Meditation and the Spiritual Consciousness Beyond It
By Remez Sasson
Constant practice of meditation has a profound influence on the consciousness and the mind. The mind is restless and loves constant movement and change. Meditation removes the restlessness of the mind, making it a better and more useful tool.
Meditation develops concentration, awakens inner peace and brings the mind under your control. Constant practice develops peace of mind, silence, inner quietness, joy and inner power that no outer circumstances can take away or change.
There are people who regard meditation as an unpractical, useless and meaningless pursuit. They consider those who seek inner peace and silence as dreamers, visionaries and unpractical people, who are out of touch with reality. This is an erroneous assumption. There have always been very practical, pragmatic and active persons, who also engaged intensively in inner, spiritual quest, some of whom you may find difficult to associate with meditation and spirituality. This shows that practicality, common sense and spirituality can go hand in hand.
Living a spiritual life, and at the same time engaging in mundane activities is not unusual. Read about the life of Papaji, the Indian sage, and you will find out that he had worked hard for many years, while at the same time living an intense spiritual life. He is not the only one. There is no such rule that one has to abandon everything and live in an ashram or a monastery, in order to meditate and lead a spiritual life.
Success in meditation requires earnestness, persistence and strong motivation,but the rewards are great and valuable. After the mind becomes habitually calm and quiet as a result of a regulat practice, one might discover that there is no need for special meditation sessions anymore, becuase inner peace and silence will be experienced at other times of the day.
When the mind is at peace, there arises a kind of calm, joyous and powerful consciousness, which is different from the ordinary, everyday consciousness. It is vast and endless, full of calmness, rest, happiness, joy, power and invincibility. It is a sort of an altered state of consciousness, which is not a a state of trance or lack of awareness of the earthly plane. It is an awareness that encompasses both the earthly and spiritual planes.
After beginning to taste this consciousness of inner peace and bliss, you will find that sometimes you may experience it in your everyday life, not only while meditating. It may suddenly or gradually possess your awareness for some time, and then it goes away. At this stage you will need to make it constant. This is done by pacifying your mind, and by making the effort to remember and awaken it wherever you are, at any time, and under all circumstances. This is the way to turn it into your ordinary, everyday consciousness.
In order to hasten the awareness of the inner consciousness it is recommended that you become more aware of your thoughts as they arise and pass through your mind. Do not let them sweep you away. Just remain focused, uninvolved with them, and deeply aware of the consciousness that looks at these thoughts. Let the peace that wells up fill you completely.
All techniques of meditation actually lead to this state. It is a state of light, happiness and joy, but also of inner power, concentration, practicality and common sense. It is called by many names, Nirvana, Samadhi, Self Realization, Cosmic consciousness, Higher Self. The name is only an outer label. The content is more important, and it is the same under all these labels.