The word “meditation” is used by many today. The word’s root can simple mean, “Healing thoughts.” It involves the mind chatter which dominates our thinking and becoming aware of how much of it is negative, self-defeating, and filled with judgments.
To be in meditation is to become aware of such “self talk” and to assure myself I am helping rather than hurting my well being. Meditation isn’t then so much a technique as it is an understanding.
Meditation is also based on the foundation that “silence is golden.” It is in silence we can more likely connect with our Spirit, Higher Self which in my thinking, is connected with God, Allah, Buddha, Baha-oula, or whatever one might name the Mind or Creator. Soon after I arrived in India years ago, I asked a teacher the purpose of meditation as practiced there. He said, “It’s in your own Bible; ‘Be still and know that I am God.’” Meditation then is the quieting of the mind so that the wonder of Spirit can be sensed and felt.
Thus as I practice this ancient art of becoming quiet, and it is always a practice, I usually sit in a quiet place. I seek to close out outside distractions and chatter, and become aware of my breathing, using a word or phrase to help center my mind and become quiet. I often play quiet, non-linear types of music to help settle the senses, focusing on a candle or light in front of me, if inside. I enjoy quiet drumming, flute, chanting and breathing “om”. These resources are abundant today. I love repeating words or phrases which remind me once again of who I am; a Perfect Son of God, blessed with forgiveness of all material illusions, toward myself and all others. I have discovered the workbook lessons themes in A Course in Miracles to be excellent phrases or words to use. Presently I use one lesson for each week. This week’s phrase is “God’s will for me is perfect happiness.” (Lesson 101)
There is not one or a right way to meditate. However, in India ashrams I visited, no chemical substances were allowed to be used as short-cuts. Chemicals tend to block out awareness which often is needed to be faced for healing rather than being fled. I have been in meditation groups where participants often sobbed deeply letting go anger, fear, and hurts inflicted upon themselves. One teacher, Tony de Mello, once told me that “Silence itself is the great scrubber of the soul.” It can feel brutal at times but if one keeps reminding him or herself of her true Identity, a totally forgiven, wonderful Child of God, he or she will soon begin to have times of great rapture and peace that are beyond description. And it will be with you wherever you are.
So take time to be aware of your thinking, your “self talk.” You can really do this anywhere; riding, walking, running, working out, lying down, standing up, inside or outside, with others or by yourself, at a special gathering in a chapel or alone. The only “rule” is awareness of identity. To identify with material matter such as bodies and buildings and the whole universe, can’t help but bring fear, stress and guilt. This is what “attachment” means. To remember our basic essence as Spirit connected with Creator, and practice seeing this in others, will bring freedom, joy, and unspeakable happiness. This is what is meant by “detachment.” Such is our inheritance which is so easily forgotten in the world of seeking and never really finding it. Happiness is not in things but in Spirit. It is the essence of who we are in this short-lived, vast illusion of time and space.
Happy meditating. May you find the peace which surpasses all understanding, keeping your hearts and minds in One with God the Creator.