A simplistic way to define meditation is: Listening to God. With great mental effort, we try very hard to quiet the mind ... in order to ... listen.
So here we are -- meditating. We wait patiently (or maybe impatiently) for a spiritual experience to occur. Suddenly, the chatter returns. We soon realize that meditation requires enormous mental energy to enter into that quiet, receptive mode wherein we may achieve insight, balance, and peace-ful-ness.
Indeed there are fleeting moments when thought is transcended. Then ... suddenly the chatter returns to monopolize our meditation time. So we exert more and more concentrated effort (with our mind) toward the transcendence of the mind in order that we might just be able ... to listen.
Yes, for thousands of years, we have been taught to meditate by using the power of thought ... to transcend thought. However, this is a most difficult thing to do! It is somewhat like asking a dog not to wag its tail. Impossible!
In using our well-developed mental faculties to meditate and perceive what God is saying to us in the silence, just what do we get for all our efforts?
1. Well, for one thing, it becomes absolutely clear that we are not
our mind. Yet, we have always believed in the potential of our
mind -- that it contains within its scope greater possibilities than
we have ever been able to see manifest. What about all of that
90% that we're not yet using?
2. We have also learned that mind would seem to have a 'mind' of
its own (maybe that's why we call it the Ego-mind). After all,
the mind is separate from the body; that is, it's not connected to
the old brain-box, is it? Actually, science has demonstrated that
mind isn't an entity separate from the body, but operates in con-
junction with the brain and central nervous system, as well as
the various hormone-secreting glands of the body.
3. Finally, the ego-mind appears to operate on automatic pilot under
certain conditions; that is, without our constant supervision. Yet,
when we desire to meditate and consciously try to take control of
our thoughts, rebellion sets in. Such attempts at meditation reveal
more of the true nature of the human-mind than the true essence
I would like for us to entertain a richer understanding of meditation. Let me propose another approach to the subject. Rather than assigning a task to the ego-mind that is contrary to its functional nature, let us consider the possibility of leaving the mind alone ... and learning to meditate with our heart.
Could it be that the greater Intelligence with which we are identifying is not of the mind, but of the Heart? Having attributed our feelings and emotions to the heart, maybe we have inadvertently closed the door to understanding its fuller, more comprehensive, nature?
The heart chakra may just be the avenue through which we connect to the Divine-Intelligence during meditation and the center in which we synchronize with the silent voice of God.
I assure you that 'going to your heart' is the authoritative way to transcend your mind. It means shifting your focus (from inside your head) to your spiritual heart, located in the very center of the upper torso.
Awareness is what it's all about -- thinking is not required.
Silence is achieved effortlessly -- trying is not required.
In summary, transcending the mind with the mind is a traditional meditation technique requiring great effort, for we are asking the ego-mind to relinquish its need to control. No longer must meditation be a frustrating attempt to train the mind to alter its very nature. Going to your heart is the natural approach to effective meditation and requires that we now re-define it.
Meditation is Spirit
expressing through the heart its very essence.
It is the effortless expansion of the soul
into the richness of its vastitude.
Authored by Reverend Virgil Brewer at Unity Chapel
November 1, 2004