The Person Behind The Blog
A Second Opportunity on Life
By Clayton Micallef
Hi there. I was introduced to meditation and the practices of mindfulness, compassion and insight at a very young age when I was about 10-11 years old. However, at that time, I did not truly appreciate their value. Practising meditation was perceived as something “cool” which brought popularity and in some cases; I actually used it as a means of attracting attention and gaining popularity. Unknowingly, however, meditation was moulding me in subtle ways for what was to come.
During early adulthood, having many “friends” and managing to fulfil “earthly” goals, created within me a certain sense of invulnerability, which gave me the perception that I was “living a full life”. In less than a second on the 27th June 2004, this all changed, where following a serious accident I was left permanently paralysed from the neck down. Somehow, within the initial shock of such a situation, I found myself strangely “calm and objective”, which I can describe as an “awakening”. It was as if I had just woken up from a dream, never realising I was asleep and acknowledging that such an “earthly” perception of having a full life was a self-created illusion.
The realisation arose, “what is a lifetime for a Fly is a couple of weeks in Human terms”. Time is so relative to the extent of it being an illusionary human construct. The past is past; it is gone, cherish the experience, learn from it; keep reliving it, and you will be stuck in it while your life passes by. The future is illusionary. The only thing you have is the “unfathomable” present moment, which is beyond time and space, in which you experience eternity and what has been termed “the kingdom of heaven” and “nirvana”. All those years of practising meditation had unconsciously been a preparation for such a life-changing experience. Not excluding coming to the realisation that the dwelling and the temple were God dwells is within me, you and each and every-one of us.
“The past is past; it is gone, cherish the experience, learn from it; keep reliving it, and you will be stuck in it while your life passes by. The future is illusionary. The only thing you have is the “unfathomable” present moment, which is beyond time and space, in which you experience eternity and what has been termed “the kingdom of heaven” and “nirvana”.
– by Clayton Micallef
Beyond this, the benefits of meditation also manifested themselves when it came to dealing with the initial shock of such a life-changing and the existential crisis it brought with it. Meditation aided me in seeing through all the stress and anxiety, which arose from the situation, helping me ground myself in the present moment, resulting in such an appreciation of the experience of life.
After much recovery this personal experience made me reflect on how traumatic situations can affect us psychologically and existentially that they turn our view of life and its meaning upside down. Such motivated me to read an undergraduate degree in psychology to bring a deeper meaning into such experience buy understanding the psychological process behind it (which I completed in September 2018).
But that was not the end as inside I felt as if I could not keep such experiences to myself not excluding the practice of meditation and its potential at being a key to relieving suffering and the causes of suffering when practised with the right motivation. Such led me to look into a way of “formalising” such an experience to guide and pass on such practices to individuals looking into the root of their existence and especially those going through existential psychological suffering. Not excluding that meditation can create the necessary space for one to connect with the diving and the ever-present presence and reflection of God within and around us especially in creation. Such led me into pursuing an MSc in mindfulness which I am currently doing, not to have some formal accreditation with which to teach but also possible pursuing a research agenda in the are of meditation.
Hope you enjoy this website and blog which I feel will always be a work in progress.