MEDITATION is essentially a stripping away—a clearing of the fog that has accumulated in our minds over the course of our chaotic lives. It is the intimate and sincere practice of getting to know one’s true, authentic self. Through this practice we unlock our forgotten nature as infinite, absolute, divine—going beyond time and space, going beyond cause and effect. This is what is meant to merge one’s individual consciousness with the Universal Consciousness, and through it we come to a state of complete inner equilibrium, returning to a life of natural harmony and bliss.
To begin a meditation practice, we need only sit to observe the wanderings of our thoughts as an unattached observer. Through this practice we see the great divide that exists between our true nature, and the life-drama associated with the limited “self” we have come to identify with. As Dr. Vasant Lad has said—“from the bank of consciousness we observe the movements of the river of thoughts,” realizing we are not the waves that are crashing wildly within our minds. Seeing this difference between “observer” and “observed,” we come to recognize our ability to control our minds and thought processes—if only we are conscious of them as they appear on the mental landscape. So rather than going on mindlessly unaware of our actions and our effect on the environment around us, we begin to exercise awareness and cultivate mindfulness.
Throughout our practice, we can utilize the breath as a tool to help control the mind. For by regulating the breath we are able to slow down the usual onrush of thoughts that sweep us away, returning to a place of stillness and regaining our position as the observer. From here we can more effectively work on retraining and redirecting our energy toward growth and empowerment. Through this we develop emotional poise, mental strength, and inner peace knowing that we have the ability to face the challenges and obstacles we encounter on a daily basis with courage and optimism.
Through regular, intentful practice we grow to one-pointed concentration, touching the silence of wisdom within our very core. We experience a vast reduction in stress levels, and develop better mental focus, clearer thought processes and greater productivity. Our inner eyes open to the truth of our nature, bringing self-awareness, inner calm, and compassion toward ourselves and to those around us.
Meditation is ultimately a practice of patience, perseverance and persistence, which in itself is a model for a healthy, productive and meaningful life. For though transformation is within our grasp, we must acknowledge that it can only be attained by daily striving toward the goal—a slow, steady sublimation of our old selves full of negativity and degeneration, to an awakening of our authentic, creative selves that are waiting to live with love, courage, and a heart for dynamically changing the world in a positive way.