A deep meditation is one of the most beautiful and fulfilling of all possible experiences. Once we have learnt how to find our way into that desireless inner stillness that is always there inside us, our life can never be the same. Here in the sanctuary of the heart, free of time and the burdens of the mind, everything is clear, everything is already done. Out of this silence comes wisdom, understanding, and delight.
In many ways Guru taught us to take our practice of meditation out into the everyday aspects of our life—karma yoga—to train ourselves to sustain the meditative feeling as long as possible. Walking through a park, sitting on a bus, waiting for somebody, travelling to the next moments of our life, learning to string these moments of calm together as a necklace of day-long moments of happiness.
At first, the experience of meditation itself relies upon a calm environment and some combination of time, place, and correct technique. But then it goes beyond these needs. We begin to realise that while our increasing moments of “success” have been possible through some combination of external factors—a workshop we attended, group practice, a new exercise we tried, or inspiring music—in reality these things have reconnected us with our deeper self, and that “self” is always there inside us, wherever we are.
Guru wanted us to understand our own capacity to uplift and serve the world, reminding us that “every human being is a very special dream of God.” And to also understand that meditation will take us past our identification with our body, thoughts, and personality to a deeper understanding of our ultimately God-like nature. The space in our lives where we put aside the burdens and preoccupations of the day’s dramas, silence our thoughts, and venture past the many attachments and distractions of the mind to a growing stillness—this space allows us to rediscover the very source of all our creative, intuitive, and spiritual capacities. The closer we move towards this “intelligence of silence,” our “inner pilot,” the more perfect our outer lives become.
Meditation comes easily for me today, sitting on the grass in a park in Auckland under a wide blue summer sky, a sky of such startling clarity and endless transparency as to illumine things and gather close the silhouettes of far-off, familiar mountains. There is this lovely sense of stepping outside of the story of one’s life into a state of just “being,” at rest in the here and now, a lovely inner space of pure consciousness. Over in the western corner of the park the tai-chi practitioners are also touching the lives of passers-by and strollers, their calm and gentle movements reminding us of other realities beyond the ordinary.
And I remember Sri Chinmoy’s words, reminding us that we co-create this world and that “Just one smile from my gratitude-heart immensely increases the beauty of the universe.”
From tomorrow on
My morning meditation
Will be as beautiful as the dawn,
My midday meditation,
As powerful as the sun
And my evening meditation,
As peaceful as the sky.
Sri Chinmoy 1
Note: The tai-chi photo from de.wikipedia.org, available under a Creative Commons license