Meditation practice

Meditation is the tongue of the soul and
the language of our spirit.
—Jeremy Taylor

Meditation brings wisdom;
lack of mediation leaves ignorance.
Know well what leads you forward
and what hold you back,
and choose the path that leads to wisdom.

Contemplation is to knowledge what digestion is
to food—the way to get life out of it.
—Tryon Edwards

Spiritual life “hangs” on meditation practice. Meditation practice is the engine that spurs a practitioner along the spiritual path. It is the heat that bakes the dough of spiritual growth into the bread of self-realization. Meditation practice permeates everything we do at Modern Seers. Hence, it is the second Universal Vortex.

Meditation is now mainstream. People and media talk about it. People take classes to learn it. Everyone knows it is good for you. Rediscovering what has been known for centuries, scientific research now confirms the “worldly usefulness” of meditation: it has a calming effect, balances blood pressure, has excellent stress reduction properties, and helps relax and control pain, to name a few. Meditation, however, has a deeper purpose that must not be trivialized.

Meditation is a form of spiritual practice. Let us take a look at the meaning of practice, spiritual, and (combined) spiritual practice.

Practice is a process through which we change a habitual state from undesirable to desirable. A habit of being uninformed can be changed to being well-informed by reading appropriate books. Being nervous about public speaking can be changed into composure and control through repeatedly giving public speeches.

In its purest form, we can observe practice in a baby learning to walk. The point of the practice is that the baby wants to move from a state of being a crawler to being an upright walker. He does not care about failure, falling, or immediate success. He is sure he will walk one day and he will. For that purpose the baby attempts to walk persistently until she does.

Spirituality is about being connected to your inner self. It expresses itself in being passionately alive, peaceful within, connected to your unique spirit and life’s mission. Spiritual practice is about connecting to that freedom, leaving the misery of being caught by and stuck in the mind.

Therefore, it is the mind that is the obstacle to be overcome through spiritual practice. The mind thinks, observes, and remembers. Accordingly, it remembers the past and thinks about the future in terms of the past. It limits you, even though it is useful precisely because it thinks, remembers, and plans. You may meet a very important person around the corner as you walk today to your office, but your mind will tell you not to pay attention because you have never met someone like this on your way to work before. The mind separates you from the alive and passionate You and pinches off the deep You with a collection of memories and habits that make up the shallow you.

The whole world is obsessed with such mental games. This drama is natural because humans are invested in their minds and attached to their thoughts. But the mind, while intelligent, is rarely wise. It can do very stupid things cleverly, like inventing nuclear power (clever) and then using nuclear arms (stupid).

Universal craziness is the fixation on being smart at the expense of being wise, the biggest human folly there is, and meditation is an effective medication against it. Meditation makes you ignore seemingly intelligent stupidity and see deeper wisdom.

Opening you up to the deeper You, meditation connects you to the amazing aliveness inside you. Meditation teaches you to greet every day as a new beginning and every moment as pregnant with new possibilities. Meditation opens you up to new opportunities that your mind cannot conceive of, but your wisdom is open enough to allow. This is called basic sanity, and meditation is a way to reach for it—in spite of living among people lost in their mental preoccupations, residing with them in their insane asylum called human society, hurt by their weird and senseless habits and tunnel vision, which they consider normal.

There are three kinds of meditation—respectively described at each Phase. All three address basic craziness and seek basic sanity. At Phase I, practice of insight meditation seeks to notice and to let go of the insanity. At Phase II, creative visualization meditation seeks to transform the madness into something more functional. At Phase III, direct meditation seeks experience of and stability in basic sanity. In order to understand any of these three “styles”, we need experience—which happens through practice.

The insight meditation teaches being. It is about noticing where you are and how you are. It is about being here and now—in the present and not in the past or the future. It is about recognizing that past and future are mental projections that are conjured by the mind for its endless conceptualization processes.

Insight meditation leads to letting go—letting go of your resistance. Resistance to life is the root cause of all troubles, physical or mental. Humans are socialized to believe that making an effort is a way to success. Insight meditation teaches you to let go and let the flow of life take you toward success. That is why this seeming non-activity often generates so much inspiration for action and change.

The creative visualization meditation seeks to transform you directly into what you want to be. It engages the principle as you think so you become. This style of meditation is about pretending to be who you want to be—until you are no longer pretending. Practitioners typically imagine themselves to have appealing qualities such as peace, intuition, wisdom. After some practice the practitioner begins to develop these qualities.

For example, it is natural to want to be near our role models because we seek to be like them. We naturally think of him or her and consequently derive pleasure and receive emotional sustenance from his or her company. We can spend time in the presence of the role model—or we can engage in visualization of being near him or her with similar results.

Likewise, if we meditate on peace, we will become peaceful in due time. If we visualize being a great writer, we will write better. Similarly, if we meditate on our inadequacies, we will attract them. Thus, the visualization meditation transforms by activating the law of attraction.

The topic of nondual or direct meditation is difficult (some say impossible) to talk about it without having a significant experience with the Phase I and Phase II meditation techniques. Thus, you will likely naturally discover direct meditation by the time you begin practicing Phase III Vortexes.

Meditation practice brings results regardless of how you are doing meditation, only regularity and patience are necessary. Daydreaming or fantasizing about possible results or worrying about whether you are or not meditating properly will only hinder the practice. The best way to begin meditation practice is simply to start, throwing all preconceived ideas out the window, including self-judging and worrying about the results.

Action: A meditation technique should be practiced twice a day, preferably before meals (but before one is hungry). Phase I students should practice insight meditation, Phase II students will practice creative visualization, and Phase III students will try nondual or direct meditation.