Essays On The Practices

Om Symbol illustration with a stained glass look.

Meditation is thought of as a way to help with anxiety, to relax, to get relief from stress. It is very true that meditation, the practice, will give these benefits, but what more can be said about its purpose and benefits.

Deep within each person is the source of everything we could want as human beings — the source of calm, the source of inspiration, the source of love. This is the first great truth about why meditation actually helps us. Normally, though, we do not try to get to know that source in a conscious way. However, if we were to embark on this particular discovery — with patience and with a teacher who can be a catalyst to the experience of meditation — it is doubtless that the treasure within would be tapped.

1) Meditation is a relationship. Does it make sense that we must make friends with ourselves? We need that relationship more than anything. But we cannot get to know ourselves without taking that time to do so. With structured guidance, meditation becomes the most ideal avenue to forging that relationship.

2) Meditation is the means by which our mind makes the journey, over time, from feeling controlled to being in control. It is not through force, but through self-discipline and practice that our minds surely but steadily do come under our control.

3) Meditation is the path to inner freedom. At the center of our beings, the place of within is free from worry. This is because the spiritual part of us has no worries. Since that spiritual part is always one with God, there is no fear there. As we come to know that place more and more, our freedom grows more and more.

4) Meditation is the source of inspiration. It is not only artists or business people who need inspiration; it is the birthright of all of us to be intuitive and inspired and to live our life according to that impulse.

5) Meditation is about forgiveness. Because we judge ourselves, we also judge others. But as we understand that we are both complex and simple by nature, forgiveness of ourselves and others begins to dawn. Meditation gives us that insight.

6) Meditation needs no special equipment. Once we start this path, we carry meditation wherever we go. Meditation is not about retreating from the outside world but we have the ability to carry the stillness from our meditation practice into the world and make that power grow through the various pursuits and duties we are engaged in.

7) Meditation is about love. By the process of calming down the mind, not just for a few minutes in meditation but over the course of an awakened meditation life, very naturally love is experienced. This is the real reward.

news-learn1

More and more individuals are turning to meditation. There is much information on this topic on the web. As a practitioner for more than 30 years and a teacher of yoga philosophy, I am writing about what is helpful in considering to meditate.

The first important step is to make firm your desire. This may seem superfluous but the time you invest actually pondering the significance of meditation will help you long-term. Meditation is not something to be tried once or twice and then dismissed as not being right for you. To do this is to simply not understand what meditation is (“What Is Meditation Really” on this page). While a person may conclude — skiing or cooking gourmet food is not “for them”, meditation, in its essence, IS for everyone! It is what underlies whatever joy we currently experience in what we do.

The second step is to have an actual experience. This is where meeting or even talking on the phone with a person who lives in that meditation awareness will be a fortuitous event. Meditation is an actual power or energy and coming into contact with someone who dedicated their life to that power, will actually cause a person who may feel new to meditation to go to a deeper state and experience their own intelligence about meditation very soon.

The third step is to actually add meditation to one’s daily schedule. This can be the most challenging step. However, like anything that is worth accomplishing, one needs that daily discipline. Once again, meeting and having a relationship with a person who focuses on the state of meditation continually is the most direct means for feeling motivated to keep going.

These three steps are available to anyone for the asking. You have already passed the first hurdle – becoming curious and open to meditation to begin with. Here are some suggestions about how to turn that curiosity into action:

1. During the day, as you feel may feel frustrated by yourself, circumstances, or others, ask yourself if you truly desire to move past that frustrated feeling.

2. When you are by yourself or with others and you feel a sense of depression or loneliness or uncertainty about your life, ask yourself — Do I wish to overcome this sense of slight or great helplessness?

3. If anxiety and stress seem to rule and it is difficult to even get a restful sleep, ask yourself, do I believe I deserve better than this?

4.When you feel that compassion and unselfish feelings are sometimes difficult to arouse in you, ask yourself — Is it time for me to know my own greatness?

5. When angry feelings about anything at all trouble your state of being, ask yourself, do I wish to know peace?

6. When you feel life has not given you everything you want, ask, Is it too late? No

news-learn2

Meditation ideally does not occur just for 20 minutes or an hour or even 2 hours in a day; meditation goes with you as your greatest weapon for good there can be. One can call that form of thinking–contemplation. Contemplation is a practice itself.

The ultimate goal of meditation is moment to moment, uninterrupted experience of the Truth. What is that Truth and why should we care about it? This essay attempts to describe the answer to these questions, as well as discuss what the role of the practice of contemplation is, in pursuit of the Truth.

Creation arose from one single source. That one Power then splintered into the unbounded diversity we call the universe. If there were only one entity to begin with, ultimately there is nothing which can be different from that Power–even today, with as much variety as we see and experience both within and outside ourselves.

Variety is easy to see –our own thoughts are great examples of the variety in nature, or in creation, but could there be a benefit to contemplating that despite the variety, the source was only one? There is great benefit to bending our mind toward this aspect of reality, over and over again. This conscious effort to think about the truth of one Power is called contemplation.

By contemplating the Truth in our daily lives, even while not meditating per se, it WILL happen, that our minds and our lives will be radically changed, in time. When we sit for formal meditation, meditation will become deeper also.

All this is especially possible when working with someone who has made contemplation their number one priority and who consequently experiences the Truth during the regular course of the day.

What happens when we begin to experience that we, ourselves, are identical to the universe outside? What happens is everything. Everything we want…happens. Contemplation of the Truth is the single most profitable use of one’s brain. But it’s not for everyone.

Whatever our interest level in meditation is — that is fine and appropriate. After all, each individual is perfectly playing his or her role in this world, according to that one Power’s whim. It may seem incredulous that there could be so much destructiveness and so much selfishness in a world created by the one Source, but that is a consequence of the Age we are in. In this Age, we have some clear choices. We can move toward love, toward knowing there is oneness among ALL of creation or we can continue to feel very separate from whatever we do not identify with. :-)

Free will is the power of Creation itself, embodied in the human being. We reap the experiences of that free will in this lifetime from past lifetimes and in future lifetimes from this one. But focus on this life. :-)