The Miracle of Meditation: Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita
Life is a luminous cloth woven of the intersecting qualities of Yin and Yang, male and female, day and night, birth and death. Within this cloth are the intricate designs of individual karma and programming, arising from our ancestral and soul imprints. This cloth can appear to be a chaos made up of contradictions or can appear to be exquisite complementary harmonies, alive with colour and beauty. We are the weaver and the one who wears our own cloth. We have choice in how we weave these threads of life together.
Bliss or Suffering Is Our Choice
Or, you can look at life as a game, what Sanskrit texts refer to as Leela, God’s divine play. The way we choose to play in this dance of life decides whether we will have a blissful or a miserable life. In spite of all appearances to the contrary, each human being is born with free will and can decide to live in tune with their full potential for enlightened consciousness or can choose to move into a downward spiral of unconsciousness and suffering.
A beautiful Tibetan Poem by a Rinpoche says:
Rest in natural peace
This exhausted mind
Beaten helplessly by karma
And neurotic thoughts
Like the relentless fury
Of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of Samsara
Rest in natural peace…..
Om, The Soundless Sound
And how to discover this harmony? How to hear the soundless sound? The answer is very simple – meditation. I speak from my own experience on this subject. Through the practice of meditation, I have travelled from misery to bliss, unconsciousness to consciousness. Of course, each person, has to walk his or her own path. No one can follow in someone else’s footsteps, no matter how hard they may try. At the most, the person who has travelled the path of meditation can inspire others to move into the jungle of their being and forge their own way, taking hints from those who have gone before.
What Is Meditation?
And, you may ask, “What exactly IS meditation?” The answer to that is also very simple. Meditation is the knack of becoming a non-judgmental witness, of the body, mind and emotions. And through this practice, miracles of transformation happen.
Entanglement in all areas of life happens by becoming identified with something, which by its very nature is impermanent. When we become identified with it, we cling to it and try to stop the flow of life force energy. It is in fact, impossible to stop the flow and by so doing, we become miserable. Just imagine if you are standing in a river and you try to stop the flow of the river thinking that you can only be happy if you can hold the river in your hand. A wise person will learn to enjoy the constantly flowing and changing nature of reality. We become conscious of the changeable flow without any desire to control or to judge it.
How to Meditate With Breath
Non-Judgmental Awareness Of Thoughts
As we become more adept, we can witness our thoughts and learn not to judge these as good or bad. They are simply thoughts, which arise and fall in the bubbling cauldron of the mind. By and by, we discover that our personal thoughts are connected to the collective thought form arising from many minds. And finally, we can open ourselves to the great mind, the mind of creation, which holds all minds and all duality within itself. We become so vast that we discover a great reservoir of genius waiting to manifest through us, and we become co-creators with the divine spark of creation.
When we have mastered the witnessing of thoughts, we discover that it is also possible to witness emotions. This ability arises when we have the courage to take meditation into our daily life. Sitting on a cushion for 40 minutes per day may be a very fulfilling practice. However, the real test of our meditation happens in daily life, bumping up against men and women, in the workplace, or during recreation and at home with those close to us. If we have any incomplete life issues, it is certain that the people we meet will very adroitly push our buttons, activating old wounds to resurface, bringing emotional reactions. Meditating and becoming a witness of emotions, does not imply becoming dead to those emotions. It implies swimming in the river of life and even while swimming, having the ability to continue witnessing, what it is to be human.
One of the 112 sutras from the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra says:
“At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware.”
Enjoying The Weather Of Our Emotional Statesw
Emotions and challenging life situations are just like weather. They flow and swirl. Sometimes the weather is windy, sometimes rainy, and sometimes sunny. Imagine if you believed that having weather is very bad and that there should be no weather changes, ever. This would create such stagnation in nature that no life could manifest. And so it is in our inner world. Dynamic balance is achieved through changes in weather patterns. Witnessing these shifts and changes of our emotions and life situations and learning from them, brings a state of being which the Upanishads describe as, ‘Sat, Chit, Anand’, meaning, ‘Truth, Consciousness, Bliss’.
God Is Hiding In Life
As we bring meditation into the swirl of daily life, a miracle happens. We discover that literally each and every aspect of life is a portal into expanded consciousness. Godliness is hiding within each and every life experience! Osho says, in his book, ‘I Say Unto You, vol. 1’
“Always remember, God has no lips of his own.
He kisses you through somebody else’s lips.
He has no hands of his own.
He embraces you through somebody else’s hands.
He has no eyes of his own
Because all eyes are his.”
Entering The Void
Many people are afraid of the idea of meditation. Why? Meditation appears scary because it will bring the light of awareness into those places within us that we would like to cover up and repress. The primary fear is the fear of death. When we meditate, there may come moments where we fall into a deep void beyond time, mind and emotions. The void is where our spirit essence dwells. It is the space from where we all come and to where we all return, the space of oneness, beyond duality.
Entering this void space feels like death. It is natural to feel fear when confronted by what feels like death. In fact, it is the death of the ego, our identification with our limited mind-based self. If a meditator has the courage to dive into this void space, he or she will come back in a new way, with a fresh vision of reality and with expanded consciousness.
Tuning to Cosmic Resonance
When meditation goes very deep, we find ourselves resonating with the very centre of the universe, from where emanates the soundless sound, Om. If we hear this soundless sound even one time, we will never be the same. The instrument of our body, mind and emotional being is instantly tuned to the cosmic heart. Hearing the soundless sound cannot be approached as a goal. All we can do is prepare the temple, and when the time is right, grace appears.
Preparing the temple may include methods of meditation, yoga, healthy eating, massage, as well as healing and emotional release work. Being in nature is one of the very best ways to fall in tune. Any physical state, practised with awareness, brings us into the present moment. And being in this moment opens us to eternity, beyond the limitations of the egoic mind, who is fed by memories of the past and projections into the future.
Tantra Offers the Essence of Meditation
Some people may believe that Tantra is a separate path from that of meditation, when in actual fact it offers the very essence of meditation. Tantra recognises that there are two main spiritual paths, one being the more feminine path of love and devotion and the other being a more masculine path of meditation and witnessing. These two paths represent the two hemispheres of our brain. It has been found, that if a man follows the path of meditation through witnessing, he will flower into Love. And if a woman travels the path of love and devotion, she will flower into conscious awareness.
In fact, we all have masculine and feminine aspects within us. When spirituality awakens within, the profound experience is of inner union, the orgasmic meeting of our yin and yang aspects, and simultaneously, the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
While women may be drawn to focusing primarily on love and devotion as their path, it is also very helpful for the woman to explore witnessing meditation, in depth. And while a man may mainly travel the path of witnessing, it is also helpful for him to dive deeply into the experience of devotion. In this way, when the time comes for inner union, it will not be such a shock, but can be more like a flower opening its full potential, kissed by warm summer sun.
Tantra is such a magnificent path as it offers the possibility for both men and women to travel, each according to their own nature. Methods of Tantric Meditation support us in awakening to grace in each and every life situation and from wherever we are at right now in our inner being. If we are in anger, this can be used as a door into meditation. If we are feeling sexual, this can become the door. Likewise, eating and drinking can be used, or creativity. All mental and spiritual states are also portals. In fact, the human being in his or her entirety is a walking antenna for cosmic consciousness.
Witnessing Is The Master Key
The key to unlock the miracle of our potential is the simple act of witnessing. Through a non-judgmental witnessing consciousness, each aspect of life is revealed as divine. What we normally believe to be warped aspects within ourselves have only become so, because we have pushed them away, hiding them in darkened recesses of our subconscious. As the light of awareness and witnessing is brought into these darkened areas, all the shadows which are not in tune with source, begin transforming, opening themselves to the cosmic heart.
Meditation Is Medicine
When people do unconscious and painful acts towards others and towards themselves, it is simply some disowned part within who is crying out for the light of awareness. In the future, when meditation becomes more prominently accepted in the world, meditation will be used as medicine to treat both physical and mental imbalances.
It is very uplifting to read recent reports about the wave of mindfulness practice that is sweeping the world. Mindfulness is a new word coined by people who are teaching meditation without the trappings of religion attached to it, thereby making it easily accessible to people of every persuasion.
A quote from a Positive News article by Nikki Allen says:
“A host of psychological studies have shown that people who regularly meditate are happier and more contented than average. Depression, anxiety and irritability have all been shown to decrease with regular sessions of meditation while memory improves, reaction time becomes faster and mental and physical stamina increase.”
In her article she states that members of parliament, businesses, prisons, schools, employment agencies, and individuals from all walks of life are adopting Mindfulness practice. Meditation flash mobs have also been cropping up in various places in the world. All this is a very good sign that as a species, we are getting ready for a quantum leap into a new way of experiencing life. Instead of being victims tossed about by subconscious undercurrents, we are on the path to awaken our true potential as co-creators with the cosmic heart.
A Sacred City Of Meditation And Celebration
I envision a time when each village, town or city will have at its centre, a sound dome, where people can go to tune themselves to the soundless sound, Om. In the sacred geometry of its construction, a sound dome allows us to have our chanting of Om echoed back to us thousand fold, till body, mind, soul and spirit are all in harmony.
Next to the sound dome, can be a meditation hall, where silence prevails, giving us space to discover our inner witnessing consciousness. When we have dived deeply into silence, and bathed in the soundless sound Om, a great desire to celebrate and share love arises. The sacred city I envision also has a space where people can go and express their inner ecstasy, through drug and alcohol free music and dance. Meditation opens our inner pharmacy of feel good chemicals, causing bliss to prevail in our being. In such a state, outer drugs are not needed.
Planting Seeds of Meditation
Each time I offer a group, I am creating a sacred city of meditation. When the group ends, people carry away with them the effects of being in such an atmosphere. I know, that with time and patience, our whole world will feel like this. I used to think, “If it can happen to me it can happen to others.” And now, after years of seeing it blossom in others, I think, “If it can happen in groups, it can happen for the whole world.” And so I go on planting the seeds of meditation, in as many hearts as possible.