Becoming Truly Alive Through Meditation
Last night, I decided to do an experiment. I wanted to see if I could channel directly from my unconscious. I asked myself:
What’s the most important benefit of meditation?
Here’s what came out (with minor editing for readability and flow):
The most important benefit of meditation is that it lets you LIVE. It puts you in the place where you are.
Before I started meditating, I lived in a world of clouds. I didn’t know it at the time, but my mind was clouding my eyes. And my ears, for that matter. And my sense of touch. I didn’t notice any of my external senses, not for real, anyway.
So, here I am. Sitting in a room. There is air around me. I am breathing it. There is space around me. I am looking through it.
In a life without meditation, I wouldn’t be sitting in this room. I might actually physically be doing the same thing – to an outside observer it might appear exactly the same – but it wouldn’t be, to me. I wouldn’t be able to see the space in the room, I wouldn’t be able to see the air. I wouldn’t be able to hear the ticking clock in the way that I hear it now. There is a richness to life that is only visible, no, only experience-able when you enter the richness of The Now. Vibrance is another word that describes it well.
This vibrance, I would say, is the greatest benefit of meditation.
The word “vibrant” in Latin means, literally, “alive.” People usually associate this feeling of “aliveness” with themselves. They say something like “It makes me feel alive.” Well, through meditation, this vibrance is not only associated with “me.” It’s associated with life itself, with the ticking clock, with the air, with the plants, with the dwindling twilight of the setting sun. Time is passing, fluidly. Time itself is alive, it’s a living entity that is pushing everything forward.
I’m writing this article not from my head but from my heart. Sitting here, I asked myself “What is the most important benefit of meditation?” And this is what’s flowing through my fingers. It’s not that it “cures depression,” it’s not that it makes you smarter (which it does, actually, true on both counts), but it places you in a sharper reality than what you were in before. Everything is clearer, everything is more, well, alive, for the last time! And for the first time. Everything is new. Everything is beautiful. Shiny. Alive.
Meditation also puts me in contact with my body. I feel alive. I know that I’m alive. Without meditation, there is unpleasantness. The mind is running around, and my entire reality just becomes my mind. It’s just a grey world of thoughts… almost confusing. In fact, it’s mildly painful! There can be headaches associated with the thinking, but even without them it’s still painful.
Then, all the clouds clear up! Beautiful light pours in through the eyes and washes away the clouds of thought. Beautiful air flows in the nostrils and sweeps the clouds away, out through the nostrils and into the air around me. And all of a sudden I’m sitting in peace, in stillness, in a wonderful place where I am safe and secure and happy. Even if I were in a place of great danger, I would still be at peace, and simply do what the situation asked of me.
I’ve written this article as an inspired flow with minimal structuring and editing; I hope it’s coherent. I hope that you gained something from this… let me know if you did, and I’ll write on inspiration more often.
- Kevin’s Koncious Komments
Well, that’s actually a pretty good explanation, as vague as it may seem.
Think about it this way. You have a certain amount of attention. Normally, this attention is focused on concepts. Even if you look at a car, you have a concept: “car,” or “Toyota,” or “Ferrari.” These concepts are thoughts. What you end up doing is walking through life with your eyes constantly looking at concepts, instead of the actual physical world around you. You are living in a thought world, instead of the REAL, PHYSICAL world.
The real physical world is actually a pretty amazing place. It’s real, for one thing. And it’s so bright and shiny and colorful! It’s pretty awe inspiring to look at one point in space that’s filled with air, and another point in space that’s filled with the metal that defines the edge of “a car,” and see that there’s fundamentally no separation there! They flow together! And when the car moves… wow, that’s just trippiness times a million.
You look around and start to realize that the entire Universe is just a giant soup of energy, swirling around. Matter is just energy, vibrating at different frequencies and clumping together to form what we perceive as “separate objects.” It’s pretty awesome when you realize the reality of whom and what you are… you are simply a part of the infinite energy of the Universe. Now try to feel your body being absorbed in it!
This isn’t just new age mumbo-jumbo; this is physics. Albert Einstein showed us that E=MC2. Matter is energy. Your body is made up of atoms, which are made up of tinier and tinier particles. Even the thoughts in your mind are, in reality, merely electricity flowing through the neural pathways in your brain… the same kind of electricity that flows through the circuits on the microchips that make your computers run. At the core of it, everything is simply energy. It’s all around us. It is us. There’s no fundamental separation between our selves, the air that we breathe, and the rays of light that enter our eyes. It’s all in our minds.
So, shake your head. Shake off the thoughts. Let the mind float out on your next exhale. Look around you. Look at the space around you. Don’t label anything. Just look at everything as if it was inseparable from the space itself. You can even get up and move through the space.
Go, do it now, get up and move around in the space around you. This is what it’s like for an experienced meditator, who has calmed the electrical storm in his brain, and now is able to see the soup of energy around him, all the time. It’s kind of like “seeing the Matrix.”
Get up and experience what’s around you. The only way you can mess this up is if you focus too much of your attention on the thoughts buzzing around in your head. You can, and should, notice the buzz! The constant whirring hum of your mind is just as real as the sound of the birds chirping in the trees. The trick is simply to treat it as you would treat everything else.
Don’t get obsessed with the constant chatter of your mind, compulsively following every train of thought because it’s so “important.” That type of obsessive, undirected thinking is exactly how you create the clouds that blind you, that drift in front of your eyes and obscure your view of the beautiful, colorful, vibrant physical world around you. How would your world feel, how would it change, if you paid as much attention to the sweet, melodious chimes of the bird… the dark, lush green of the grass… the crisp, clean taste of the morning air… as you do to the constantly whirling vortex of thought clouds in your mind?
Get up, walk around, and focus on your environment. Notice how alive you feel when you’re actually truly noticing reality for once, instead of just your own thoughts.
Good luck, and Godspeed.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Meditation Magazine.