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Inner Silence, Peace of Mind, Enlightenment

Inner Silence, Peace of Mind, Enlightenment

This is the first of a series of articles on meditation and the many means to meditate to find inner peace, balance and enlightenment. What works for one, may not work for another, therefore will will take “Our Space” to explore different forms of meditation.  If you have one of your own, please share in a comment.  With this excerpt from Remez Sasson, author of Peace of Mind in Daily Life, we first highlight the benefits!

“Meditation’s Benefits & Goals:

Meditation relaxes the body, calms the mind, and minimizes tension. After a period of practice, the racing and rushing of thoughts in the mind slow down, not only during meditation, but also in daily life. Happiness increases along the way. Tolerance, love, understanding, inner power and fearlessness increase too. The concentration ability gets sharpened, and the mind become stronger and under control. The ability to enjoy the present moment increases, criticizing and blaming disappears, and strength, happiness and satisfaction increase.

All meditation techniques are means to the same final target, to empty the mind from thoughts, discover the real “I” and live in Pure Awareness. Along the way there are many benefits that have already been mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Nowadays there are many books about meditation. There are lectures and workshops too, so it is quite easy to find information about meditation, and someone to guide you along the first steps.

To meditate, we need at least some concentration ability. It does not mean that without proper training in concentration we will not be able to meditate. Even if concentration is foreign to us, we can start practicing meditation. The practice itself will strengthen the powers of concentration. But a prior ability of concentration is a great asset that speeds up our progress.

According to the teaching of the Indian philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, there is no separate self, all is One. It is only illusion, Maya, that clouds our vision. If we accept this premise, then we can say that the Absolute Self, the One, or whatever name you give to the Absolute principle, “creates” bodies and looks at its “creations” through the body’s eyes. This causes the illusion of many selves. The Absolute is One, homogenous whole, but through illusion, delusion, ignorance and wrong thinking there is a belief in separation, of multitudes of units.

Everyone is very much engrossed in this illusion. There is ” I”, “You”, “She”, “They”, etc. We believe in separate selves, and identify with a body, a family, a nation, or a race.

The purpose of meditation is to “unlearn” all the wrong concepts and come to realize who we really are. This realization may be mental at first, until we really KNOW. We are not the physical body, the ego, our thoughts or our feelings, but something else. By delving inside ourselves, into the feeling or sensation, which can be termed as “I am”, we come to know ourselves. It is nothing external or new that we find. This feeling of “I am” is always with us. We simply let the mind flow outside, to sense objects, and so “lose” this feeling. It is something that has always been, always is, and will always be.

This Real “something” is like a bulb of light that is always lit, but is covered by many sheets. We have to strip away the sheets. These sheets are our thoughts, feelings, ideas, and mental habits. By stripping them away, we see the internal Light.

Look inside yourself and try to examine and be conscious of the feeling or sensation you have of yourself. I mean just the feeling that you are alive and existing. Concentrate on what you sense to be your essence. This feeling of “I-ness”, is actually always with you, no matter what you are doing or where you are. It is an invariable and continuous factor, but it is clouded by the five senses and by thoughts. It is not something theoretical, metaphorical, or mystical. It is a fact. It is the common experience of everybody. Yet, it is ignored, because the five senses and the mind flow outside, not inside. Do not expect to hear trumpets and walk on a red carpet when you become conscious of this feeling, because it has always been within you, only at the back of your mind.

There is one trap that has to be avoided. Never be attached to any particular kind of meditation. After practicing one technique successfully for a period of time, it is time to move on to some more advanced one. If you stay attached to a technique or method that you have overgrown, you might halt your progress. A competent teacher knows when you need to advance to a more advanced technique, and will show you the way, otherwise you may just stay in the same place. If you do not have a teacher, look at your experiences, listen to your intuition, stay open minded, and you will know when to move on.

It is advisable to practice one technique at a time, and not to jump from one to another. There is no sense in practicing many techniques at the same time.”

Stay tuned for finding or adding techniques that may resonate with you.

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