A deep meditation is one of the most peaceful and fulfilling of all possible experiences. Once we have learn how to find our way into that desireless inner stillness that is always there inside us, our life can never be the same. Here in the sanctuary of the heart, free of time and the burdens of the mind, everything is clear, everything is already done. Out of this silence comes wisdom, understanding and delight.
In many ways our teacher Sri Chinmoy taught us to take our practice of meditation out in to the everyday aspects of our life – karma yoga – and to sustain the meditative feeling as long as possible. Walking through a park, sitting on a bus, waiting for somebody, travelling to the next moments of our life, learning to string these moments of calm together as a necklace of day-long happiness moments.
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 slow 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 and correct technique. But then it goes beyond these needs. We begin to realise 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, where ever we are.
Sri Chinmoy, like the many great teachers before him, 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, 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 passers-by and strollers, 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”.