Meditation is a means not an end. Even when consciously practised, the ‘doing’ subtly undermines the natural state of being. To take action with intent, even the search for truth, creates concentric ripples within the psyche which distort the harmony of life. Some people meditate for years without profound inner change. This is because, after a time, a levelling out occurs in the subconscious and the meditation is no longer spiritually productive. The western mind’s approach to spirituality is to formulate a circuitous route that avoids confrontation with the source of its own unhappiness – hence the plethora of therapies and teachings embroiled in time and avoidance of the direct experience of reality.
Meditation is the art of being in the body; it’s as simple as that. To have to learn to meditate to re-enter the body suggests that something quite unnatural has happened to reinforce the mind’s exclusive focus on the external world. Virtually everyone spends most of their waking hours in a perpetual swirl of aimless thought and mental abstraction. As a result, it’s quite a rarity for anyone to be fully present in the physical senses – they are physically present but part of their reality is psychologically absent. This is demonstrated by the mostly meaningless exchanges between people that degrade the quality of life. To speak of love, truth and the beauty of the moment is to invoke the spirit as a direct communion with reality.
Being more conscious in the senses is a natural palliative to the stresses and strains of everyday life. So what is the impediment to remaining in this desirable state? The answer is the human mind itself. It’s impossible just to switch off the mind and be in a state of peace and harmony. It must first be emptied of all the garbage that distracts it from doing what it’s supposed to do, which is to respond to the practical daily needs and demands of the world. Developing stillness is essential to quell the incessant movement of the mind and emotions; but this in itself is not enough to offset the forces of the world. As a reciprocal to the inner process, it will be essential to attend to any unresolved problem areas in the external life. Otherwise, regardless of whatever realms of the inner mystery are reached, the state and knowledge will be unable to be retained as a conscious presence.
The sense of isolation and anxiety that many people experience is mostly due to being totally identified with the material aspect of living; they exist out of kilter with the sensational, energetic state of being. In a world where everything is continually changing, it’s rare to find something unchangeable and real. The inner sensation of the body is always accessible as a reality that can assist someone looking to be more authentic and responsible for life on earth. This tingling sensation can be registered in various parts of the body (particularly at the tips of the fingers and nose), and eventually the whole body consciousness. It’s to anchor the mind to the inner sensation so that it becomes accustomed to the focus of something that’s still and unwavering. By being conscious within the body, the thinking process slows down and, with sufficient practice, eventually stops. Then, with a deepening inner clarity, there’s a finer discernment to be more effective in whatever activity is performed in the world.
To break up the continuity of unconscious living, the great movement of life can bring about challenging events in an endeavour to get people back into their bodies. To offset these unconscious forces, the idea is to bring meditation into everyday affairs as a living reality; to unify the conscious inner state with the sensory awareness as a fully integrated being. For someone who doesn’t meditate, it’s a good idea to do so as an introduction to the workings of the inner realm. But it’s to go beyond meditation as a formal practice as quickly as possible and arise as a full participant of life with eyes wide open to the wonder of creation.