What is meditation? Many believe that meditation is focusing and concentrating the mind on one particular object, such as a candle flame, a yoga posture or the rise and fall of your breath. The truth is that these concentration techniques lead one into the experience of meditation, they are a taxi service, yet are not the actual destination of meditation itself. True meditation is an effortless space of unbounded consciousness where the mind is set aside, and you are completely alert, alive and very very still. It is this total stillness of the mind that leads one into bliss. Without any effort or concentration on anything, you drop deep inside and become the playful witness of your divinity.
One small piece of advice before you begin meditating is to teach your body to totally let go and relax. Once the body is relaxed, then the next step is to let go of the mind. It’s important to not try to control the mind, nor let it get out of control. Meditation is a state of equanimity where everything just is the way it is. As your explore your experience, do not let the mind get attached to what meditating should feel like, or be impatient with how long it takes you to quiet your mind chatter. Let go of all of your “shoulds” about meditation. Simply relax into whatever experience you are having, and explore this experience with curiosity. Below are 7 steps that will take you deeper into this effortless place, no matter what you are doing in your world…Enjoy
#1 ~ Embrace the God Source. What is happening now is the God Source, and it is showing up for you as the existence. Now your mind is going to have some very limiting ideas of what “God” is, yet do not pay attention to the mind. Just welcome and embrace this entire existence and welcome everything that is here now. Doing this is tricky, yet if you can open your heart to the God Source it will give you a fragrance and feeling of indescribable bliss! The very moment you embrace the God Source is when bliss begins. A powerful light feeling enters your body the very instant you say YES to the ever present divine “Is-ness”. Suddenly, all your mind chatter and problems are gone when you discover the sweet sacred loving presence which is always here now. When you find yourself feeling connected with it, all you’ll feel is total love, bliss, abundance and joy.
Creating a relationship with the God Source is like creating a relationship with anyone or anything. You may at first have some hesitations, fears, or walls protecting your heart. Just remember that the God Source is all loving and unconditional bliss. If you encounter resistance to embracing the God-Source and are up in your head about it, or don’t believe that existence is divine intelligence in its nature, then look at the story and judgment you have inside. Notice if you have any old anti-religious programming from your past. Step out of the judgment and step into life’s most amazing spiritual exploration. Breathing in this connection to this divine intelligence is like fire that burns through the mind’s illusions…and in an instant you’re in a state of meditation. Whatever you have trouble accepting in life is a teacher, here to push you deeper towards the God Source. By embracing and welcoming “everything that is” you just discovered the essential key to releasing all suffering and entering the land of unending bliss.
#2 ~ Allow yourself to be exactly the way you are. What does it feel like to know that you are perfect whole and complete exactly as you are. Especially with all your human faults and issues, you are just as you should be and your life is EXACTLY the way it needs to be for your highest growth and potentiality. Do you sense the relief in having this understanding? What if every single belief you have about you, is also perfect as it is? It doesn’t mean you need to hold onto them, quite the contrary. When you let go of your judgments and beliefs about you, and can welcome all your parts with an open heart, you can forgive yourself for your judgments and love your life as it is right now. The deeper you can relax into the feeling of self-acceptance, the more enjoyable just sitting in stillness becomes. Self-acceptance always makes one feel loved, relaxed and at ease. Don’t you want more of this in your life? You can totally accept yourself as you are now, it only creates a trickle down effect of lightness in your life.
As you practice allowing yourself to be at peace with all your shortcomings and faults, you start living a life of laughter, lightness and love. Depending on how long you’ve been avoiding or ignoring certain issues in your life, the longer it may take you to actually train yourself to relax the body and quiet the mind. Yet the very moment you let go of your self-criticism and become infinitely patient and accepting of yourself the way you are, a completely over-flowing abundance of relaxation and energy will flow into you! When you stop all efforting to try and fix, improve and change yourself in anyway, you can relax into your divine nature. From here you can truly take a good long deep look inside you and discover the blissful essence which is who/what you truly are as a soul. The day you have accepted all parts of you, something very magical happens. Your first real taste of unbounded freedom and unlimited potentiality is unleashed! To find this blissful state of being today, simply look inside at what you cannot accept about you, and welcome it with open arms.
“You have been here before you were born, and you will be here after you are dead. Mind has a very limited existence, very momentary —one day it comes, another day it is gone. You are forever. Have some experience of your forever-ness. But that is possible only through no-mind. No-mind is another name for meditation.” ~Osho
#3 ~ Explore everything with a childlike state of wonder. Dive into each experience with a state of curiosity and wonder. When you’re full of wonder, your life simply becomes wonderful! There is a childlike presence deep inside you who loves to laugh, play and enjoy the exploration of life in every way. When you are serious about anything in life, you are missing it! Life is grand when you let your innocence shine through. As you practice being child-like (not childish) you’ll find that you have all the time that you need to do whatever you want to do in life, and everything you do choose to do becomes a exploration of the Divine. This is a state of divine curiosity where you can easily dance your way through any serious problems that may arise in the adult mind. By remaining curious, you cannot get upset again. You can only stay open to exploring the next possible experience that is coming your way.
#4 ~ Practice Self Inquiry. Self inquiry stops the mind in its tracks and puts you on the road to bliss-ville. This is done by asking yourself questions like, “Who am I…really? To whom are these thoughts coming to? Who is having this experience right now? Who is creating this interpretation of this experience right now? Who is experiencing this breath in this body? Where is the source of this thought coming from?” When you turn your attention in and focus on these questions, you eventually bring the mind back to the God-Source. By noticing how your mind responds to these questions, can create a deeper answer inside of you to the ancient enlightening question of “Why are we here?”. When you’re ready to take on a deeper state of bliss in life and be free on all levels, then you are ready to practice Self Inquiry. The more you practice having no attachment to “getting it” and continuously practice diving into these questions all day and night long, you will soon wake up to an experience of bliss like nothing you’ve ever known before.
Know you are a Divine Spiritual Being without boundaries. This one simple understanding will transform your life forever. You are not your thoughts, your feelings, or your body. You are also not your income, job, relationships, or lack of all the above. You are MUCH bigger than all of this. You are a soul that is beyond time, space and has no real boundaries. The mind will not give you the truth, it is too small of a container. Do not buy into the mind nor participate in its judgments and drama. When you are relaxed in your body you find it is your home base, and you stop living up in your head. When you take time to be still, and totally present to the body you’ll discover the state of spiritual bliss is already here in your heart! Notice how your body is breathing for you right now…follow it and listen to your breath giving you life. This will take you into the experience of finding the bliss that is always within your spiritual nature. If you’re demanding or trying to hard to have a certain experience, then you’re cutting yourself off from having this one and completely missing the ever flowing river of consciousness. It is simple and effortless to know yourself as a spiritual being, just let yourself relax deeper inside than you ever have before.
#5 ~ Surrender to the experience that is arising right now. Surrender is the ultimate key to finding bliss. We are imprisoned in the present moment for an eternity. Your body cannot escape the Now. The mind pretends it can, and tries to jump into the past and future by dreaming about them, yet the Truth always contains you here. The moment you surrender to ANY internal battle in the mind and be present to the now, you’ll notice the issue simply disappears. If you are having trouble surrendering, let your greatest fear arise in you. Face it directly. See if your fear is coming from a fear of loss, or a fear of separation from the Source. Follow the fear back until you reach the Source where it came from. The meditative mind doesn’t participate in such illusions because it is not attached to anything. It knows each experience of life will come and go. The moment you stop trying to make something happen, then bliss happens to you. If whatever you’re doing to try and surrender doesn’t work, then do the opposite of what didn’t work before. The more you can simply let go, let God and simply be, the easier it becomes to find the Source of infinite riches within you.
The greatest meditators blend heaven and earth at all times. They surrender to both ideas of heaven and hell, and within each moment they find true peace. They have a deeper “knowing-ness” that they are always connected to an Infinite Source of love and goodness inside. Their roots of relaxation into this Source deepen, and one day grow into wings of spiritual freedom! Whenever you practice sitting in silence, and perhaps experience an increasing feeling of anxiety, discomfort or pain… go with it! Surrender to the core of it. Find out what is at the core and you can then release it from your body with the breath. It’s best to remain centered in the core of your being and integrate your experiences as they arise, rather than get lost in the phenomena they produce. Surrender is total victory for the soul, and its your job to enjoy the ride!
“You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait. You need not even wait, just learn to become quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no other choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” ~Franz Kafka
#6 ~ Watch The Mind Vigilantly This moment contains an entire Universe of ideas, and they are showing up faster than you can follow them. The mind cannot keep up with the moment, there is too much happening in this NOW moment to be contained or controlled by the mind. The mind is a very small vessel compared to the vastness of existence. It is only through stepping back from the mind can you experience the whole universe and its amazing divine qualities. The mind is slippery so you must be very vigilant with it and aware of its manipulative agendas. The mind can get caught in very subtle moments of the past and future. When you are totally in the moment, you’ll see that there truly is NO mind, and only a pure awareness remains.
When you’re sitting and being silent, being open to everything and resisting nothing, this Enlightening process happens in an instant. The day your mind is completely at peace, when it has absolutely no worries, no concerns, or agendas at all, notice what is here! There is an untainted being who is eternally present. It is the river of consciousness in this existence, fully alive and awake! Be aware that any striving, trying, reaching, efforting, and entertaining any over-achiever mindset will stop ALL bliss from flowing in. Meditation is the simple experience of watching the mind and resting in your very essence, your inner most core. This is what makes this ordinary experience of life soooo rich and full! This divine ordinariness is what the experience of meditation truly is about.
#7 ~ Always, always, always Be Super Gentle with your Self. Gentleness is the golden key to developing a permanent state of bliss. No matter what occurs in your life, always be extremely gentle with yourself. Especially if this is your first attempt at living a spiritual life. If you ever get lost in the journey…great! This is a process of awakening and your chance to lose your old self again and again until you find that you are nothingness itself again. When you have gentleness you have love. If you can’t be gentle with yourself for more than 30 seconds it’s O.K! You’ve just been stuck in the habit of letting the mind control you. Pull back on the reigns of the mind and tell it to relax, and be patient with yourself. You have an infinite amount of time to get it right.
Always encourage yourself to be extra gentle with you when dealing with feelings of guilt, shame and self blame. Make the commitment to yourself that you will be gentle with you no matter what happens! Hey, you are the most important person in your life, you deserve this gift! When you are 100% gentle with yourself you merge with your past, present and future and at this point the blissfulness simply takes over. If you have trouble relaxing into this gentleness… imagine a warm gentle light entering in through your toes and then moving all the way up your legs, torso, chest, neck, arms, hands, head and finally all throughout your body. Breathe in and out slowly repeating this affirmation, “I am safe, I am loved, all is well in my world.” Let these words sink deeply into your body. Allow any calming energy to grow and spread to the areas of tension. Give yourself permission to absorb feelings of relaxation and dissolve the stress that arises in the body and mind. This process will breed great gentleness in your life and carry you over and through the many challenges yet to come.