Book 1 - Introduction - Excerpt 1-1
What is Meditation(Abbreviated version - some text omitted)
Meditation is not only a technique used to achieve an altered state of consciousness, but it is also a philosophy. While meditation is not a religion, there are mystical and spiritual elements to it. When one is drawn to look deeper into the Divine aspects of their Being, and organized religion fails to satisfy these needs, one may explore meditation as a means to search for the truth that is hidden and denied by religion. In their heartfelt search for truth and understanding, they may be moved to have a spiritual experience that religion could not provide, or even acknowledges is possible.
When the word meditation is mentioned, it’s generally associated with Eastern Religions such as Buddhism, as it was the Eastern religions that brought meditation to main stream Western awareness back in the 1960’s, with such teachings as the Transcendental Meditation. However, meditation is not unique to Eastern religions as it is used by all religions in some form or another to focus ones thoughts on their particular rituals and ceremonies. In the purest Eastern sense, meditation is the practice of sitting in silence and stilling or quieting the Mind to become at one with all that is. Besides the traditional form of meditation, practices such as chanting, mantras, prayer, singing, drumming and dancing are also forms of meditation, as they either put the person performing, or the ones listening or watching, into an altered state of consciousness. Meditation has been wildly accepted and adopted by the Western world through a variety of health and wellness practices such as Yoga, Pilates, T’ai Chi, Qigong, to name a few, who offer a form of meditation along with a physical activity. Meditation has also entered the Medical community as it is now being sanctioned, in Canada, by such organizations as the Heart and Stroke foundation and the Canadian Mental Health Association, who approve and use (denial based) Meditation to help reduce stress in their patients. There are also a host of private meditation facilities and classes available, offering a myriad of meditation techniques and spiritual philosophies.
Although meditation and hypnotism have some similarities, when closely examined they’re not the same. While you are in an altered state in both, in hypnotism, it’s another person that controls you, while in a meditation, you are in control. Everyone has meditated in some form or another, as even dreams are a form of meditation although we don’t recognize them as such. Daydreaming is also a form of meditation as it allows you to take yourself out of a less desirable situation, to experience one that you desire. You can daydream when you’re doing anything, it doesn’t have to be intentional, and in fact, you can’t make yourself daydream as daydreaming is something that you simply slip into without conscious awareness, especially if you are bored with what you are doing. You could be sitting, watching TV and silently drift off into a daydream, only to be brought back to your present reality and realize that you missed part of, or the entire program.
I’m sure everyone that drives a car has experienced scary gaps in memory that usually happens when you’re driving alone or your passengers are quiet or asleep. You’re driving along and don’t realize that you’ve drifted off into an altered state of consciousness until you suddenly snap back to your present consciousness and it’s then that you realize that a lot of miles and time has passed since you were last aware of driving the car. How you were able to maintain your course and speed on a busy highway without having an accident is a mystery. Sometimes you’ll remember your altered state experiences, but most times they’re lost the moment you return because of the shock of realizing that you had drifted off. As you can see, meditation is something that we experience unconsciously in our daily life, now it’s a matter of choice to see how it can be used as a tool to increase our conscious awareness, and to heal and empower ourselves.
Meditation, like everything else, has its duality and is a double-edged sword. It can either be used to empower and enlighten you, or it can be used to disempower you, the choice is yours. There are as many reasons to meditate as there are people meditating. The common and well-beaten denial path is to use meditation to relieve the stress in your life by denying your feelings, emotions, and even your Body, in order to bring about a temporary feeling of peace and contentment in your Mind. On this path, meditation is used in much the same way people use alcohol, drugs, smoking, exercise, work, sex or whatever they can to deny, avoid, distract and distance themselves from the unwanted feelings, emotions and issues in their lives.
Since the denial path is opposed to truth and unconditional love, and doesn’t work, the obvious choice is to do the opposite, no denial. This path is only now being explored and is the path I’m on. From personal experience, this path not only heals our issues, it also empowers and enlightens us. In the course of my journey, I’ve found that non-denial based meditation/visualization can be used as a tool to not only enable you to find the cause of your issues that you have been trying to deny and avoid, but to also heal the denied and fragmented parts of you. In healing and recovering your lost essence, you also resolve the conflict and the issues in your life, as what was an issue is no longer an issue.
When you begin to meditate and especially when you begin to experience the other journeys, you’ll notice the inner battle going on that I previously mentioned. You can either choose to deny and shut down these voices to give you temporary relief, or you can choose to not only end this inner conflict, but to also resolve the outer conflicts that are a reflection of this inner conflict. Self-empowerment is about healing your issues of powerlessness and taking your power back that was either taken from you as a child when you had no choice, or that you gave others in exchange for what you wanted and felt you needed to make you happy. Once you heal and recover your lost essence that was created by the splits in consciousness, you no longer have the fears and issues you had and you are happy and at peace. When you have no denials, doubts or fears, you’re singular and unified in thought, feeling and deed. When there’s love, acceptance and compassion for self, there is no conflict.