Meditation is Like Fermentation

Meditation is Like Fermentation

The muck settles to the bottom leaving clear juice on top.

The muck settles to the bottom leaving clear juice on top.

Here in Boulder, the crab apple trees are dripping with gorgeous red fruit. Being new to the area – and an avid fermenter – my first

thought was, “I want to make crab apple cider!” I solicited the help of my willing husband and we harvested some twenty pounds of crab apples from a neighbor’s tree. It juiced down to about a gallon of tart liquid.

I poured the juice into my largest glass fermentation jars and sealed them up to let the magic of fermentation do its work.

Allow the Muck to Settle

Before fermentation can take place, the juice has to settle. As the sediment slowly drops to the bottom of the jar to form a layer of muck, the juice on top becomes clear and still – exactly how my mind settles when I meditate. The longer the jar sits undisturbed, the clearer the juice becomes.

When we sit silently in mindful meditation, the nervous system is given the opportunity to settle down – like bits of debris settling out of a freshly pressed juice. Maintaining the stillness of body and mind allows our own muck to drop away, providing more and more clarity.

If you disturb the fermentation jar at this point, the muck gets stirred up and must again begin the slow settling process. But if left in peace, the juice – just like our nervous system – settles down.

Transformation from Within

And then the magic happens. The now settled juice begins to transform from within. No special ingredients required – the fruit has all of the bacteria needed to promote fermentation. It begins with the occasional bubble making its way up from the muck, through the clear juice, to the top of the bottle and out the airlock. Pretty soon, the bubbles are more and more frequent until the fermentation is bubbling so strongly that you can actually hear it!

Similarly, we have within us everything we need to transform ourselves. No special ingredients required. You may feel the occasional bubble of joy working its way up through your being – either while in meditation or while you’re out living your life. The old continues to fall out while the new bubbles up to the surface.

Patience and Faith

As you stay with the process, you might find you are bubbling away like a flurry of fermentation, transforming so quickly that others can actually hear — or see — the change within you. You may catch yourself laughing effortlessly at something that may once have offended you. Dealing with difficult co-workers is not quite as stressful. And you may feel more ease and peace in your life.

After my juice has completed the main fermentation, it needs to sit longer and continue slowly fermenting and refining. This develops a rich flavor. I sample my cider regularly to check on its progress, always happy with the evolving flavor. It requires patience and faith on my part. Exactly the same as with my meditation practice.

As many fermenters have discovered, it is easy to ruin a batch of cider. This is why it is essential to practice good technique and use the right tools. Airtight jars, airlocks, and clean equipment make all the difference when fermenting. Similarly, you need a sound meditation technique and a daily practice in order to reap the benefits that meditation can offer.

Let Us Teach You How to Meditate

The Simple Easy Every Day meditation technique is a mindfulness meditation technique that can be taught to and practiced by anyone with a willingness to learn. It works for me and I would love to show you how it can work for you, too.