(No, not crystal meth).
I am often teased about my metaphysical interests in astrology, tarot, crystals, q-links, channeling and the like. It’s fine. I even laugh at myself with regards to it all. I don’t pretend to understand any of it. Nor do I feel the need to convince anyone of the efficacy of various modalities. It just makes sense to me that everything is energy and for certain things to work, like crystals for example, you have to interact with them. You have to build a relationship with them. Work is the wrong word really. In my experience, the crystal doesn’t perform a specific function (shazzam!) like a printer or a coffee maker. Let’s just say that if you’re in its field of resonance and are open to it, it may stimulate something within you, be it healing, creativity, a hard-on, or whatever.
I wasn’t always so open though. Several years ago, I went to see an acupuncturist. I had just rejoined Dance Theatre of Harlem after a few years’ hiatus. I was not in the best shape and was extremely sore and overwhelmed. My system was a wreck after over a decade of struggling with eating disorders. Anyway, the therapist started putting the needles in and I felt wave upon wave of energy passing through me, quite forcibly, as meridians opened. I became light-headed and asked her to slow down. After a short rest, she resumed poking and for a horrible moment, I felt as if every cell in my body would explode. I managed a feeble, “Whoa Nelly!” before passing out.
I’d gone into needle shock which is very rare. I don’t want to scare anyone who’s considering acupuncture. Now that my system is a lot stronger, I get acupunctured and love it. But back then, I freaked out. I didn’t blame the therapist who was experienced and highly recommended. I blamed myself for being such a hot mess. She recommended more treatments because my system was so weakened, but this was out of the question. I came close to crapping myself and didn’t want to experience that again. (Oh, the shame!) So, she left me with this parting piece of advice: to meditate with a rose quartz crystal in my left hand.
She was intelligent and successful. Nothing about her screamed “freak” so I figured, what the hell. I had nothing to lose and I desperately needed some healing. I dizzily wandered down to St. Marks Place in New York City and found a rose quartz orb that fit nicely in the palm of my hand. I was not a very experienced meditator at this point and kinda just sat there waiting for something to happen. Nothing did. Bupkaz. Feeling gipped, I forgot about it, but not quite…
We had unfinished business, the crystal and me. Even though I moved a dozen times since then, the rose quartz was never left behind with the salvaged coffee table and the chipped plates. Gradually, I developed a meditation practice. One day while sitting, my inner voice chimed in and informed me that I had to interact with the crystal. I had to have a relationship with it. Duh. The therapist told me this, but I didn’t really get it until then. Maybe I had only just become ready for it.
Now, like most people, I am stuck in my head a lot of the time. But there is something unsatisfying about those endless rounds of thoughts, like a carrot perpetually dangling in front of your nose that you can never… quite…get at. This is another thing I am sometimes teased about. The way I want to know things that I cannot know but never cease searching for, as if the answer lies hidden in the crevices of my mind ready to spring out when the right note is sounded, like a secrets to the universe Jack-in-the-Box. He’s a petty thief of a deity, really, that Jack. Jack Ass in the box of my mind. It’s really annoying.
My early meditations with the rose quartz were mostly cathartic, but today, I sat with it and realized that the path, for me, through all this life I have to live, through all the questions about the nature of existence and of consciousness, must be lived in the heart, not in the mind. I realized that the mind is never going to deliver what I hope it will. The heart’s truth is the way. The questions themselves are not to be understood, or the answers known. The questions are to be felt in the heart. The task is to feel into the question itself, not to avoid the feeling with the mind’s knowing. It’s like I’ve been looking in the wrong place all this time. It makes sense, though, to avoid the heart, because it’s awesome. How much the heart can hold. How much pain.
You may wonder, after such a revelation, if the crystal had anything to do with it. And, well, the answer is, I don’t know.
And that’s the point.