Even though the time and effort I have spent at meditation has been modest at best, I have come to realize that the only thing that has ever had a lasting and positive effect on my life has been those few moments of presence during meditation and the love I have shared with others during my life. Now more than ever is a time for love and being present as we navigate through our lives as individuals and as a community. We were delighted to hear about the opening of Ananda Chico Meditation Center. What follows was compiled by Marlene Marron from articles appearing in Clarity magazine, published by Ananda Sangha of Nevada City.
Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide
Meditation: Devotion, Expansion, and Bliss!
Meditation must be filled with the sweetness of longing and love. All efforts in meditation should be directed with love and offered on the altar of devotion. An attitude of humility and surrender must be the guiding force in every self-effort to advance spiritually.
Feel in meditation that your heart center is like a flower with its petals turned upward. Awaken love in the heart and channel all this love upward in deep meditation to the altar of the divine. Once the heart is open and receptive to the feelings of peace, love, and joy that flow from spirit, we can meditate longer and enjoy the sweetness of meditation more fully.
Devotion is a necessary ingredient for success in any field. On the spiritual path, devotion is the deep yearning of the heart for the divine. Try to increase your devotion to the divine and see how the depth of your meditations is increased. Reading books about the lives of devotional saints can help us feel devotion. Devotional chanting also helps us to relax and open the heart. Experiment with different chants until you feel them uplifting your consciousness.
End each meditation by bathing yourself in joy. Once you feel the seed of inner joy, expand it to fill your whole being. Hold that feeling for as long as you can. Make a special effort to stay in joy as you make the transition from meditation to daily activity. Spend the first five minutes of daily activity in a joyful, uplifted state of mind and it will lighten your entire day.
During deep meditation, when the breath becomes calm, you experience an enjoyable state of peace. You will find that the spirit of bliss will surround you and talk to you through the voice of peace. When ever new, ever increasing joy fills your silence, know that you have contacted the divine and spirit is answering through the receiving instrument of your soul.
Our job on the spiritual path is to summon a quality of divine ardor, because that is what ultimately will enable us to win the battle against materialism. It is the ardor for spirit that gives us the depth of purpose and level of intensity needed to experience divine uplifting in meditation. Whatever form our uplifting takes—a feeling of bliss, deep calmness, the melodies of Aum—whenever it comes, we need to hang onto it. That becomes the string we follow to get out of the labyrinth of material attachments. As we follow that string back to the divine source within ourselves, we begin to experience “a constantly flowing fountain of joy.”
The true goal of life is the search for divine bliss. When we meditate deeply, we can direct our feelings upward from the heart to the spiritual eye and focus them there in the expectation of bliss. The deeper you meditate, the more you feel a kindness and sympathy for others. You understand that all of us really are one. We’re not giving up the ego at all—we’re expanding it into omnipresence. Self-realization means to know that the whole universe is a part of our own reality, and that in our basic nature, we are infinite.
At the end of your meditation, bathe in the divine light, and ask the divine to bless those in need with healing energy and light. Send love outward in blessing to humanity, to all creatures, to all things, moving and unmoving, everywhere.
Use this affirmation for self-expansion from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda:
I feel myself in the flowing brooks,
In the flight of birds,
In the raging wind upon the mountains,
In the gentle dance of flowers in a breeze.
Renouncing my little, egoic self,
I expand with my great soul-Self everywhere!
Beloved Spirit in all that is!
Help me in my own nothingness
To find myself one with all that is.
Marlene has been a meditation teacher for almost 20 years and she is now teaching classes at the Ananda Chico Meditation Center. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Check the Ananda Chico website for information about classes and meditation groups: www.anandachico.org.