Do you Meditate? Are you aware of the many different types of meditation?
There are many ideas about what the outcome of meditation should be. Relaxation, health, motivation, and even manifestation. These are just some of the benefits of meditation.
But, few people realize that these are only ‘side benefits’. There is a bigger picture to consider, a bigger goal for which meditation can be used.
This bigger picture is the primary purpose, the main reason to meditate.
In the bigger picture, our reason for being is not to make lots of money or to become famous. And, contrary to popular belief, we are not here to have families or to participate in family activities.
Please don’t take the previous statement the wrong way. Those are nice things and there is nothing wrong with any of them. But, none of them are even close to life’s real purpose. They are not the reason that each and every one of us is here.
And yes… This does apply to everybody, with no exceptions.
We all are here for only one reason: to climb the ladder of consciousness until we reach its pinnacle, Enlightenment. That’s it. That’s our purpose.
And, this is not as difficult or mysterious as we’ve been led to believe. So, the next logical questions are: What really is Enlightenment? And, how do I get there?
(Please stay with me… I will get back to meditation.)
Many think they know the answers to these questions and they often make rising to the level of Enlightenment seem very difficult, or even mythical – only attained through impossible sacrifice and personal hardship.
In reality, it’s not like that. Not at all. If it were, life would be completely unfair. And, although life can seem unfair, it’s not.
Life and Enlightenment are all about awareness, which is not a radical or new idea.
But… What’s often a mystery is the answer to the question: Awareness of what? What is it that one needs to become aware of to become Enlightened?
That is where Spirituality comes into play and meditation can be most useful.
Spirituality is the ongoing practice and process of understanding and remaining aware that humans are made of 2 internal voices, and the ability to recognize each. We each have a duality within.
These 2 voices are: The Ego self and the True Self. How do I know this?
Proof is all around us. But there is a far simpler way: It is the True Self that gives us life. Without it, the body dies.
The True Self needs nothing and has, and will, share answers to all our questions and its wisdom with us. We just need to learn to access this information and meditation is a potent tool for doing this.
The True Self is Happy just as it is.
The Ego self, on the other hand, is the other aspect of us. It seems never to be happy and always wants more. It needs all sorts of outer-world things to fill this void, believing that these things will make us Happy.
These 2 voices are distinctly separate – different. Which leads me back to Spirituality, Enlightenment, and Meditation.
Spirituality is the practice – and it does take practice, even for those who have reached the level of Enlightenment – of recognizing these two voices, these two aspects of our human nature.
Enlightenment is the ability to actively choose to which voice one wants to listen – which voice to ‘resonate’ with, act upon, and react from at any given point in time. This is a moment-to-moment choice, and this choice never goes away.
We always have a choice. We always must be conscious of this internal duality and choose to which voice we are going to listen.
When one is able to do this, even to a slight degree, they have begun to touch upon the beginning stages of Enlightenment.
Ok… So with that background out of the way, let’s get back to the original thought: the most important reason to meditate – the main goal and best use of meditation.
Meditation is an ideal tool – and it is only a tool. It is not the ‘end game’ or an ultimate goal – but an ideal tool to help you discover and better understand your internal energies and essences.
Identifying and learning to overcome the Ego self so that we can tap into the Love and creative power of the True Self – the 2 internal voices we all have – is the main goal all humans share. That is our purpose for being here.
And, we do not have to use meditation as a tool to arrive at this ability. There are other tools. But meditation is a very easy and good place to start.
Now, it is true that we also can have secondary purposes. For me, it’s to share this information. But a purpose such as ‘making a lot of money’ or ‘having a family’ or ‘traveling’ are Ego based experiences and are not real purposes.
Experiences are not bad, but nor are they good. They’re just outer-world illusions which can create inner-world feelings that we’d like to experience while here in the physical world.
But they are not purposes for being here. Keeping that distinction in mind is useful when one considers meditation.
So, if we keep our eye on the prize – internal awareness and the ability to recognize the duality within – then we now have our goal, our reason for meditation. Keep your eye on this prize, even if you find other benefits, such as inner peace, or better health, or increased wealth.
Meditate to develop and strengthen your internal awareness. Use it is a tool to build a bridge to your True Self.
Once that bridge has been built, direct communication with the True Self becomes possible, even easy, which opens up an entirely new world: the ability to instantly get answers to our daily questions.
True Self will happily answer any question, including all those Ego self based questions, such as: Should I take that new job? Or, is it a good idea to date that person? Should I have a child? Where should I live? And anything else you’d like to know.
If you were able to make better choices in your life – avoid heartbreaking and time-wasting mistakes – do you think you could raise your Happiness index?
Do you think you’d be Happier if you didn’t suffer disappointment or failure?
This is the power that is available to you. You’ll just need to make your inner connection and use this vast and limitless resource in all aspects of your life.
But even more interesting: just making contact with the peaceful inner part of yourself – the True Self – who is always content and Happy, will increase your Happiness. Greater peace and contentment will naturally become part of you.
I made use of this inner power and insight to help bring the woman who’d become my wife back into my life after I’d ended our relationship and had moved to another part of the country.
Anything is possible when you’ve made the connection to your True Self and then listen to and heed its advice.
When you make this the focus of meditation, all the other reasons to meditate will naturally fall into place.
How do you do this… What are the steps to meditate to make this connection? Good question.
This requires diligence and perseverance. But, as is the case with all meditation, the first challenge is to quiet the mind.
The mind conspires with the Ego self. The Ego self wants to stay in control. In fact, it fears losing control and will do anything and everything to maintain it. One way it does this is with endless internal chatter, a restless mind that seemingly refuses to relax, to shut up.
With practice, it will turn off. You can quiet your mind which will automatically increase your inner peace, your calm, a thousand-fold. Just doing this is that powerful and opens the door to the guidance from your True Self.
It is you who should be in control of your mind. But, with most folks – over 99% of them – it is the other way around. Their mind controls them.
Make this stop. Take back your power. Learn to quiet your mind, to turn off the distracting and often stress inducing internal chatter. Do this and your life will change immediately.
It does take time and practice, but anyone can do this.
A good way to quiet the mind is to ‘watch’ your breathing. Focus all your awareness on the air flowing into and out from your nose with each breath. This should be part of your meditation practice.
Begin your meditation with several deep, relaxing breaths: breathe in deeply, hold this breath, exhale slowly, then wait before beginning again with a new, deep breath. Repeat this several times.
Then, after you feel your body begin to relax, breathe normally – slowly and not deeply – and begin watching your breath as the air moves into and out from your nose.
When your mind tries to interrupt, and it will – likely replaying events of the day, or things which need to be done later, or with conflicts you had with others – calmly and lovingly remind your mind that you are meditating right now and that it needs to be quiet, it needs to give you about 20 minutes of quiet time, and that you will return to it later.
Internal talk like this – talking to the inner aspects of yourself with Love and respect – is a great beginning to better understand your inner selves: your Ego self and your True Self.
Take these little steps to begin the process and you will be well on your way.
When you find yourself in a calm, quiet internal state, simply be with that new-found, quiet energy. Enjoy it. Feel it. Make yourself Comfortable with it. Live in that space for as long as you can.
It is there where you will find the feeling of real Happiness.
Doing this will set you on the path to higher consciousness leading to Enlightenment. And, just doing this is being Spiritual. That is the art and practice of being Spiritual.
But, and this is the most important aspect of meditation: This is how you will become permanently Happy. Make this connection and you will find and feel the internal part of yourself which always is, and always will be, Happy.
You do not have to reach the level of Enlightenment for your Happiness to increase. Simply begin quieting your mind and turning your focus within. This will begin the process and will open the door to increased Happiness.
When you have focused your awareness to the internal – and have stopped looking outside yourself for answers and Happiness – you will have taken a huge step toward Happiness; toward feeling complete and fulfilled all the time.
Your comments and experiences are important.
If you feel so inclined… Please share your experience in the comments below.
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Bruce is a published author, speaker, student/teacher of Spirituality, and founder of The Spiritual Workshop. Beginning in the 1980's, he was guided to look inside for his answers and information and is now teaching the Wisdom gained and the processes for introspective self-learning.