I woke up this morning in a white, padded room. Not a room, exactly—it has no walls. The floor seems to blend into walls that are not there. It’s an optical illusion. The light plays a trick on the eyes, so you’d think there was a wall where there’s only more wide open space. I resolve to stay in the seated position I found myself in, rather than stand up and risk falling on my face.
In some moments there is something there other than space. The room takes form in those moments when the silence and the emptiness bring up a desperate rage in me. I scream. I claw at the air—and it’s such a relief to find my fingers met by something rather than nothing.
Each time I go to claw the air, I feel a rip like tissue paper under my fingernails. I am screaming and shredding tissue paper, or perhaps mattress stuffing. It is so satisfying, and endless. And white. Rip, rip, rip. Tear, tear, tear. Everything blinding white.
After the clawing and screaming, I am breathless. The rage is gone—I’m just small and spent now. I want to lie down and cry but no tears come. Can you be too tired and beaten down to even cry?
When I first found myself here, the whiteness of everything felt almost blinding. It piqued anger and rebellion; harsh. Now, it feels like being held in a cloud. I can’t explain the shift. Everything is bright—I can neither sleep nor perk up enough to explore. I can only be right here. Right here, in this place without walls, ceiling, objects, distractions—without even past or future.
In the quiet, I notice: I’m breathing. I’m just breathing now. I also note that my tongue has pressed up against the roof of my mouth again—that thing it does when I’m anxious. Making it relax and feeling some space around my whole heart open up. My eyes are closed, but I can half feel, half see the white light all around me seeping into me. Slowly, the sense of me in a room disappears. But when my body is gone—somehow, I’m still here.
I feel full now. Full and empty at the same time. In my body but without the borders of my skin, bones and muscles. I feel that I glow, and am white. I am the white light now.
Now, I’m that holding the container for whatever is here. I refuse nothing.
I am the white room.
Sometimes (i.e., on good days), meditation is like this.