Within most of us is a deep and compelling need or desire to do better, feel better and be better. There are so many roads to travel in our quest to find ourselves, change ourselves or improve ourselves. Some may ponder life's great questions from within their own minds, whilst others may go externally in search of knowledge or experience. Many take a practical approach and look at education or developing talents and techniques. There are many books and courses on things related to personal growth and we often find ourselves writing down our goals and charting our accomplishments. Often the focus is on such things as motivation, self esteem, relationship issues, breaking or creating habits or getting fit and healthy. Personal growth is often about our becoming more successful or improving career and financial issues.
However, at some point during the personal growth adventure, everyone comes to the realization that the thinking behind the behavior must be explored. For many people this is their first experience with getting out of a conscious thinking mode and probing a little deeper into the subtleties of the Subconscious.
The exploration may go deep, and for many it can be an ongoing work of art. By exploring our behavioral patterns, Subconscious beliefs and/or trying to unravel childhood conditioning, we begin to practice quiet reflection and stillness. We become more aware of changes on a deeper level. Perhaps this is viewed as a subtle shift in energy or a greater awareness of intuition.
We begin to move away from intellectual information in search of innate wisdom, higher knowledge or at the very least a deeper understanding of our authentic selves. This, for many people, will be their initial introduction to meditation.
Some people believe that meditation is the physical mind communicating with the spiritual. Some will explain it as communicating with God. Others may believe they are entering a realm of enlightenment, or it may be a language between conscious and Subconscious minds.
Using visual images and or dialogue during a meditative state creates communication with either the Subconscious mind or a higher aspect of intelligence. Who and/or what is decided by your own belief system. Personally, I don't really care about who, how or why, and I think whatever feels comfortable for each individual is fine. Quite often you will find that you change your perceptions and opinions along the way. People like to make simple things complicated and often people like to argue for the sake of thinking they are right.
After a short time of practicing meditation and experiencing the deep sense of peace and well-being which results, it is almost impossible to not want to go further and deeper into it. Meditation can quickly become a habit and most people will go on to using it in many different ways. Initially, it may just be a relaxation tool but with regular practice the powerful changes, which occur deep within the spirit, become irresistible forces, gently enticing us to seek deeper or more expansive experiences.
At some point everyone experiences a deep sense of their own personal energy. We become intrigued with the nature of that energy and understand we have the ability to balance ourselves at a core level. This is when we know that we are capable of healing ourselves from within.
All meditations require your body to be relaxed and comfortable and your mind to be still and internally focused. You do not need to shave your head, wear robes, chant om, burn incense and candles, nor sit in a lotus position. If you are doing a healing meditation on yourself, you will probably find that lying on your bed is the most comfortable place. Mornings are often the best time as you are less likely to be tired after a night's sleep. As meditation requires you to become deeply relaxed, you may find that you will fall asleep too easily if you are tired.
How you use meditation is determined by your intention. The basic principle is always the same: relaxed body and internally focused mind. There are many different uses for meditation and many different experiences. Although you may have healing as your intention, you will find that each meditation is a new experience.
If you have never meditated before you may feel a little apprehensive or perhaps unsure that you are doing it right. Rather than go into great explanations and instructions, which may or may not apply to your experiences, I will try to describe to you what one of my meditations is like from an inside viewpoint.
I stretch and relax my body, then settle comfortably, lying on the bed on my back. I breathe deeply and slowly and tune my awareness into watching the inhalations and exhalations moving through my body. I remind myself to detach my awareness from all external influences and encourage myself to float and drift, peacefully downwards, into a deeper state of relaxation. It is just a casual observation of my breath and the serenity which flows through me.
I then direct my focus to the base of my spine (base chakra). After a short time I become aware of a slight pulsation, which indicates this area is now open, and freely flowing with energy. The base chakra is associated with security and a lack of free flowing energy here would indicate to me that I was holding tension there, meaning I was feeling unsafe or unsupported.
I imagine a thick, strong, golden cord running from the base of my spine, down deep into the center of the earth and grounding me. This gives me a sense of belonging in my space on the earth and also being securely held and supported. I then run another cord from the base of my spine down through my legs and then out through the soles of my feel. This is an additional grounding cord and also anchors me. I watch detached, as energy rises along the cords and I can now physically feel energy waves, gently and pleasantly swirling around my pelvic area.
I affirm to myself that I am safe, supported, secure and protected. I am physically and materially provided for, and all my needs are met, easily and effortlessly.
My attention now lifts to my third eye; this is the screen of my mind. I look slightly upwards towards the inside of my forehead, above and behind my eyebrows. I ask the question, "What do I most need to see, know, feel or do right now?" It's tempting to keep asking but I know that stillness is required and listening is essential. It takes a moment for fluttering and blurred fragments to focus into clear images and my senses seem to probe, shift and adjust, trying to hook into a strong sensation.
Faces of past lovers and friends come into focus and then drift by. They return pieces of me that they have been holding and I notice fragments lift from me and return to them. I'm not sure what this exchange is but as I wonder about this, my intuition answers, we are letting go and moving on. This is done with gratitude and love and we all keep what was given and meant to be taken but we let go of the attachments which may have been holding us back.
As I contemplated my life, it became crystal clear to me that I saw myself as someone who needed to be totally self-reliant. I was unwilling or unable to ask for or accept help from others. Perhaps I truly believed that there was no help available. I saw my rebelliousness against authority, my suspicion of people's personal agendas, felt my deep disappointment in people who had taken from me in an underhanded way, I saw myself as small, scared and vulnerable, in a world of threatening intentions.
I also saw a package of myself as a strong, independent, capable and clever person. I have a huge determination to fight fiercely for freedom, justice, independence and truth.
I asked how this played into the pain in my knee. The answer came that the pain in the knee is the physical manifestation of arthritis. The arthritis is the physical outcome of a deep belief in being unsupported and alone. It's about security on the deepest level of self; a belief that life itself is an unsafe place, a deep belief that self-preservation and protection is my primary objective in life.
From this came an insight into other areas of distress in my life and I saw the same connection to many years of suffering deep fatigue and a lifetime struggle with maintaining energy and money. So, here it was. Arthritis, fatigue and financial lack, were all physical manifestations of my belief that I am under threat. It is about fear, abandonment, insecurity or the constant need to keep myself protected or supported.
This all came as some surprise to me and my impulse was to deny it. My conscious and rational belief about myself did not want to accept the idea of myself as insecure. I watch as my sluggish energy rises into my forehead and I see my third eye open and alert. It watches vigilantly, looking behind and ahead, darting back and forth and to the sides, anticipating danger.
I enter my mind and I see a counter, like a mental abacus. I tally debts here, always counting, always juggling finances, borrowing here and paying back there. Silently and incessantly, I resort to wishing and willing and pleading, like a gambler at the racetrack whose last chance is on number three. I ponder asking for help, just a little rescue, but of course, I never would. Could it be that I am unsupported, is my survival under threat, and am I in a constant state of subliminal stress?
Stress produces adrenaline which seeps down into my body. I am exhausted and my joints are eroding, stress becomes fatigue and arthritis, like links in a chain and that chain makes its way back into my heart. My heart is holding onto the erroneous belief that I am alone, a warrior without support. I resist, I don't want to believe this, I don't want to deal with this and I don't even know if this is fixable.
I relax and become peaceful as I watch the colors and patterns and energy waves moving gently and refreshingly through me again.
There is a dark spot though in the center of my throat and I ask what this is. The voice inside my mind answers, "This is the crying room." I immediately know what this means. I haven't cried in a long, long time. My throat is my cut off point. I developed this skill as a young child; in fact, I still remember the day I made a solemn vow to myself. The vow was that if anyone hurt me, I would not allow them the satisfaction of seeing their effect on me. If I was hurt, verbally abused, humiliated or disappointed in anyway, I would clench my teeth, set my jaw, swallow hard and close my throat, so that a sob could not escape. I could set my face into a poker face and hold my body straight; I could look you in the eye without any expression at all. Inside I would cry, inside I felt like I was dying, but my throat would be clamped shut. Sometimes this was extremely hard to do and very painful, I felt I was strangling myself but I would rather choke than give anyone the satisfaction of seeing me cry.
As light poured into the darkness of the crying room, I felt my throat and neck muscles relax. I can't remember a time when my throat was completely relaxed and this felt liberating. I saw words and music rise out from my neck and float away. I sensed my thyroid rebalance and wondered again about my relationship with fatigue. Could the tension in my throat have been affecting my thyroid function and further interfering with my vitality? I wanted to explore this question further but my attention was drawn to the words rising from my throat.
"Speak your truth," I saw written. "I do," I heard my self reply. God only knows the trouble I have encountered by speaking my truth. I have been accused of being indiscreet, insensitive, confrontational, argumentative, self-opinionated and na ve.
"No," responded the voice, "Speaking your truth is about respecting and honouring yourself. It's about releasing an insight that may seem trivial or insignificant to you but it might just be a powerful message to the listener. It's about integrity, honesty, wisdom, prophesy and clarity. It's about you being the messenger and the message may be medicine. If it's on your heart to say it, then you must say it. To thyne own self be true. We are all teachers, healers, prophets and messengers. Words of truth to yourself and others, brings true freedom."
I find myself back in a space of serenity and silence and feel like I have just returned from the great halls of wisdom. I feel changed, transformed, mildly confused and vaguely aware that it will take time to fully understand and work with this experience. I wonder where all this will lead, how will I release old beliefs and actualize these insights.
I feel light, peaceful, excited, free, alive and vibrant. I know that something huge and heavy has been lifted. I have been transformed, but into what and how? Am I so different now that my life will be different too? Can I maintain this state and if so how? Will I wake up and be permanently healed, secure, wiser or better?
The questions seem to go unanswered, other than a vague thought that time will tell. I find myself tuning back into energy waves and my body once again becomes awash with light. There is a deep, deep sense of well being flowing though me and around me. I drift lazily and contentedly back into full consciousness. Softly, and seemingly from a long way away, I hear a voice call out the word, "Yes."