You’re talking to a friend and there’s a pause in the conversation. You break the silence by saying what just popped in your mind. Your friend responds with, “No way! I was thinking the exact same thing.”
You stumble upon a friend’s number in your address book; you decide to give her a ring to see how she is. She picks up the phone and shares that her grandmother just died, and she really needed your support. You reached out to her at the precise moment that she was seeking comfort.
Events like these have a small probability of occurring, yet they still happen. Some would call them coincidences. But I encourage you to think differently. The focus of this post is on the phenomenon called synchronicity.
The Subjective Truth of Synchronicity
Synchronicity is related to probability. Because synchronous events usually take place between two people, and they are rare and unplanned, scientific study of them is few and far between. But that doesn’t mean that they are outside our experiences. We find proof of synchronicity in our lives and by listening to the experiences of others. In fact, sharing our synchronous experiences are a powerful way to reinforce their validity
The chance of something out-of-the-ordinary taking place between two people is miniscule, yet it happens. When you experience it, it’s very real and meaningful, but because it’s so personal, other people can’t necessarily prove it.
I’d like to share a story that illustrates my point. Years ago, I was working with a client who was very, very busy. I encouraged her to slow down and take time for herself. “If you don’t, there could be serious consequences from your behavior,” I recall telling her. I didn’t say it to frighten her. Rather, I sought to help her avoid possible suffering.
Shortly after our conversation, she was driving on the freeway. And as always, her car was going way past the speed limit. Suddenly, a truck in front of her spun out of control. As the massive vehicle came within inches of killing her, the words “Slow Down” were written on the side of the truck. To my client, it was an undeniable message telling her that if she didn’t re-evaluate the frenetic pace of her life, she’d experience negative consequences.
Later she joked that I had magically made the words “Slow Down” appear. Of course, I didn’t have anything to do with it; it was just another remarkable event that could be discounted as mere coincidence.
The Synchronicity and Meditation Connection
Perhaps you too have had a time where—to use the language of religion and spirituality—the Universe, or God, or whatever name you use, seemed to send you a message so loudly and clearly that it grabbed your attention. So what does this have to do with meditation?
The goal of meditation is to slow you down, quiet your mind, and maintain stillness. As you do this, you may find that synchronous events increase.
Because meditation is such a powerful force for change, and helpful in countless ways, I wonder if God perhaps gives back to us. Synchronous events let us know that we are on the right track and encourage us to continue meditating. In my experience, they happen with greater frequency the more I meditate.
There’s only one person who can validate or disqualify the claim that synchronicity increases the more you meditate. That person is you. One way to measure this is by keeping a notebook where you record so-called coincidences or out-of-the-ordinary moments. As you commit to meditation, see if these don’t happen more often.
I encourage that you write synchronous experiences down because once they take place, we tend to forget them. We may notice them, but we don’t become attached to them once they occur, which is typically a good thing. In this case, however, I believe that by recording synchronous events, you’ll notice that they increase as your meditative practice deepens. You may recognize that synchronicity is another benefit of meditation and yet another example of meditation’s transformative power.
Suspend judgment for a while and just give it a try. Meditate regularly, once in the morning and once in the evening, and see if life flows better. Witness if synchronous events happen with greater frequency. And feel free to share your stories with me.