Week 45 – The Power of Meditation

“True consciousness resides in the gap between thoughts” – Deepak Chopra.

In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, nothing provides a sweeter comfort sometimes than simple silence.  However, the silencing of our minds is much easier said than done for many of us.  We are perpetually multi-tasking – feeding the dog while contemplating dinner for the family while answering text messages, with the television on in the background because there’s a new episode of “something” on, while still thinking about the presentation you have to give at work tomorrow…all at the same time.  Then we leverage technology, which is supposed to make our lives “easier” but it provides even more distraction away from our true selves as we hide behind likes and re-tweets in social media to determine our happiness and worth.  Recently I went to a restaurant for dinner where there was a 20 minute wait.  I looked around at the other people waiting and counted 13.  All 13 people ranging from 8 years old to 80 years old were ALL face down with a cell phone.  All of them.  These are the types of distractions that keep us living at life’s ‘surface.’

Meditation provides a break in “the noise” of everyday life.  It’s “the noise” that often times generates false realities, fabricated boundaries and self-inflicted limits in our lives.  In the silence is where we find authenticity and truth.  In the silence is where we find meaning and purpose for our lives.  In the silence is where we find clarity.  Deepak Chopra has described consciousness as a rushing river.  I will attempt to paraphrase his message:

At the river’s surface there is a ton of commotion.  The rapids are tumultuous and the river churns and twists and turns.  It is very noisy as it rages along.  About midway of the river’s surface the current is still strong.  But it is less noisy.  It moves with distinct purpose and the flow is steady yet more calm than the surface.  At the bottom of the river there is absolute stillness.  The sediment at the bottom does not move unless disturbed.  Things are very still.  Very calm.  It is very quiet.

Our consciousness operates the same.  Our everyday lives are the river’s surface.  Work, kids, bills, traffic, soccer games, grocery stores, arguments, meetings, presentations, reality television, cell phones, etc.  Noisy distractions of what we call ‘everyday life.’  Many of us live strictly on the surface 100% of the time.  These are our everyday perceptions.  Perceptions we tend to mistake for authentic reality.  Our minds reside at the middle depth of the river…analyzing, contemplating, making decisions on what we ‘see’ at the surface.  Our souls, our authentic being, the REAL you lives at the bottom of the river and watches in silence as an observer.  THIS is the place we go during meditation.  This is where you find authenticity because this is the space where one truly fellowships with one’s self.  “You don’t have a soul.  You ARE a soul.  You have a body” C.S. Lewis.

In Week 17 – Live From the Inside-Out vs. the Outside-In, we talked about where your desires are born and how to manifest them.  It all starts with communing with who you truly are.  In the midst of the perceived chaos that surrounds us, there is comfort, safety and confidence at the core of your being.  Why?  Because your soul is the keeper of all that is true to you.  Spending time, at the “bottom of the river” in meditation puts everything that happens at the surface of the river, “everyday life,” into perspective and provides clarity and understanding.  It is the place where all questions and answers are clear because they are your own.  And they are the questions and answers that are right for YOU.  It is the place where you become a co-creator with God to express your desires and create an atmosphere where those desires can be safely planted and cultivated to grow, unimpeded by falsehoods from the surface that stifle due to doubt, fear and anxiety created by your perceptions.  At the bottom of the river lies the fertile ground where infinite possibilities for your life’s purpose and desires are simply waiting for your focus and attention.  Your soul has no limits.  No boundaries.  No labels.  Just potential and possibility.  Spending time with yourself, your soul, will provide direction, clarity and the spontaneous fulfillment of your desires.  It is from this place that God communicates.  So how do we quiet our minds long enough to get to the bottom of the river?

There are many ways people meditate or work to get to that space of meditation.  This week, we will speak of one technique that may be helpful to you.

  1. The first thing is to find a place that is comfortable and quiet.  Set up a place where you will not be disturbed and set a timer on your distracting cell phone for however long you want to meditate.  To begin, 10-15 minutes is long enough.
  2. Breathe.  Take note of your breathing.  Relax and just breathe in and out slowly.
  3. Imagine yourself sitting on the banks of a very still lake.  The meadow around you is fresh with the air of Spring.  There are large oak trees surrounding you and there’s a gentle breeze blowing across your face.  The lake is very calm and very still.  You continue to take in the beauty that surrounds you and you feel a sense of peace, calm and contentment.
  4. As thoughts try to come into your mind, turn them into snowflakes that descend upon the lake and dissipate on the surface without causing one single ripple in the water.  Any and every thought is turned into a snowflake that falls upon the lake.
  5. As the snowflakes continue to dissipate, soon there are no more snowflakes that fall and you are left with the silence of your soul.  You may feel the anxious need to do something, think something, act on something, because this is not the space you’re used to because you’ve been accustomed and conditioned to distraction.  It is here where you want to hold your resolve and continue to commune in the space of silence.  Simply relax.  Simply be.

Practicing this technique of relaxation to meditation will open doors of peace, calm, clarity, confidence and direction.  It is truly operating from the inside out as opposed to the outside in.  Meaning instead of you being directed by your current circumstances or situations, you become director of your circumstances and situations.  You become the author of your life, creating chapters for others to read as opposed to being the reader of the chapters and reacting to them as if you had nothing to do with their creation.  Your eyes see.  Your mind interprets and provides meaning.  Your soul is the filter that clarifies, screens and provides authentic truths to the meanings you have perceived.  However, we often times get stuck on the first two without going deeper in our understanding.  That is equivalent to living on the surface of our rivers being tossed around and churned upside down and all around by the rapids and currents of everyday life.

Understanding that FIRST you are a soul with a body as opposed to being first a body with a soul will provide clarity to your authentic being.  Who you TRULY are.  Meditating is an effective way to spend time with the real you to provide real meaning as opposed to deriving meaning from those things outside of your soul or outside of the real you.  Put the cell phones down.  Turn the television off.  Single-task instead of multi-task, the world will not stop when you do this, and spend some time this week in silence with yourself.  Your soul has been dying to join in the conversation of your life.  Stop ignoring it, depending on what your eyes see and what your mind interprets.  Let your soul provide clarity, meaning, purpose and direction.  After all, it knows what it’s talking about because it’s the real you.

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