You are sitting by a quietly flowing stream in the countryside. It is spring and life is green and moist? Sitting on a rock, the sights and sounds of the flowing water begin to work their mysterious way into your nervous system.
Gradually, with the simple repetition of the water’s song and the harmonious beauty of the natural surroundings, the thousands of electronic impulses of your brain begin to discharge into the tension-absorbing air.
All of the concerns, problems and projects, which had filled your mind to bursting capacity begin to disappear.
There is nothing to try to figure out now, nothing to decide.
The flowers silently console you with their perfect peace and harmony.
The fresh air tingles in your lungs and your head becomes clear.
You feel somehow sedated, as if the forces of nature have conspired to put you to sleep - to put you at ease.
The wind massages your body with caresses of coolness as the sun unties your muscles with penetrating warmth.
There is nothing to do, nowhere to go and nothing to think of. Just lie back and absorb the peaceful vibrations which flow into every part of your being, whispering, «be at peace, relax my friend, all is well now.
A delicious sleep falls upon you; not really sleep but a half-conscious-half-sleep state, in which the trees, sounds and breeze begin to come inside and mix with all of the thoughts and feelings. It is as if the door of your mind has been opened and all of those conversations, actions and perceptions lying unresolved, floating at various depths in the sea of the mind begin to float upwards and outwards.
Reality now is a mixture of the inner and outer.
The peace and security of being in the womb of nature allows us to surrender to the sun, water and wind, while the earth-draws out our stresses and frustrations.
We swim semiconsciously at the level where the conscious blends into the unconscious.
We dance in our sea of consciousness, sometimes floating up to the surface catching the sensation of the breeze, or the warmth of the sun. Then we dive downward into a stream of upward floating thoughts, images, sounds - all the dislodged refuse from nervous stresses and unresolved problems.
We watch them as they float by and then dive deeper sensing by now there is something at the bottom of the sea, which is attractive to us.
Occasionally we get caught by an upward floating sensation of worry, resentment, an image or an attachment, and before we know it, we are at the surface again thinking, wondering, worrying, being rocked by the waves of attachment.
But the dance goes on, we begin to sink again, for by now we see that we cannot really dive because diving is too intense - there is too much effort - we get hooked too easily on upward floating garbage.
We instinctively learn the dance of the water, sinking, watching, letting go, being carried on the vertical currents of fresh water from the depths of our consciousness, like a seagull with wings spread gliding the air currents flowing against it without a movement, without an effort, letting the air do all the work.
By this time, we are no longer concerned about where we are going. The water becomes clearer, free of debris. We have gone beyond the levels of stress release, past wreckage of old memories, relationships, failures and traumas. We have danced through the caverns of resentment and worry.
The water becomes very clean, very still, very peaceful.
We are coming to the source of our life current, the spring of pure consciousness. Here we may encounter pure light or energy. Only subtle vibrations exist here. Our bodies become recharged with life. Our consciousness is renewed as we have cleared the way for a burst of fresh energy to flow up purifying the sea of consciousness, regenerating the mind, giving new life to every cell of our brain.
If we do not become enamored by the sensation of light, by the bliss of this energy which charges through our system, then we may sink a little deeper into the vast nothingness from which the spring of life flows.
Here there is not even energy; no body, no mind, no light, no sound - absolute nothingness - total vacuum - only tremendous potential unmanifest Divine Consciousness, from which all life and material creation flows.
COMING BACK TO THE SURFACE
The sound of chirping birds greets you as you slowly float to the surface. The branches dancing in the wind wave «hello». The sounds of insects buzzing and water splashing salute you with a «welcome back friend, you are part of us now».
It takes a while to remember where you are. You were only gone 20 minutes, but it seems you have been in this spot all your life. The mind is clear, refreshed and in the present.
There is nothing to do but take off your clothes and go swimming.
Have you ever been to this quiet stream in the countryside?
Most everyone has - either to a stream, river, mountain, sea, or forest. And how well and rejuvenated we feel when we return. Somehow everything is more alive, more harmonious.
It may not take long, however, to discharge all that energy and clarity. Once again we become upset, nervous and bored.
Can we go to the stream every day? It certainly would be nice, and life would be much less complicated. Of course for most of us it is completely impractical in terms of time, money and availability of such places - especially to those of us who live in the city.
Well, Mother Nature has a secret for us. We don’t have to go anywhere at all. The stream of life, that place of peace and source of strength, knowledge and harmony - lies right inside every one of us.
What is meditation? It is nothing more than visiting this stream on a daily basis. Simply it is the sinking dance into our sea of consciousness, releasing the submerged stresses and coming to the point of inner stillness where there is no object of consciousness - but consciousness itself.
Done regularly, this inward dance leaves us fresh, more alert, relaxed, creative, healthy, and more in tune with ourselves and our environment.
The truth of these statements has been proved both subjectively and objectively through experimentation. Studies have been made on meditators and non-meditators over the years with respect to blood pressure, pulse and reaction time as well as with states of fulfillment and creativity expressed subjectively by the participants.
Hundreds of thousands of people today in all walks of life are finding that no matter what their goals, motivations, responsibilities or problems may be, they are able to act more clearly, more efficiently and more successfully with the aid of regular meditation.
Ultimately, the only way to know if meditation will be useful for you is to give it a try. To spend some time each day in the «dance of the soul.
Adapted from the book "The Art of Meditation" by Robert Elias Najemy.