Home Consciousness How meditation helped me with overcoming the trauma of shedding my son

How meditation helped me with overcoming the trauma of shedding my son

How meditation helped me with overcoming the trauma of shedding my son


By Tracy Mayo, creator of “Childless Mom: Seek for Son and Self”

It’s been 4 years and 5 months since I gave my child away.

It was 1970 in pre-Alternative America.  The lonely solely baby of a high-ranking naval officer and a socially formidable mom, after our eighth transfer in 13 years, I longed for a traditional adolescence – to have lasting associates, to really feel rooted.  What I received was a being pregnant at fourteen and exile to the Florence Crittenton Residence for Unwed Moms, the place I used to be required to surrender my child boy at start and by no means converse of him once more. 



Duke College, junior 12 months.  Melancholy.  PTSD, although the time period had not but been coined.  I used to be nineteen years previous and depressing.  However I didn’t join my silent tears at night time with my day by day pot smoking and acid tripping on the weekends.  Part of me was clearly making an attempt to flee my trauma however couldn’t.  

  I met pal Katie O at our favourite restaurant, Somethyme.  It’s a cool institution with hand hewn wooden beams, hand thrown pottery for tableware and an herb backyard between the doorway and sidewalk.  When my veggie burger with sprouts arrived, I requested Kate about Transcendental Meditation.  I knew she had just lately acquired instruction within the approach.  Was it onerous to do?  How did it make her really feel?  How lengthy till one experiences any significant results?  Based on Katie it’s a simple apply and had rapidly yielded outcomes – for her, an infusion of vitality and optimism.    I wasn’t certain that both vitality or optimism lay in my instant future, nevertheless it appeared clear I may use a contemporary viewpoint on life.  

And so, I unlocked my Schwinn 10-speed bike from the shiny rack in entrance of my dorm and spun over to the vintage neighborhood east of campus the place big Victorian homes mingled with 1920’s bungalows.  I arrived at a modest moss inexperienced bungalow with tan trim and a purple entrance door. I chained my bike to a maple within the entrance yard, one youthful than many of the previous, scaly oaks that dominated the cover of this historic enclave.   Ascending the painted wooden steps I noticed the lone signal, an understated three-inch by five-inch steel plaque, white with black letters, proper aspect of door:  TM Middle.  The purple door opened in welcome, and sandalwood incense flowed out in waves.  I used to be on the precipice of a brand new world.

Ten folks had been seated in folding chairs within the massive, high-ceilinged front room, dealing with the hearth.  White roses and fall asters embellished the mantel, which was the supply of the sandalwood.  Nobody was talking.  Most gave the impression to be college students of their blue denims, earth boots, white T-shirts and flannel long-sleeved outer shirts.  Our teacher entered from an adjoining room, and I used to be shocked to see a younger man in a navy-blue swimsuit, attorney-like, not the traditional guru I used to be anticipating.  He couldn’t have been greater than twenty-five or thirty.  He launched himself as Phil.

For the following hour we realized about Being, the all-pervading, omnipresent state of absolute consciousness, the place peace, calm and even bliss reside.  With a view to reside it, the acutely aware thoughts first should turn out to be acquainted with it.  Utilizing a diagram of an historical tree and its root system, Phil defined how TM permits the thoughts to the touch pure Being: 

 “Simply as roots draw vitamins from the soil and the sap ferries these vitamins all through the tree, so the roots of thought contact the very nature of creation and carry the expertise of that essence as much as the acutely aware thoughts.  By means of apply – touching the realm of the transcendent and again out into the sphere of exercise – the thoughts turns into steadily extra conscious of its personal important nature.”  

How may I not need this?  Who wouldn’t need bliss consciousness as a substitute of grief consciousness?  I eagerly signed up for formal instruction.

A day later, I returned within the blue mild of a late November afternoon, clutching my providing of lilies and apples.  The folding chairs had been changed with two forest inexperienced upholstered chairs, nonetheless dealing with the hearth.  The incense was totally different at the moment, extra herbaceous than the sandalwood.  Phil started with a recitation, or an incantation, in Sanskrit.  After which, the instruction:  

Shut the eyes, take a deep breath.  Now slowly open the eyes.  Breathe deeply once more, now once more shut the eyes.   Your mantra from this second ahead is_________ .  Say it aloud, thrice, so I can know you perceive the sound the thought makes.  Now you’ll by no means converse it out loud once more.  With eyes closed, please start to suppose the mantra to your self, simply, and let it take you the place it’s going to.  

I breathed deeply and absorbed the pungent incense and the dusky wooden smoke from a current fireplace.  Quiet breaths and the vibration of my mantra.  Ideas got here and went.  My new child son swaddled in white cotton. . .  The limitless stream of tears. . .   Swirling the pastel drugs with my index finger. . .  A pause between the tip of 1 breath and the start of the following . . . All issues in transition. . .  The best way wherein muslin, when dipped into dye, wicks up shade and is eternally modified. . .  From the roots of thought I see the universe unfold. . .  I search for and out of the darkness. . .  And the moon makes the phosphorus shine.

After the longest and shortest twenty minutes of my life, my first meditation got here to an finish.  Phil defined I need to return day by day for 4 days to have my meditation “checked,” however TM had already reworked Tracy Mayo.  

 I glided out of the entrance door right into a glowing new world.  The younger maple’s leaves dazzled crimson and fireplace. How may I’ve not observed this earlier than?  They shimmered, making a halo across the tree.  The ambient mild approached midnight blue in tone and within the cool linger of twilight the nighthawks started their day.  I used to be extraordinarily excessive on my new perceptions, and grateful.

After a languorous experience again to campus wherein I used to be tempted to cease and caress a number of smooth-barked bushes, I secured my bike and wandered out to the primary quadrangle to additional discover this sensory journey.   Somebody had put in uplighting on the Magnolia Grandiflora, so previous and broad that it unfold out over fifty ft.  I’d all the time admired the large tree nevertheless it had by no means stood out like this, illuminated so in opposition to the darkening sky.  Its muscular branches dipped down towards the bottom after which flexed upward once more.  I stood dazed by its magnificence.

I needed to be strong, just like the magnificent previous magnolia – not just like the dry leaf on the bottom left to the mercy of the wind, fluttering aimlessly, with no roots to anchor it.

I despatched a silent message to younger Thomas.  “Please know that I’ve not forgotten, that my spirit has slipped by the open window and touched your brow as you dream.”


Tracy Mayo lives in Boulder, Colorado along with her husband and Flat-Coated Retriever.  Her memoir, Childless Mom:  A Seek for Son and Self might be launched by Vanguard Press on March 28, 2024.  www.tracymayo.com



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