The Power of Meditation

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It has been said that God speaks in silence. Put differently, we may say that your true and essential Self speaks in the silence.

As is written in the ancient text of the Tao Te Ching:

Thirty spokes connect to the wheel’s hub; yet it is the center hole that makes it useful. Clay is shaped into a vessel; yet it is the emptiness within that makes it useful. Doors and windows are cut for a room; yet it is the space where there is nothing that makes it useful. Therefore, though advantage comes from what is; usefulness comes from what is not. (Lao Tzu)

As your thoughts chatter like the morning birds, they clutter and obscure a silent stillness that is your true self, which lies ever unchanged beneath even the most turbulent emotional state. You have access to this state of tranquil calm at any moment in time, for it is always with you, watching.

This true self is a silent and all-seeing witness to your life. It does not judge, interfere, change or adapt. It is not affected by the events of your life. The true Self simply observes.

The awareness that is the truth of who you are is not identified with the thoughts or the feelings that preoccupy you throughout your day. These are but passing phenomena— temporary experiences which come and go, like clouds passing across the sky. The sky is not altered by the storms, the tornadoes, the fog or mist. Clouds pass through the sky, but the sky is not the clouds.

And so, it is with you: you are not the thoughts or emotions which cast shadows across your consciousness. You are that consciousness which thinks the thoughts and feels the emotions. Whether these are happy or sad, brilliant or dull, angry or hopeful— that which you are is unchanged.

Great power lies beyond the chains which bind you to that which is temporary, and you can resume your participation in that which is eternal simply by stepping back into this awareness.

To access this greater power, practice letting go of being your thoughts and feelings, and instead watch them. From a place of neutrality and non-judgment, witness.

The discipline of meditation aids tremendously in this shift of identification from the temporal to the infinite.

Letting Go of Chains

The mind is a creature of habit, and most people live more or less in a state of bondage to whatever thoughts happen to overtake them. When we wake up in the morning, we have an opportunity to start fresh, for sleep breaks the chains of our thought patterns.

Yet most of us very quickly resume what we were thinking and feeling yesterday, perpetuating our problems by letting the mind be our master instead of our servant.

The point of meditation is not to battle against thoughts and feelings, but to cultivate the ability to pause your identification with them. In meditation, we practice withdrawing our attention from thoughts, placing it instead in awareness.

There are innumerable techniques for meditation, here 10 quick tips,  but all of them involve training the mind to remain aware without the stimulus of thought. Thoughts and emotions bubble up, but we practice connecting and reconnecting with the True Self, which is always and ever still high beyond the buzzing mind.

It takes dedication and perseverance to hold ourselves in this void, because the mind is so accustomed to attaching itself to thought. We are so addicted to stimulus that it is difficult to remain alert and aware without content for the mind to “chew on”.

Our minds are not used to the stillness of being, and we are not practiced at remaining present without something to do. This seemingly simple practice of pausing thought re-patterns the mind.

Meditation cultivates our capacity for emotional detachment and mental flexibility. As we practice entraining with the higher level of awareness that exists at the root of mind, we can break the psychic habits which entrench us into counterproductive modes of thinking or outdated patterns of relating. We stop reacting to life and begin responding to life.

Many people notice a sense of increased authority or autonomy as a result of this practice. Developments which might ordinarily bother or upset us do not; and even when they do, we are able to respond in a more conscious, deliberate way, rather than flying off the handle at any unexpected infraction.

This is because we are not so closely identified with our emotions or our instinctive judgments; we rise above the tumultuous tides of thoughts and emotion and, identifying with the much greater part of ourselves, observe these patterns like the sky observes passing weather conditions.

With this detachment and objectivity, we can meet every situation with fresh eyes, instead of seeing life every day through a distorted, limited lens.

The Higher Dimension of the Present Moment

Our thoughts are the source of our pain. Suffering comes from taking flight from the present into worries about an illusory future or neurotic brooding about the could-have-beens, would-have-beens, should-have-beens of the past.

Incessant thought interferes with awareness. As you think about the world around you, you are identified with illusion. As soon as you are thinking, you are no longer witnessing.

As you witness the world around you, in a state beyond words, you shed the judgments and preconceptions about what is and instead directly experience what is.

Meditation brings us out of identification with the thinking, language-ing mind and helps us to identify with that which experiences, or that which is aware.

Just as you cannot be both asleep and awake at the same time, you cannot be both thinking and watching. As you are witnessing, thinking ceases, and as you are thinking, witnessing ceases.

In this way, the present moment is one of the most powerful gateways to the higher dimension. There is no room for suffering in the present moment, for there is no room for thought. Even if you are in a jail cell, as you come into the pure awareness of the present moment, you will be released from suffering.

The power of meditation increases with the practice

Practicing presence by sitting in meditation is one avenue to this higher dimension, but there are many ways to “live meditatively”. Most of us eat without tasting, listen without hearing, speak without noticing what we are saying.

No matter where we might be, at our fingertips there is a majestic wonder of creation, and if we would only stop to marvel at it, we would find the peace and serenity we look for in all of our ephemeral distractions.

Stop your mind from wandering in time and the sanctuary of the present moment will open to you. If you begin to pay attention, every bite of food has a wealth of flavor. Every environment is abundant with beautiful colors and textures. Every moment is full of details to observe, acknowledge and appreciate.

As you move through your life, practice becoming aware. As you bend to pick up an object, notice the sensations in your body. Really feel every part of this bend, every sensation within your grasp. As you walk outside, notice the wind on your cheek. Notice every sound that fill the silence.

Mary West

Mary West is a metaphysician, writer, astrologer, and Magician. She teaches her students how to work with astral energy to enhance personal power, growth, productivity, and illumination.
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