A deep meditation is one of the most memorable and fulfilling of all our life experiences. Once we have learnt how to find our way into that desireless inner stillness that is always there inside us, our life is never really the same. Free of time, thought and the burdens of the mind, everything seems clear, everything seems gratifying to us. Out of this silence comes wisdom, understanding and delight.
I like the practicality of Sri Chinmoy’s teachings and writings, his loving acceptance of the world. He teaches us to take our practice of meditation into the everyday aspects of our life – karma yoga – and to understand that our entire life is our spiritual life, every tiny part of it. Walking through a park, sitting on a bus, waiting for somebody, travelling from one experience to the next – every moment is an opportunity to be our very best and happiest and highest. And then to string these moments together as a necklace of day-long happiness moments, a continuum of spirit.
A wave rider makes the effort to reach and finally catch the wave that will carry him ashore. The student of meditation also strives in his practice, and eventually his own gradual awakening grows into a wave of spirit that sweeps him beyond thought and technique. He finds and rides the forgotten ocean of joy that has always been there inside him. This is why we need to commit to regular practice, the accumulation of all the tiny breakthrough moments; and to have patience and discipline, to find and catch the rising wave.
At first, the experience of meditation itself relies upon environment and some combination of time, place, correct technique. But then it goes beyond these needs. We begin to realize that while our increasing moments of “success” have been possible through some combination of factors – a workshop we attended, group practice, a new exercise we tried, or inspiring music – in reality they merely reconnected us with our deeper self, and that “self” is always there inside us, wherever we are.
Sri Chinmoy 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 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, 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, spiritual capacities. The closer we move towards this “intelligence of silence,” our “inner pilot,” the more perfect our outer lives become.
Meditation comes easily 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 strolling passers-by, their calm and gentle movements reminding 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.”