When I meditate, I am able to find the other side of my mind where there are no thoughts, to do lists or schedules. In this space I am free. It is me in neutral gear. As my meditation leader says at the beginning of each group session, it is about being in relationship with myself. For me it is about communing with my soul.
As we know from neuroscience and medical research, our ‘mind’, whether in the brain or the gut, is so powerful and yet so underutilised. Most of us spend our lives reacting to what life throws at us and believe that somehow we are victims of happenstance and unlucky targets of life’s miseries. We search out other ‘victims’ of the same circumstances and wallow in our own self-pity, missing the point of life.
Our mind is a set of emotional hijacks in which we get angry, lash out, cry, pout, become moody, or distressed. For many of us, the only way we can cope is to dull the emotions with distractions like gaming, binging on Netflix, or even over booking our time to fill it manically. Our minds have become overworked and out of control.
Meditation takes us to the other side of consciousness, our natural state of being, and shows us the place of wisdom where we can simply be. In just being, we allow another perspective to emerge that is an antidote to our crazed state of reactions. And for many people this is a very uncomfortable place to be. The sheer quietness is strange.
We have become so used to being switched on that we do not know how to truly switch off. When we are not wired, twitching in anticipation of the next like on a social media site or planning the next burst of entertainment, we really do not know how to be because we have come to believe that we are the summation of all the external stimulation and affirmations in our life.
But what we need is self-acceptance. The notion that who we are right here, right now in this moment is perfect. You are you. No one can be you. You are unique. I am unique. We are each an exquisite creation.
How are those words feeling? Likely, not sitting comfortably. Consider what Osho, a spiritual teacher from India who combined the teachings of many religions, wrote.
In meditation we find ourselves, our real selves, in a peaceful space where the chatter of the past, the noise of the present and the worries of the future do not exist. We simply enter into a state of peace and acceptance with who we are and all that is within our lives.
As we breathe in, we inspire love of ourselves. As we breathe out, we exhale love for others. We become one with the wider universal energies that surround us in each and every moment. In this place of peace we can see beyond the limitations of our thinking and appreciate the boundless possibilities of what we can create. We see ourselves for what we are – beautiful beings.
When we can embrace our beauty, our perfection and find true self acceptance, we attain internal peace. The peace of mind that meditation allows us to create is then portable. We have it with us in every situation.
If we expect certain events to happen in a certain manner in our day and then find that the opposite is occurring, we can breathe in love for ourselves to calm and relax us and breathe out love for others to surround them with positive possibilities. In doing this, we shift the energy surrounding us, allowing us to be at peace no matter what is occurring.
As we get stronger in our meditation practice, we can create such a strong presence of peace that it calms others, enabling circumstances to spiral outward and upward rather than down into the chaos of egos, self-importance and defensiveness.
That downward spiral can grab us so tightly like a raging whirlpool and before we realise it we have lost our minds for a few moments or longer. Losing our minds means we have lost our peace, our centre of gravity.
We literally stop breathing in and simply push out words and emotions depleting ourselves with fright or flight responses. Two things are happening in these moments – we are forgetting to let every situation be as it is and to breathe in and out slowly to connect to our inner peace.
And we are forgetting our super power for doing good. Each of us has many opportunities every day to do good – to turn an awkward situation into one of ease for everyone; to diffuse angry energy; to bring light where there is darkness; to release joy where sadness prevails, and to shift ourselves and others from the focus on me to a realisation of we.
We have these powers. We are born with them in our perfect state of being. But as Osho wrote, we live in environments where we are told about everything that is wrong with us and scant little about how good we are; not good at what we do but good in who we are simply because we are.
In these environments, we can not easily access our super power because we can not even believe in in the goodness of ourselves, let alone our ability to turn our innate good into something beneficial for others.
If we get messages about how good we are at doing something, it is more a massage for our egos rather than a recognition of the innate good within us. There is a big difference here.
Meditation allows us to commune with ourselves, understanding that we are essentially good. In this understanding, our peace emerges and our super power resonates, a power that allows us to first heal ourselves and then radiate a knowing aura that helps others to heal themselves.
The silence I experience in meditation is God. I should qualify that in saying it is not a voice that speaks in clear words but rather an all encompassing energy that allows me to be. In this soundless space I literally can not hear the instructions from my meditation leader. I have left the normal side of consciousness and I am at the other side where there is no judgment or expectations. Every feeling is one of warmth and healing.
In this place I am in solitude with my soul, the burning energy within that compels me to think more expansively, live more simply and act more compassionately. Basically, the soul always wants more from us and compels us to be our best selves. That is why we need meditation to continuously return to our internal truth.
Life can deliver so many false truths, now more than ever with social media and messaging penetrating our lives from every angle. We need to know who we are and hold steadfast to that knowledge. Our soul will never let us fail but we can fail our soul. And it is in this chasm between the knowing of our soul and our actions where, I believe, our mental health and physical health issues lie.
You can meditate anywhere. Having earphones connected to meditative music you download from Spotify or iTunes gives you a doorway to your soul. Finding one little place of quietude in your environment where you build an alter or simply place sentimental items gives you a meditation space. Or joining a local group committed to meditation and the spiritual journey provides you with the support you may need. Whatever you do, find your way back to your soul, your truth, your uniqueness, your bedrock. You are precious. You are here for a reason.
Be the creator of your peaceful and soulful life.