The love from a grandparent is unlike any other love that exists in the world. Whereas love that comes from our parents, children or lovers may be complicated and littered with expectation, a grandparent’s love feels pure. It is a love that does not flinch when you decide to uproot your life and move to a foreign country. It may not even waver if you get arrested. A grandparent’s love is often our first and perhaps only exposure to unconditional love.
It is for this reason that when I first learned to meditate, almost ten years ago, I visualized my grandpa’s love. I pictured Tata by my side and felt his love course through my body. I soon began to associate my meditative practices with the calmness that I felt in the presence of my grandfather. I felt wiser, I felt more capable of love, I felt more at peace. After he passed, the feeling never went away, in fact, it got even stronger.
I never considered myself particularly religious, or even spiritual a few years ago, but of course now that has changed. How can I not believe in the power of love when I still feel him with me today?
There is a great scene in possibly my favorite movie, Interstellar, where Anne Hathaway talks about love maybe being a power we can’t fully comprehend. “Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that can transcend the dimensions of time and space”. Though science doesn’t exactly know how or why. After all, there is no utilitarian use for loving someone who has died. Yet, we grieve for lost loved ones and we may often still feel their presence.
Perhaps then love is a concept we do not fully understand. But in deep meditation, as with hypnosis and prayer, the mind leaves the body and floats above it. In this relaxed, heightened state of awareness, there is sometimes a faint and familiar sense of love that lingers. In this state of mind, I have spoken to my grandpa. He told me gently, that I am on a path that has been laid out for me and assured me that everything will be okay.
When I “awoke” from my deep hypnotic state, I felt astronomically calmer. I believed every word and whether I heard his real voice or not is up for debate, the effects on my mood are still relevant. My anxiety about the future, my relationships and so forth had diminished greatly.
It’s been five years to the date since he died, yet I still communicate with him. I know my grandma does too.
It’s been five years since I heard him mock me while I shot back with equal sarcastic flair.
It’s been five years since we’ve smoked bluefish together.
It’s been five years since I bent down to hug him in his grand chair, basking in his Brut aftershave.
It’s been five years but the memories and the feelings do not die. The love does not die. His spirit, consciousness, or soul lives on through those that have been left behind. The love is always there if you listen closely.
One thought on “My Grandpa, Love and Meditation”
Hi Stephen – I had saved this for when I could be more present to it, and it’s taken all this time. The whirlwind we’re in! I appreciate the sentiments and thoughts you’ve beautifully shared here about your Tata and the nature of love that connects through time and space. In the intervening years since my dad’s and granddad’s deaths, their presence have remained a constant in my life and for whatever reasons, always stronger when I’m traveling and getting lost or finding myself in sticky situations. Perhaps it is during my travels that I’m listening most closely and with an open heart. Thanks for this beautiful piece of writing.
And congrats on this next chapter!! Excited to see it unfold…