Meditation for Modern Life

Mindfulness skills from a well being expert

Meditation and Synchronicity: Just a Coincidence?

The chances of coincidences occurring are minuscule, but they still happen.

Synchronicity is related to probability. It occurs when something happens out of the ordinary, generally between two people. The chances of such an event taking place is minuscule, but it still happens. You see it and you experience it; it’s very real. At the same time, it can’t necessarily be validated by other people. For instance, you’re talking on the phone with a friend and you say something and they respond, “I was just thinking that!” The chances of that actually happening are really small, yet it happens.

Another example is that you contact a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile. You come across her number and you decide to see how she's doing. When you call her, she shares that her grandmother had recently died, and she was really needing to talk to someone. And it happened to be you that called her right when she needed it.

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Because of synchronicity’s exceptional occurrence and because it takes place between two people, it’s difficult for science to study this phenomenon. At the same time, it’s not outside the realm of your experience. Even though these so-called coincidences aren’t scientifically provable, your own experience can validate them and sharing them with others is a powerful way to prove a point. 

I’d like to share a story to illustrate an example of synchronicity. I’m a licensed clinical psychologist. Years ago, I was working with a woman who was very, very busy. I would encourage her to take time and slow down. I remember telling her that if she didn’t learn to slow down, there could be serious consequences to her behavior.

I didn’t say this to frighten her. Rather, I was trying to make her understand she needed to take time for herself because it would benefit her mind and body. 

Shortly after I had encouraged her to slow down, she was driving on the highway. As always was speeding to arrive at her destination. Directly in front of her, a truck spun out of control and started spinning around. It came within inches of killing her. As the truck passed by, barely missing her, she could see—in big, bold, black letters—the words “Slow Down.” To her, that was an undeniable message. If she didn’t slow down there would be consequences. During our next appointment, she jokingly asked if I had put that sign there to remind her that she needed to slow down. Of course, I didn’t have anything to do with that sign. Nevertheless, it demonstrates a moment of synchronicity.

Perhaps you too have had an experience such as this where the universe or God, conspired to send you a message, and it was so loud and clear that it caught your attention.

So what does synchronicity have to do with meditation? I believe that synchronous events happen more often when we’re meditating. Why? Here’s my theory: The central goal of meditation is to help you slow down, quiet your mind, and be still. As you develop your practice, as you learn to slow down, and as you quiet your mind, you may find that synchronous events begin to increase. Because meditation is such a powerful change agent and improves your life, I sometimes wonder if the universe or God is giving back to us to let us know that we are on the right track and remind us to keep meditating.

There’s only one person that can help qualify or validate or disqualify this claim that I’m making; That person is you. I encourage you to keep a notebook and record instances of things that happen that are “coincidental” or out of the ordinary. As you commit to meditation, see if events like these happen with more frequency.

I like the idea of writing them down because as they begin happening to you, you may quickly forget about them. We may observe them but we don’t become attached to them, which is a good thing. In this case, however, I encourage you to keep a journal of these events to prove to yourself that they do increase as you meditate.

You may find that synchronicity is another benefit of meditation. Similar to how people will notice how much more relaxed and happy you are now that you’re meditating, synchronicity is a by-product of meditation.

There are events that occur in our lives that have a small probability of happening, yet they do happen. I encourage you to suspend judgment for a little while and just give it a try. Meditate regularly, once in the morning and one in the evening and see if life doesn’t just flow better. Notice if synchronous events occur more often in your life.

 

Robert Puff, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been in private practice for over 20 years.

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