on my knees in a corner with my back straight and my hands behind my back with my nose facing the corner. Deep meditation practice for the rest of the evening before it was time for bed once again. Tomorrow I would do it all over again. The variations to this existence were entirely up to me with just how bad I was going to be on any given day. In all fairness there was also the factor of my younger brother who was becoming more and more of a nuisance in my life, which also brought out yet another creative side of my mom. The use of duct tape.

Apparently my mom’s pursuit of serenity did not factor in raising two boys so my mom utilized her creative side as a means of helping serenity come to this home. If my brother and I were fighting constantly then her creative solution was to duct tape our hands together and send us outside. My brother and I would spend hours sitting under the picnic table together, hiding from the shame of our situation, despising each other for getting us into this situation in the first place. Perhaps relative to the weather the other duct tape solution was to tape over our mouths. At least with this solution we were each allowed to be in our own rooms, away from anyone and everyone. I didn’t know it then but this practice of being sent to our rooms with the tools of silence well established on our faces was behavioral training for the rest of our childhood where the family practice was first to be seen but never heard to eventually not seen and not heard. Ironically, my experience of being a part of this family after awhile was akin to being a piece of luggage or a box that keeps getting dragged around from move to move but you never really get around to unpacking it.

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