Welcome to Week 3 of your meditation course VIDEO
❏ Welcome video
❏ Read Desire is Everything of the book 'Meditation for Transformation'
❏ Meditation Exercise#6
❏ Read Music and Meditation of the book 'Meditation for Transformation'
❏ Meditation Exercise#7
❏ Meditation #7
❏ Meditation #8
❏ Meditation #9
What: 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.
Time: 15 minutes
Time: 15 minutes
If focusing your mind is difficult for you this meditation will help you to start learning to harness this focusing capacity of your mind.
An awareness scan meditation with Rose. This is a great meditation to
help you gain more awareness about your self, and become present.
A meditation with Ian using our breath to focus. A great meditation to start your day with a reminder that your breath can be your best friend to help you focus.
By endeavor, diligence, discipline and self-mastery,
let the wise person make of them selves an island that no flood can overwhelm.”
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:
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:
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:
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:
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 :
Meditation can be whatever we want it to be. And when it becomes part of our life style - a way of being, it can be a most powerful tool for Self-empowerment, Spiritual freedom and God conscious living.
One could say that there are as many approaches to the ancient practice of meditation as there are people on earth. So what is the right thing for me to believe about meditation?
The following quote and questioning can clarifying this:
It is better not to think from the perspective of what is the right thing to believe about meditation, or God, or the universe.
Rather one can ask: What is it that I can understand about the simple practice of going within?
One thing is certain; the practice of going within is more than any one person’s concept of what it is, or “should” be. The more skills we cultivate to help us go within, the more likely we are to benefit from practicing meditation, and the less likely we are to become limited by a concept of what our practice “should” be.
What is your approach to meditation?
I want to share a story with you that a master teacher shared with me long ago. It is a story about shells on a beach, that highlights a simple yet important teaching to contemplate and gain clarity about how to approach meditation regarding what you are looking for when going within.
Shells on a beach
Along a stretch of beach there are thousand’s of sea shells, of all different varieties. Let’s say that each shell represents something you could find if you looked within, for instance, feelings, thoughts, desires, fears, impressions, concepts, ideas, beliefs, and so on…
Now, if walking along a stretch of beach was a metaphor to describe going within, then will you be looking for only one shell? Or, will you be open to finding any shell that comes into view as you look down as you’re walking?
This serves to raise the question of whether you are open to finding only one kind of experience when you close your eyes to go within to meditate, or are you open to any possibility?
Are you going to look for one truth from meditation, one particular feeling, one desired experience of let’s say nirvana, of stillness, of enlightenment, of bliss or relaxation? Or will you be open to finding whatever is there to find?
This single choice and point of self awareness largely determines your success in meditation. It serves as an important direction on how to meditate as to go deeper.
The following story can also be helpful in establishing our approach to meditation and what we want from our practice:
A master and his disciple
There was a disciple who, after hearing a talk from his master about “Oneness”, had an enlightening experience during his meditation. The disciple went to the master and said: “Master, I think I now know the answer! It was revealed to me in meditation - I had an amazing experience in my meditation about oneness! I think I know now how to meditate. It is as you say Master! I am not my thoughts and troubles. I am not my ego. I am not separate from God! We are truly all One. The only thing to do when I go within is to just witness how that we are all one. My endeavours to search for the truth are over and I now know the truth about everything!”
The master was silent for a while and then replied; “Because you hear me speak of oneness and other spiritual teachings, you think that all you have to do is accept with your mind what I have said. Then when you go within and have an exceptional experience, you think you have become enlightened and know how to meditate?
My dear disciple, do you not see that you do not yet understand the full nature of truth? You do not yet understand meditation’s true purpose. You are blinded by your dreamy concept of what spiritual matters are and you are trapped by what you think to be ultimate truth. You think you have arrived.
Every day you scurry around these grounds like a chatter-monkey. You come into the meditation hall completely unaware of the chaos and disturbance you create. Then you sit down to go within and look only for this ultimate truth of love and harmony.
You look to find your mind’s picture of what I teach, yet you do not see the many truths you can and need to see along the way.
Have you ever taken a look inward to see why you behave in this chaotic manner? Are you aware of what you do? - of how frantic your mornings are, and what effect it has on the rest of your day? And have you considered the effect it has on other people?”
The master continued,“You now think that you have found the ultimate truth and that you know how to meditate, when you still have such a long way to go. Don’t you think you need to pay closer attention and go a bit deeper?
Meditation is not a place to escape your life or your self. Make your practice a part of your existence in this world, not an escape - then many more truths will be revealed to you, not just the truths that you want to see. Perhaps now you can ask when you go within for direction about better ways to live your life and do your service and to see how you chatter monkey ego causes you and others suffering. This my dear disciple is all part of learning how to meditate.
You do not see the answers yet because you have not looked deeply enough. You are very close, you could see so much today if you wish. You are not unique in this way. Everyone is closer than they know to finding many truths and answers that will help them right now. It is simply a matter of taking their focus deeply enough in meditation”
The master closed his eyes and paused again to consider what he had to say next:
Like many others, you are blinded to the many truths, because you seek only the one truth. The so-called ‘ultimate truth’ is but a butterfly that the seeker chases. As he chases the butterfly, he does not see the ground, and thus he trips and falls, time and time again. When will he learn?
Enlightenment, Oneness . . . yes, by all means yearn for these things and be open to receive in kind. But also seek to correct the illusory ways in which you behave and think. Want to see and know many truths; then you will be able to see how to change your illusory ways. You will start to see ways you can let go and change, and thus you will get freer and become closer to God. You will be closer to full awareness, and your consciousness will lead you to experience deeper truths. These are all important components to learn.
Then the master gave a decidedly human and warm look to his disciple and said: “Become more aware, become more present. Know that there are important truths waiting to be found, important understandings about your existence that will help you see a better way to wash the floor and bake the bread. This will be of great help to you and the others.”
“Dear one, contemplate what I have said. Hear what I have said. Change now. As you go within toward Oneness, do not seek only one thing. Be open to finding all manner of assistance when you do your practice, and you will be given thus.”
MEDITATION EXERCISE 7
Journal & contemplate the following.