The Meditation for Transformation Course

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Welcome to module 3


Back to Module 1
Back to Module 2

Lesson 1

❏  Read Desire is Everything of the book 'Meditation for Transformation'

❏  Meditation Exercise#1

❏  Meditation #1


Lesson 2

❏  Read Music and Meditation of the book 'Meditation for Transformation'

❏  Meditation Exercise#2

❏  Meditation #2

❏  Meditation #3

Lesson 1

Desire is Everything

meditation study

Spiritual desire is to meditation what the sun is to human life, we need the sun to keep our life forces going, and we need spiritual desire to sustain our focus and endeavors in each moment of meditation.

17 minutes

Meditation #1

meditation buddha

Your spiritual desire is what sustains our focus and endeavors in each moment of meditation. A meditation to explore your spiritual desire.

22 minutes

Lesson 2

Meditation and music

meditation study

Music and chanting have been part of meditation and spiritual practices for a very long time. Our tribal ancestors spent many an evening together chanting and making music as a spiritual ritual, bringing togetherness, oneness and connection to spirit.

25 minutes

Meditation #2

meditation buddha

A let go - movement meditation.

32 min

Meditation #3

meditation buddha

Ian - a meditation of desire and teaching on music

 min

Teachings Transcripts

Desire is Everything

By endeavor, diligence, discipline and self-mastery,

let the wise person make of them selves an island that no flood can overwhelm.”

~Buddha


We all have a kind of intuition that somehow more is possible in our lives. We have a yearning to explore life more deeply, to know life more fully, more freely, and we deeply long to know love. In the depths of our consciousness we have an urge to evolve. We are driven to find answers to fundamental age-old questions such as, What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What is this life all about? Is there a God? Is there more to life than what I am experiencing? Surely there must be a different way to experience life, where my questions can get answered, where I begin to understand my longing? These questions and this impulse to evolve is alive in you too, otherwise you would not be reading this book.

Often people get connected to this longing and these kind of fundamental questions when their life gets disrupted, or when someone has endured much suffering or a great loss. Sometimes we find this longing awakened through a blissful experience of life. Perhaps we grasp a glimpse of what a beautiful miracle life is, or an intimate moment in nature has us experiencing the intimate interconnectedness of everything. An event or experience might have us be shaken up and this longing within gets fired up. Relationship struggles or a break-up can push us into this longing. As we let ourselves follow this longing, we will allow ourselves to open up more deeply. Our life will open up and many truths and understanding will start to be revealed to us.

Let yourself listen to your longing; explore the hunger of it, explore the curiosity of it, experience the passion behind it. Your life will open up for you in ways you could never have imagined.

In spiritual life, in the search for truth and God, desire is everything. Desire is a force that moves you in your spiritual life, and it moves you in your material life. The situations that you create are largely based upon your desires. Just as your material life is shaped by your desires, so too is your spiritual life. It is only by spiritual desire that one makes spiritual advancement.

Spiritual desire is to meditation what the sun is to human life, we need the sun to keep our life forces going, and we need spiritual desire to sustain our focus and endeavors in each moment of meditation.

Everything stems from your spiritual desire. You can see spiritual desire as your motivation, your intention, your drive to improve and evolve, your desire for love. Whatever you call it, this kind of desire is a feeling within, and is what sustains your focus as you meditate.

This is a very important teaching to contemplate and meditate on.

Ask yourself: ‘What does spiritual desire mean to me regarding my meditation practice?’

Buddha highlighted two profound teachings about human desire that can help us gain deeper knowing:

  1. Desires of the flesh are the root cause of human suffering. (It is actually the ego-desires which manifest as attachments that bind us to some kind of suffering.)
  2. Spiritual desire is essential for spiritual advancement,

So how do we bring these points about spiritual desire into practice?
Let’s consider our reasons to meditate. There are many different reasons why people want to meditate. One could say that there’s a range that begins with using meditation to gain the benefits of letting go of stress and tension, as a way to relax. Meditation could help us to better find our way through life’s many challenges and difficulties, so allowing us to better deal with our humanness. Meditation can provide an important key practice for spiritual seekers wanting for enlightenment and oneness, union with God.
Some of the reasons why people say they want to meditate are often:

  • Wanting to let go of something
  • Seeking truth
  • Peace of Mind
  • Seeking answers, clarity or understanding
  • Needing to feel love & acceptance
  • Wanting to get freer of something negative or destructive
  • Desire for healing
  • Desire for more than life has to shown
  • Desire for self realisation, enlightenment, completion
  • True-self manifestation
  • Longing for God, Spiritual Connection, Divine Love, Spiritual Home

It is important for you to be in touch with what your own true, personal reasons to meditate are. This does not need to match something you might have read or heard about, or what others have said meditation is supposed to bring.

When you start your meditation, you have prepared your space, and you can sit down. Close your eyes - start going within and focus on the deepest part of your heart. Calmly and honestly ask yourself:

  • “Why do I sit down and go within right now?”
  • “What do I want from meditating?”
  •  “What is my deepest heart’s desire?”

Trust what comes for you. Write it down if you like.

It’s a simple yet important question to never lose sight of, because the very reason why you want to meditate is like the root of a tree, that serves as the place from which all your endeavors and advancement stems. It will help you to gain more from your meditations and sustain your practice over the long term.

So for example, if your reasons to meditate have to do with wanting more harmony and balance in your life, then that is the desire which comes more into focus as you sit there. If you feel you need to make some kind of inner change, more inner peace or simply a sense of improvement all around that you would like to achieve in your life, then that is your desire, or if your intention is to find a deeper connection to God or Source, then you start to become more in touch with that desire as you go into meditation.

Spiritual desire is an actual feeling within that is accessible at any moment, while in meditation, or any other time. Some might describe spiritual desire as a magnetic force that pulls one deeper. With focus you will come to know and trust what your desire feels like, the power it carries, and how it helps you within.

Accessing this feeling is up to you. It will increase with practice, however you can get a sense of it straight away.
A deeper part of you knows what to do when you go within, and knows how to trust your desire and the experiences that come as a result of your endeavor, even if your conscious mind cannot comprehend it. Your sincere desire and trust to go deeper, will set forces in motion to help you attain the most from each meditation.

You will often not know with your conscious mind how or why this assistance has helped you and you cannot truly know the effect that your spiritual endeavor will bring. You cannot know ahead of time what your meditation experience will be or feel like, so at this point it is important to remember that,

You cannot do it right, You cannot do it wrong,

You can only let go and trust where your intention, focus and desire takes you.


During meditation, there will be many times when you will feel the need to increase your spiritual desire, in a kind of surge. These are times when you just trust some feeling within of wanting or needing to really focus your attention acutely on awakening more desire. Sometimes this will help you to face some uncomfortable feelings, or help you break free from some obstacle in the moment.

The way to find more desire is to simply seek for more desire, you can want and ask from within to access more desire. If you desire to have more desire, it will come. The very instant you ask, that very moment there is a response from the Universe and you have more desire. That is a law of Spirit; the very instant you ask that very moment comes the response.

The more desire you give to going within, the more spiritual movement will follow, however feeling your desire awaken during meditation may result in something that doesn’t feel comfortable or familiar. We will talk about these type of situations and how to deal with them later in the course.

Once you trust while focusing in on your spiritual desire, you might notice something from within that starts to pull on you.
This inner pull is from God, beyond the mind’s understanding.

This inner pull is what you can trust when you’re meditating, and nobody can tell you exactly in what direction this pull is going to take you, or how the pull is going to feel. This pull is always there, like a magnetic pull. And whether you realise it or not with your mind, this pull is what you can trust when you go within, and it is actually what we seek when going within. A deeper truer part of us wants to yield to this inner pull, we want to surrender to it.

The more in touch you are with your spiritual desire, the easier it is to trust this inner pull when you are in meditation. If you can recognise that you have this kind of desire for more light and truth, trust anyway, and let it increase when you are meditating, you can make great strides towards whatever kind of growth you are seeking, even and especially if it is for full union with God.

When a person really desires something,

the universe conspires to help them to realise their dream.

Two important points regarding desire:

  • Desire is the beginning of how you become more open to God’s direction for you, because in meditation desire itself begins with a degree of humility.
  • Desire is how you create and sustain more openness and connection to God.



Summary

  • In spiritual life, in the search for truth, desire is everything.
  • Start your meditation with a focus on the deepest part of your heart and ask yourself: “What is my reason to go within right now?”
  • The reason you want to meditate is like the root of a tree, in that it serves as the deeper place from which all your endeavor and advancement stems.
  • Spiritual desire is an actual feeling within that is accessible at any moment during meditation or at any other time.
  • The more in touch you are with your spiritual desire, the easier it is to trust the inner pull when you are in meditation, and the more you will gain from your meditation.
  • Desire to have more desire and it will come.



MEDITATION EXERCISE-1

Schedule a fifteen minute meditation for yourself.
You can play some soft instrumental music if you like. Start your meditation by dropping your attention to the deepest part of your heart.
Ask yourself :

  • What is the reason for me to meditate right now?
  • When you identify it, write it down. You may find more than one reason.
  • For the remainder of the meditation, sit with your eyes closed and focus your attention on the feeling of this desire which you wrote down.
  • Trust where this takes you.


Meditation and Music

Music and chanting have been part of meditation and spiritual practices for a very long time. Our tribal ancestors spent many an evening together chanting and making music as a spiritual ritual, bringing togetherness, oneness and connection to spirit.

These days we are so privileged to have easy access to vast music libraries, and this music can help us so much in our meditations. Of course the music needs to be conducive to going within and to closely match what you need in that particular meditation.

Listening to music can be such a powerful thing to do, helping us to calm down and relax, open our heart, mind, and our body. This opening can bring us healing from past hurts and pain and music can inspire us to move through suppressed or denied feelings. When listening to music, one can truly enter a meditative state and when in your actual meditation, music can add so much to your experience.

In meditation, the music can create and stimulate an energy which can carry us. Music can be such a great tool to support the work of going within. However, it can, as with everything, also become an obstacle when not used in the best way, or when used as a crutch, like only ever meditating with music and never in silence. There are appropriate times for music in meditation, and there are times for silence.

We can practice meditation with or without music, each having its appropriate place in or lives. For some people who have only practiced meditation in silence, it can be challenging to try music in meditation, especially when there are also vocals in the music. To gain the full benefits of music in meditation one must try it and try it again, and again. If a person tries it once or twice and decides it’s not for them, then they are not open enough to keeping going and to seeing what amazing things can happen for them.

Thus, it is always important to be open regarding everything in meditation. For someone who is not used to meditation with music, it takes a little bit of perseverance until they experience for themselves the incredible benefits.

Try the following:
When going into meditation, try to not listen to the lyrics of the song or follow the mood or energy of the music. Your meditation is going on much deeper then that. Go deeper then the music. Let the music create that ambience, an energy to hold the space for spiritual endeavour in your focus and desire. You will soon on forget about the music and travel within so deep to places unknown.

Music in meditation is intended to be like “wind beneath your wings”. Music supports our meditation by creating a feeling and an energy which actually speeds up our meditations, allowing us to go further and deeper, and to get more from our time in meditation. The energy of the music can catapult us into deeper states of spiritual desire and longing which in turn creates a movement of opening, deepening, and connection. Music conveys emotion through melodies and words. Musical instruments and human voices have pitch, timbre and tone that are vibrations stimulating emotion and wonder. Music can help us to open our hearts, bodies, and minds and can bring us healing. Through feeling the emotion of music, we can experience the opening of our heart and the freedom of our soul. Music can help bring us closer to our experience of unconditional love and divine love.

What music to play in meditation

There are many different styles and genres of music, so there are many different emotional openings that can happen in meditation through music. Not all music is suitable for meditation. There is a strong need for music that produces depth, no matter what genre. It has been scientifically proven that different music has different effects on the brain and body. It is also scientifically proven that healing can come from certain vibrational frequencies. Music can bring tremendous healing on a physiological level.

It is important to choose the right kind of music that the moment calls for. If one is sad and needs to feel sadness to its core to get through something, then they could play some sad songs in meditation. If there is frustration or anger that needs to move, play some aggressive rock or metal music and get into and through those feelings in a safe yet freeing way. If you want to open your heart more, then play music that touches you deeply. If you want to relax, play deeply relaxing music. If you want to feel devotion, play devotional music. Vocals in music can be very helpful. We humans are so individual; to one person a particular song might bring some kind of trigger that seems to have a negative connotation, and to another person the same song can bring an incredibly positive experience. Again it is important to go through whatever the experience arises for you in meditation.

The most effective music for my meditation work is not music I would necessarily choose to listen to or even like for pleasure, however playing it in meditation can carry me through something so profound and it encourages me to go much deeper.
Another benefit of music in meditation is that it can help so much with the mind. Music can help people with a busy mind. It can help nervous or uptight people to relax and let go. A side benefit is that while the brain is processing the music, it can help as a way to guide the ego-mind aside, so that our meditation can proceed with much less interference from the mind. Let the music help you!

With the support of music we can meditate for extended periods of time, such as a few hours, that can be very helpful towards going deep and advancing far in your meditations. This is how music in meditation can be an incredible support towards vast spiritual advancement. When the music is over, there can be such a beautiful peace and depth that can bring us to deep tranquility and even deeper into our spiritual connection. The music in meditation is intended to help us to let go, open up and go deep.

Chanting & Mantras in meditation
When situated within, it can be very helpful to make a sound with your vocal cords. In mankind’s history, many tribes have practiced chanting to bring them to a deeper spiritual connection. Today, many people know about the “Om” where one can chant “Om” and linger on the hum of the “Mmmmm” sound.

Another excellent mantra is “Supreme Almighty, Almighty Supreme” - a powerful present day mantra. These are two examples, but there are so many other possibilities with mantras and chanting. By focussing on the repetition of the same words or sounds, repeating them over and over and over for some time, you can experience a kind of “Pop”, a phenomenon where the mind lets go, or something within us releases, and the chant seems to take on a life of its own. It happens effortlessly when one is in the flow. So many different things can happen for you from chanting and you will know when your time of chanting comes to an end because it will feel natural to finish. Now in this depth so much else can happen for you!

If your desire is to come closer to God, to connect more deeply with the Divine, chanting is a way to express this desire in a devotional way. The chanting focuses your mind on God and your devotional heart keeps calling out. Some time during the practice the mind lets go, and deeply personal experiences with spirit can occur.
Through chanting, you can also become more connected to yourself, more present and less repressed, especially in the vocal area. Chanting is an essential part of becoming spiritually freed-up. Try it!

The LET GO! Meditation
Your ability to let go directly and immediately affects the quality of your life and your state of consciousness. In so many moments in our lives we just need to let go. Every day in the life of a human being requires letting go just to deal with and process what happens during that particular day. Also, when you want to discover what your ego is and how to get free from its binding nature, there is a great and deep letting go that needs to happen.

How does one let go? When you meditate and you are sitting or lying on the floor, you can have music playing which helps you to move inside. This movement helps your inner letting go. Now the mood and energy in your meditation space can become elevated when the music is elevated. So for example, you could put on a few dance songs and continue your meditation by standing up and moving your body. This movement can become what one could call a dance meditation.

The important thing to know and to practice is that this is a meditation, which means your focus is inward. Your body moves and you are meditating and letting go! Practiced correctly, this can be a powerful and transformative aspect of your meditations.
Some key points for a powerful dance meditation:

  • When you dance stay within. Keep your eyes closed if your in a space that is safe to do so, like not hurting yourself by bumping into things.
  • Connect strongly to your spiritual desire, your longing.
  • Whilst situated in your heart, allow your self to feel and express all your feelings. Feel free to be authentic. Stop thinking and feel.
  • If you get pulled back in the mind, get back to your heart. 
  • Let the movement take you over. Become absorbed in the feeling of freeing yourself of any self absorption and letting go. 
  • Find that prayer in your heart that you might have been afraid to pray.

In some meditations you might connect to an inner warrior. It is a dance of connecting to your strength and courage. Sometimes you let go in extravagant ways, getting your self out of your mind as you let the dance take over your body, there is a feeling of surrender and coming home to yourself. At times you connect to the energy as your body lets go to the music, you might feel a sensual feeling awakening you. Trust! And sometimes you let go so deeply that the dance and the dancer become one.

A most beautiful way to describe this way of meditating is this poem.

“Consciousness expresses itself through creation.
This world we live in is the dance of the creator.
Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on.
On many, an occasion, when I'm dancing,
I've felt touched by something sacred.
In those moments, I've felt my spirit soar and become
one with everything that exists.
I become the stars and the moon.
I become the lover and the beloved.
I become the victor and the vanquished.
I become the master and the slave.
I become the singer and the song.
I become the knower and the known...
I keep on dancing and then, it is the eternal dance of creation.
The creator and creation merge into one wholeness of joy.
I keep on dancing, and dancing, and dancing,
until there is only... the dance.”

A silent or monk meditation
As there is time for music in meditation, there is time for silence in meditation. Are there any rules? No: it is for you to discover by applying yourself, experimenting, and learning and what music and sound does for you in your meditation.
The silent meditation is a practice where you cultivate inner stillness and awareness without the use of external guidance or distractions. It is a time for you to connect with your own inner wisdom and observe the present moment without any external influences.

During silent meditation, you are encouraged to find a comfortable posture, whether sitting or lying down, and gently close your eyes. The focus of this practice is to bring your attention to the present moment, observing your thoughts, emotions, and sensations as they arise, without judgment or attachment, just as explained in the observation quote we studied previously.

“Begin a careful observation of all that you do and all that you think.

Do not judge it by thinking “this is good” or “this is bad”.
Simply observe it.
Pay attention and notice how observing it changes your consciousness.

If you approach your difficulties in this way, then what you really desire will grow and what you do not desire will diminish."

In silent meditation, you could anchor your attention on a specific point of focus, such as your breath, an inner mantra, or the sensations in your body. This point of focus serves as an anchor to bring your attention back whenever your mind starts to wander. I personally rest my focus in my heart, on the very reason why I sit down and meditate.

As you go within, you may notice various thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations arising. The goal is not to suppress or control them but to observe them with a sense of curiosity and non-judgment. Allow them to come and go, like passing clouds in the sky, while gently redirecting your attention back to your chosen point of focus.

Silent meditation provides an opportunity to cultivate a deeper connection with yourself, to develop self-awareness, and to tap into your inner stillness and intuition. It can help you develop a sense of self bringing calm, clarity, and presence in your daily life.
Remember, silent meditation is a personal practice, and each individual's experience will vary. Approach your meditation with an open mind and without any expectations. It is okay if your mind wanders or if you find it challenging to stay focused. With regular practice and patience, you will gradually deepen your ability to be present and find peace within the silence.

As with all meditations, there is no right or wrong way to practice. The journey of self-discovery and inner stillness is unique for each individual and will vary each time you go within.



SUMMARY

  • Music can be a powerful tool to support the work of going within.
  • Music can, as with everything, be an obstacle when not used in the best way, or when used as a crutch - meaning only meditating with music. There are appropriate times for music in meditation, and there are times for silence.
  • Music supports our meditation by creating a feeling and an energy which actually speeds up our meditations, allowing us to go further and deeper ,and to get more from our time in meditation.
  • It is important to choose the right kind of music that the moment calls for.
  • Chanting is an essential part of becoming spiritually freed-up.
  • Let Go for a better life!


MEDITATION EXERCISE 2

Start to experiment with music in your meditations. When listening to the music, observe yourself. Ask yourself:
• What does music do for me in meditation?
• What music is most effective, and helps me most in finding my way within or going deeper?
• When does music feel like an obstacle for me?
• When I listen to music as I am meditating: Is my desire/prayer leading me or is the music guiding me?
• Does certain music or a song have a certain effect on me whilst in meditation? (e.g when I play this song I always cry)
• Are certain songs/music genres more effective than others?
• When should I play music in meditation and when not?

Schedule and do two silent meditations this week.