(please see previous article, ABC’s of meditation, ch3, part 3.)
ABC’s of Meditation
THE AMAZING POWER OF FAITH
There is another very important aspect of meditation – faith. The more you do the meditation exercises regularly, the faster you will see results. But you must have faith in yourself and in the power of your higher self to come forward. The more you believe in your own higher qualities, the faster you will see them manifest in your life. Always give the best you can, be consistent, be regular (do at least one concentration and one meditation exercise twice daily), be open-minded and NEVER GIVE UP. I know I have said this before, but it bears repeating at this stage. You may feel determined at the beginning to meditate every day, but then you miss one day for some reason. DON’T STOP even if you miss. Try to do it every day, but if you can’t, do it when you can. Be determined to get to the point where you do it every day.
I started meditating 46 years ago, and I have never missed a day. That’s not to say that it’s always a good meditation, but I know instinctively I must never miss. This is true, especially for the morning meditation. It’s best to meditate very early in the morning, but again if you wake up late, meditate then. Try to make it the first thing you do every day.
I’m sure you wouldn’t go through one day without eating, in order to strengthen your physical body. Feel that meditation is ‘food’ for the inner body – for the soul. It must be fed for INNER strength. Just as your body and mind become weak and tired when you don’t eat, so your soul recedes and hasn’t the strength to affect your life positively if you don’t FEED IT. If you go for days without eating, you’ll get so weak you won’t be able to function normally. It is the same with the soul – your inner self. Try to respect your soul in the same way that you respect your body, by feeding it daily. The more you feed it with meditation, the stronger an influence it will have on your life.
What is a strong influence of the soul, you ask? First you will experience a peace you have never felt before, an inner calm that helps you deal with any situation in a rational, compassionate way. You will have more energy, determination, happiness, oneness with others – that is, a strong empathy with others. You will tend to see the good in others just as you will see the good in yourself more and more. You will begin to see more clearly your purpose in life, why you have been put on this earth and what gifts you have to offer.
Meditation gives you the capacity to discriminate, to see things more clearly for what they really are. Meditation increases your intuition. Those little hunches or flashes you’ll get are messages from your soul leading and guiding you to do the right thing. If you have a very strong ‘feeling’ about someone or something, and it won’t go away even if you try, you are definitely getting an inner message and should heed it. How many times have we said, “I should have listened to my first feeling?’
As your inner self comes more forward day by day as you meditate, you may notice your mind trying to get in the way. This a natural phenomenon. Up until the time you started meditating your mind was all you had to go on. The quality of the mind is limited compared to that of the heart or soul. Again, you’ve probably had the experience where your heart said one thing and your mind said another. If you followed the mind’s indications, you were probably sorry afterwards and said to yourself, “I wish I’d listened to my heart.”
With the meditation you learn to trust the heart, and you try to use the mind as an INSTRUMENT of the soul or higher self. The nature of the mind is to analyze and contradict. We’ve all had the experience where our mind tells us to do one thing one minute and the very opposite the next. It’s simply not reliable.
The mind is helpful if you are using it in higher mathematics or science or somewhere where the intellect is necessary. It is not useful if it is getting in the way of your inner peace. Remember that in meditation we are trying to silence the mind. Give it a rest! It needs it just as your body does. Let the mind play its role and the heart play its role, which is inspiration and aspiration for a more peaceful, happier, productive life.
For this reason, as I have indicated before, it is important to meditate on the heart. This is not the heart muscle, but the spiritual heart, which is right in the centre of your chest. Remember the exercise where you point to yourself and say ‘me’? You will instinctively point to that place in the body where your spiritual heart is situated. Of course, you would not find it if you had an operation to locate it. It exists on a subtler plane in the subtle body. The next few exercises will be specifically on the heart so that you can develop the habit of meditating there. If you make it a practice to always meditate with your inner self concentrating on that point within your chest, your meditation will be much easier and more productive.
(please see Next article, ABC’s of meditation, ch4, part 2: Heart and Poetry)