Meditation is a word defined by many meanings. For this reason, the subject of meditation is so often mystifying and confusing for the truth seeker. In its purest definition, meditation refers to the way, the method, path or process by which one is led from within, to a universal center of calm awareness and inspired intuition. Therefore, the word meditation is best understood as a verb or action taken toward an ultimate objective, rather than as a noun describing a state of being or a goal in and of itself. This booklet advocates the means to an end approach over the various purposes and meanings of other less complete forms of meditations available to the seeker today.
The chanting of repetitious words, songs and mantras of any culture, as well as focusing the attention on an outer or inner image, mandala or candle flame, are most often used as a means to assist the practitioner with their desire to transcend the general field or train of thought-forms, and to interrupt its perpetual presence in the conscious thinking mind. Yet these activities and practices which developed from and are more suited to past generations, only penetrate to the surface levels of spiritual experience and transformation of act and attitude, leaving the deepest of today's needs undiscovered, non-confronted and unresolved.
Granted we may feel quite relieved to be free of the ever-present nagging compulsions associated with our uncontrolled thinking and feeling. However, a true transcendence of mental activity comes as a result of a discriminating examination of the content of our thoughts, rather than to avoid or discard them for the purpose of a too quick resolution to the various psychological problems and complexes that ironically only the thought-forms themselves can reveal. And so we must not be mislead to believe that detached or transcendental living can be achieved by a mere avoidance of thought with its accompanying pull upon our bodies and minds.
Thoughts, in order to lose their hold on us, must be understood for what they really are; the result of emotional needs and desires on the many levels of our being. There exists a constructive healthy mode of thinking and an unhealthy destructive mode of thinking, and it is meditation's true purpose and responsibility to bring an individual to a clear understanding and definition of that difference of mind and thought patterns.
The function of a healthy mind is to entertain thought as the vehicle for inspired inner direction and motivation. Thus the meditation process encourages the capacity of the discriminating mind to develop a continuous discerning perspective; the purpose of which is to clarify which thought patterns are worthy of support from those that are not desirable.
Moreover, there can be confusion between the more superficial forms of meditation mentioned above and those that reach to deeper levels of understanding, because the more simple forms can appear to bring about similar and immediate results, that the more profound meditation needs time in which to develop. In fact, one very revealing effect of a more penetrating and productive meditation is its difficulty in performance in the beginning stages, in contrast to the ease with which the other forms of meditation are practiced and experienced.
It is much easier to ignore the observation of thought content than it is to confront it directly for the purpose of self-renewal. But the calm and centered state of being and attitude developed from a true desire to reintegrate healthy thinking into the mind comes only with a greater comprehension of the worthiness of dedicated effort and sincere daily practice.
The serious meditator should not expect to achieve results too quickly, because the first stages of meditation present the practitioner with an invitation to view and become familiar with the content of the subconscious mind. Here in our subconscious thinking reside all the motivating forces and impatience that play upon our emotions and lead us into action. The source of our shortcomings and character issues can be revealed to us through an examination of the thoughts we entertain on levels below our conscious awareness. Thoughts are alive and often in a holding pattern, so to speak, until an emotion is stimulated to bring them to the surface or threshold of the aware and self-observing conscious mind.
Scientology and Biofeedback have devised a method of registering these latent emotions and thought-forms through the use of a device inspired by the mechanism used in the polygraph test. The person undergoing the process of auditing or biofeedback goes back through time and personal experience to uncover the memories, known as engrams in Scientology, which touch off strong emotions which then surface and register powerfully on the auditing or biofeedback machine. It is these unrecognized past emotional reactions, buried in the subconscious, that give life and energy to present, and often negative emotionally conditioned responses.
Through the process of becoming increasingly conscious of powerful and unrecognized emotionally charged reactions to events imbedded in the memory, a person is gradually cleared of these previously conditioned patterns of responses. The mind eventually lets go of these dormant motivations stored in the memory when they are recognized as the supporting factor keeping the behavioral problems perpetually alive.
But there is a principle lacking with the practice of Scientology and Biofeedback which can truly free an individual from continued programmed input, and this lies in the development of a non-emotional reaction to provocation in future experience. And so although the process of clearing the subconscious from past trauma does to a degree take place with the practice of auditing or biofeedback, there is no preparation or instruction given for the avoidance of future emotional programming.
Private meditation practice can and does assist the seeker through his or her own personal contact with an inner self-auditing system. As well, one can prepare oneself against further emotional programming through the method of introducing the concept of non-emotional response into the thinking process. This does not mean that a person becomes cold or detached to the point of not living life to the fullest. What it means rather, is that the emotions and thinking are monitored by a higher and more discriminating conscious awareness, which becomes stronger in presence in the mind, as the practice of meditation continues daily. By slowing down the pattern of emotional reactions, we begin to realize that we have a choice in all circumstances. We can react to everything emotionally and therefore give life to negative thinking or we can refrain from making emotional judgments and observe dispassionately the shortcomings of others and situations that previously provoked our own negative responses.
The power to control one's own emotional reactions brings us to the threshold of potential for expanded experience hitherto blocked from our awareness and understanding. Life's doors of perception and creativity open to us, and because of our new and transcendental view of circumstances and opportunities, we can take up the challenge of real creative living. We then give life to our own greater inner reality.
It is the programmed, negative, and traumatic memories that get in the path of real life growth and development. Freed of these emotional thought forms, which haunt us from the living grave of the subconscious, along with a preparedness for overcoming reactions to future stress, we can finally take advantage of the promise and joy life has to offer to the truly dedicated seeker.
Meditation is an action word, a verb, and its real path leads to the noun of spiritual contentment and an ever-expanding state of love, light and calm awareness.
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Copyright © 2002 by Sarah Kalvin
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