I think many of us have had meditative moments at different times in our lives, moments of stillness or peacefulness away from the usual chatter of the mind. These random happy moments are like a little glimpse into another part of our being, and meditation is the art of reconnecting with those experiences, finding that inner space, becoming that other self that is so free of burdens and anxieties. The great teachers down through time all remind us that we are essentially spiritual beings, and learning meditation is almost the art of remembering this, quietening the mind and senses and creating a space and stillness that enables us to experience our forgotten true nature, the inner peace of meditation.
I first met my own teacher, Sri Chinmoy, way back in 1980. I wasn’t looking for a teacher or a path but dissatisfaction with my life led me to a public meditation in New York city, a high school near JFK airport. I was standing in the school corridor at the end of the evening and Sri Chinmoy walked slowly past me on the way to his car – he looked at me and gave me an extraordinary smile, a glance that saw everything of me in an instant but in a greatly loving way. Then he looked at my heart centre and concentrated there and something shifted inside me – I felt a great burden fall away and a sudden feeling of joy. It was a little gratuitous gift, life-changing. I did not know it then but I had found my path – or had it found me? – and once again begun the great journey of awakening that lies at the heart of all human life.
An ongoing and wonderful part of my life for many years has been the opportunity to share my love of meditation with others. There are many methods and techniques in meditation and in our classes we offer an overview of these –sincerity and regular practice helps us to zero in on our own specific way. Eventually meditation becomes effortless and technique-less, just as breathing and walking are – meditation becomes an integral and spontaneous part of life.
Although every human being is very special, I believe that those who have an interest in learning meditation are at a unique point in their life journey, what some call ‘entering the stream of enlightenment’. I do hope to meet you at one of our courses in the year ahead to share this journey, at least for some of the way, with you – we meet as strangers, only to discover that we belong to one human family whose underlying quest for happiness is unifying and the same.
By Jogyata Dallas