PENETRATING the DIVINE – MEDITATION
BY: MARY LOU HOULLIS
MAY 16, 2010
Within the heart of each human being lie the questions of the ages. Who am I? What is life all about?
Every ancient culture has asked these questions and used numerous practices to gain experiential answers. One of these practices has been meditation. Meditation means many different things to varied cultures.
Only a few years ago our English dictionaries defined it; “to think, to ponder, to reflect on or muse over.” Today with a revived interest comes new understanding about mediation. You will find it defined as “a specific way of thinking that leads to mental, emotion, and physical balance.”
Meditation is an ancient method leading to a direct realization of whom we are and why we are here.
Jesus plainly said the Kingdom is within and that we must seek this inner realm first in our lives! Kingdom in Aramaic is malkuta, a feminine-gender noun and a more correct translation would be queendom. Beyond gender the word’s root (MLK) point to a fully formed extension of power which is a centralized and a determined dwelling within man. It is the place of radical change and empowerment which can only come from the inside out. Scripture reveals “Ye are the temple of the living God,” again pointing, we are the sacred site of Spirit.
In the Bible it says “Hear this, O people, who have eyes, but do not see, who have ears, but do not hear” revealing there is a realm beyond the physical we perceive as reality.
Until we fully awaken we must live in the limitation of the physical concepts of reality and in turn they become our experience. Through meditation we are able to shake off the dust of delusion and see infinite reality through unity with the Divine mind within us. It enables us to move from analytical thinking to an intuitive perception of the truth. It expands the consciousness to merge with our higher self. As the lower self recedes we come in contact with Divine reality and our thoughts align with Sacred Unity. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways we have been taught.
“Be still and know I am God.” The ancients of almost all Eastern cultures knew and practiced this principle through meditation. We forget Jesus was very familiar with this because he was from the East. Until the recent leap in consciousness it has been lost in the Western modes of religion. The stillness or inner silence is the empty space within which houses Divinity. It is the place of pure peace, joy, creativity, and love. It is impossible to articulate this inner silence for words are inadequate to describe it. It can only be experienced as it is beyond the process of our thinking.
In this inner space we will find our home, who we are and our reason for incarnating. It is here we experience the peace beyond understanding Jesus promised. In meditation every cell in our body can be brought to a state of profound stillness because scientifically the metabolism slows down along with the mind. It is a place of bliss and clarity where we catch a glimpse of our true self and discover we are the silent awareness and observer behind all thoughts of the mind. We realize we have incarnated to grow into full awareness of our true nature of love, peace, creativity, and oneness which can only be found in the inner stillness.
In our hectic world today we no longer really think for our self. We are inundated with negativity and fearful voices on every side. Most times we look to our physical nature for relief when true peace can only be found in the inner nature. We search for the answers of life in the outer world when all answers are within just waiting to be discovered. It is only in this space we will find truth and infinite reality. Meditation is a process of entering our Most Holy Place where there is no outer work but only Divine presence. No longer do we struggle with issues of outer conduct because we become aware right actions appear from inner perspective. Love, joy, and compassion gradually become the foundation of all we do. Our lives begin to harmonize with the will of the Divine.
Daily meditation enables us to experience more of our inner nature and our desires gradually attune with what is unfolding within us. Life takes on new meaning and we know without a doubt our purpose by Divine design is to manifest truth in every aspect of our life.
Scripture tells us we are to bring every thought captive to the mind of Christ. What a beautiful description of meditation. Through meditation we capture the thoughts and bring them into subjection to the Divine mind within. The thoughts no longer control but begin to enter a rest as our higher Divine self takes over. Our mind is a thought generating machine and meditation is a practice which can quiet those thoughts so we can enter the silent place of the Divine Source.
Jesus Christ taught meditation which can be seen by an understanding of the Aramaic words in Matthew 6. He told us when we pray (align our mind with God) enter into our closet (an inner space of supply) and shut the door. The word “door” in Aramaic has the same root as the word “opening” so it means (an opening between various “worlds” of one’s existence.) Here it implies to shut the “door” on the outer physical realm so we can be “opened” to the inner spiritual authority. Then pray to thy “Father” (Father/Mother who births Unity, Parent of the universe, the One from whom breath enters being in all radiant forms) which is in secret (referring to inner sight in Aramaic) and we will be rewarded “openly” (revealed by being manifested in form). It is in this inner place we open ourselves to the divine. We close the door on our awareness of the public person we think ourselves to be and align with the parent of creation, with our inner sense, the outer sense turned within. Here we open ourselves for the flow of the sacred to move through us. Then the breathing life of all reveals itself in the way we live our life.
With all that said an old profound Chinese proverb comes to mind…Talk is cheap, show me! This may be right where you are as you read about meditation. The fact is only your own personal experience can bring you into the space we have talked about. Only you can determine if meditation is all I have found it to be. So now I will give you some of the methods I have used to enter deep meditation.
Meditation is a process which brings the mind to rest. Our minds are like thought machines which process all day and most of the night. Endless thoughts flood and flow through our minds at a constant rapid rate. We are not the mind but the awareness which experiences these thoughts. Meditation is the process of bringing the mind into a rest so we can experience the awareness minus the persistent chatter of the mind. This incessant chatter has been labeled the monkey mind because it swings from one thought to another constantly.
Meditation also is a practice which creates a condition where the mind is producing fewer and fewer thoughts until there are no thoughts but only an inner silence. There are many ways people have found to enter this silence. I will discuss a few and you may choose the one which resonates with you.
One way is by using a mantra. A mantra is a few words used for the sound or vibration they create. It is not for the meaning or significance but the power of the sound. It is a very simple key used to quiet the mind. Let’s choose “I Am” as our mantra for this example. First we must find a quiet and comfortable place to sit; close our eyes take a few deep breaths and relax. Turn off the phones so we won’t be listening for them. As we sit quietly notice how the stream of thoughts go through our mind. Just notice them. Let them go by without judgment and relax. After a few minutes in this relaxed state begin to introduce the mantra, I AM.
Do not say the mantra out loud but repeat it inside the mind deliberately. If we find other thoughts begin to take over just gently go back to the mantra, I AM. No matter how many times this happens just continually go back to I AM, not judging nor condemning our self. The mind is a thought machines don’t forget and must be trained to enter a rest. Don’t struggle to get the thoughts out, just keep returning to the mantra and at some point you will notice a change in your inner experience. The mantra may become blurry or barely recognizable. We are riding the mantra inward to deeper levels of the inner silence of our mind. This cannot be forced to happen. It will happen automatically as our system goes through cycles stimulated by meditation.
I stated by meditating 10 minutes at a time. I now meditate 20 minutes in the morning and have begun an evening meditation. I have read it is best to meditate twice per day, morning and evening before meals. You will find what works for you as there is no fast and set rules. The most important principle is to not stress about meditation. The whole point is to enter a space of peace!
Another method which I use and find works well is to follow the breath. I breathe deeply in and out putting my attention on my breathing. As thoughts come I gently observe them drift by and return my attention back to my breathing. As the breath begins to consume my attention it becomes more and more shallow and quiet until I find my self in an empty space of bliss and oneness. This did not happen for me right away but has taken a process of months, so take heart. The best indication of progress in meditation is how we feel afterward. Does it bring a feeling of relaxation and inner calm as we go about our daily activities? Even if we feel meditation was uneventful we may find a new inner sense of peace emerging in our lives in subtle ways.
Think of the sun and how on a sunny day the clouds can obstruct our view because they hid the sun. At times we may get a glimpse of the sun shinning brightly through the clouds. The sun is always there but our vision becomes obscured. This is an example of meditation and how it helps clear our inner clouds by dissolving them so we can be immersed in our inner light.
Meditation is a journey home where we experience our true self. Our Holistic breath or mantras are tools which can help on our journey. The key is daily practice over time and it’s not only for the experience within meditation itself but the permanent positive changes in the quality of our life. The results of entering our inner silence are we become less anxious, stressed, and angry. It enables us to be more centered and begin to see the world from a deeper perspective within ourselves. The stress and problems of life lose their grip and our mental and physical health profits also. It also increases creativity. Many well know geniuses in history have received their inspiration when in states of mental relaxation. Their revelations have seemed to come from “no where” but in truth have come simply by opening the latent genius which lies within us all!
This is just a brief description of meditation and its benefits. “Be still and know I am God” has been the path to enlightenment for centuries. In the Western world we are just beginning to see the immense benefits of abiding in inner silence. In the inner silence we experience who we are in every moment and awaken to the infinite light. With this inner awakening we are able to bring transformation into the world by living our life in a state of deeper perception of eternal reality!
PENETRATING the DIVINE…MEDITATION [Mary Lou Houllis] 05-16-10 1