“Meditation is a method or technique of educating the human mind, of
giving it greater capacity and power of understanding. All people use the mind,
but not all have come to know how the mind functions, what its purpose is, and
how much power it has. Meditation creates greater power of vision so that one
can see more clearly, greater power of thinking so that one can think more
clearly, and greater power of understanding so that from chaos and confusion,
comes clarity. If one meditates, one will have more power to direct the life of
the body, mind and senses toward peace, joy, harmony, love and inspiration.”
Vision of Oneness, Swami Shyam, India
The longer we practice meditation the more we become aware of every detail that creates the mosaic of our life. The picture of our mind becomes three-dimensional and events that shaped our life become clear and well defined. The harmony we create in our consciousness allows us to live a contented life and achieve goals beyond our imagination. However beyond that there is a fourth dimension, where opposites coincide. The past merges with the future and we realise that the present is where our silent mind resides. This chapter provides a minute glance at some of the events that have formed our complex mind and unify some of the concepts related to meditation that have been covered in the past few weeks and described in the quotation we read above.
If we attempt to draw a time line of our life we can clearly show stages in our life where we have been influenced the most. It is these impressionable stages in our life that have created the blurred image of our self that we see today. The mind is complex and susceptible to a vast amount of external influence. Our conditioning has a great influence on our understanding of how we perceive our self and the world around us.
We are not born as a blank page on which our culture and society define what we should believe or how we should act. We are all born with innate propensities of character, even though in a rudimentary state, but each as a distinct individual. The mind of a child is highly impressionable, eager for knowledge marking the subconscious frequently. However the mind of the child does not judge people and events based on external criteria. That only takes place when the self-perpetuating tenets, customs and laws of our social group are enshrined in the thoughts and actions of school children. In adolescence and later years, we keep on marking the formative mind by positive endeavour, as well as becoming susceptible to negative influence of individuals we come into contact with and by the kind of society we live in.
The practice of meditation transcends humanity, society, and culture. It does not, require a belief , though the knowledge that the universe is infinite and has many dimensions is vital. The hope that, despite being individuals, we are not isolated from the universe is certainly helpful.
As we create, order and maintain the integrity of our own personal worlds, our mind weaves significance and meaning into our lives. Our mind loves to be fully occupied and, left to itself, ranges far and wide, threading itself through all our experience and knowledge. No direction is necessary for this activity; just silence. The practice of meditation establishes a direction for the mind. All that is required is a degree of purpose, and the necessary discipline to keep our self and our mind silent.
The practised meditator learns of the wilfulness and power of mind. We gradually learn the landscape of the inner worlds, their paths and byways. We learn the way mind shapes itself. But the task is very different for every individual we all proceed without knowing exactly what we expect. Foreknowledge must be laid aside, and so must the temptation to recreate what has been done before. Our meditation should reflect our true nature. We have to be open and honest in our desire to change and comprehend the finer details that may emerge as the image of our self becomes clear.
This is crucial, for any attempt at recreating a truth for our self amounts to cutting the ground from under our self. We must lose the desire to form the unformed, yet we must repeatedly apply our self to it. Instead of convincing our self what will make us happy we should allow meditation to take us to happiness. A very common reason for meditating amounts to a wish to live in a larger world and a desire to change, this is sufficient motivation. To begin to meditate regularly, and daily, requires commitment. To persevere in its practice requires patience, a little faith, and constant encouragement. What appear to be the positive fruitful results of meditation should be recognized as such. These results provide encouragement, but the golden rule is that there is always further to go.
Meditation connects you to the knowledge of your inner self, which connects you to the knowledge of life. Meditation is an active process where the meditator remains alert and fully aware of the meditative process. To continue the work of meditation in the apparent absence of results requires love. This, too, is nurtured by meditation. Pay attention to the connections' details It’s the same life force. The connection of life and all its manifestation become obvious then.
The purpose of meditation is to reconnect with the inner self. Many of us have been preoccupied with our busy lives and have lost that connection. We search and search everywhere outside ourselves for perfection, or fulfilment. We go from relationship to relationship, job to job, never really satisfied, always sure that the perfect life is waiting for us in the next job, or the next relationship. The cost of living for the next anything is high, for we never live in the moment. And life is made of moments. Meditation reminds us that there is a higher reality beyond our five senses, beyond the understanding of our limited minds. By reaching inside ourselves through the practice of meditation, we begin to forge a deep and profound connection with our inner, intuitive self.
Meditation provides us with the clarity of vision to navigate our way through the blurred image of our life. This will hopefully create a clearer image of our life but also the universe we live in and its many dimensions.
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