Meditation is a scientific method to harness and access the most powerful areas of the human psyche. When fully developed, the human psyche becomes a radiant source of peace, wisdom, and conscious action. Meditation facilitates and empowers these qualities.
According to the ancient and sacred Gnostic teaching (Gnosis means knowledge in Greek) there are three types of knowledge: ordinary knowledge (about the ordinary and administrative aspects of our daily life), intellectual knowledge (the sum of all the ideas, theories and beliefs that we acquire throughout our life) and inner knowledge (that pertains to the metaphysical realm of our life). While the ordinary and intellectual knowledge have their specific role in leading life in the three-dimensional plane, the inner knowledge is the only form of knowledge that transcends the physical plane and connects man with the Divine, with the spirit, by means of personal and direct experience. It is a type of knowledge that is experiential, and therefore fundamentally transformative.
Samael Aun Weor, the founder the modern Gnosticism, teaches that meditation is the means to awaken the Consciousness in order to perceive the objective Truth, without the interference of the mind. The obstacle to truth, he says, is our mind. By comprehending the true nature of our mind, we revolutionize it, converting it into a useful tool that can be of great service to each one of us, and at larger scale to humanity as a whole.
The mind alone will never be able to give complete answers to the eternal questions of the philosophy, to resolve the mystery of the creation, to unveil the face of the Divine in its full complexity and wonder. Yet, if mind is in a state of profound silence, in its utmost peace, it may become a mirror of the inner realities, of the spiritual dimensions, of the Divine itself. So our minds, when silent, can reveal to each one of us the answers that we long for: about our life, and us and about everything else, including the Universe and its Maker.
The first prerequisite for the mind to become such a loyal mirror of the inner realities is to remain receptive, open, empty of the any chatter, desire or projection. Unfortunately, our minds nowadays, are in a constant state of chatter. It never stops: the mind picks up on any word, idea, image etc. and by means of mechanical associations it keep jumping to another thought, and then to another, and so on, day and night, without cease. Rightly so, the Hindus associated it with a monkey jumping from one branch to another.
The only way to stop the chatter, the constant activity of the mind, the non-stop utterance of inconsistent and irrelevant thoughts, is to train the “monkey” to be quite. Many people give up meditation because they feel like failures after a large number of attempts to stop the mind, to bring their minds to complete stillness. To many it feel like an impossible task to fully stop the mind, so they often end up by “settling” for a lot less than a profound and much nourishing meditation: just play some relaxing music, burn nice incense, rest the body and slow down the race of the mind – and in this way take a break from the daily routine and its worries. The great news is that not only it is possible to completely stop the mind, but it is doable by anyone, regardless the age, education, religion, and previous spiritual training and experiences. The common mistake is the tendency to fight the mind, to force it to be quiet – and this never works, on the contrary, it creates more inner tension and frustration, or the results are inconsistent. We cannot force the mind to be silent, the body to relax, or the heart to be in peace. In order to obtain a state of inner relaxation, we need become agile observers of all our inner processes. By observing them, in state of equanimity, without judging or categorizing, the observation and acknowledgement itself will prove to be the main key to reaching inner peace. A successful meditation can be as easy as falling out the bed: get in a comfortable position (preferably with the spine straight), close your eyes, relax the body and the heart by letting go of any tension, detach from the senses as much as possible, and then start observing the mind. Simply that: remain in silence, and observe the train of thoughts, without engaging or identifying with any of them; just observe and let go, observe and let go… If we remain detached and do not engage with any of the thoughts that mechanically surface the mind, at some point we will experience a blessed silence. The mind will eventually stop uttering. And that break, is in fact a breakthrough, a window into the heavens. By repeating this observance of the mind, again, and again, every day, we will slowly and surely develop not only the ability to obtain longer and deeper moments of mind silence, experiencing the Great Reality, but it will also help us in our everyday life to better control our mind, our thought process, and (as thoughts create emotions) to have more control over our emotional state, in any given moment.
Another helpful tool in advancing on the path of inner knowledge, through meditation, is to take short breaks during the day: make it a habit to take 15-20 minutes break, at least twice a day, either at work (in a quiet “corner”), or at home (in a quiet room, with fresh air). And during these 15-20 minutes, do what you normally do in a meditation, only in a shorter format: eyes closed, take a few deep breaths to relax the body, the emotional center, and then observe the mind to see what are the thoughts that are tormenting and imprisoning you at the time. Doing such an exercise every day we train the mind and body to relax and decompress at will, and will also give us more insight upon what is going on within us, also helping us to be more successful in longer and deeper meditation. What many of us don’t realize is that in order for the body to get tense (and it is tense most of the time, due to the constant stress we undergo everyday), in order for us to sustain all the emotional ups and downs, in order for our mind to keep uttering nonsensical chatter important energy is used. Our vital energy is wasted on states that are harmful to us. That is like stealing energy from us. The body and the psyche, if not observed and handled consciously, may rob us of our precious energy which otherwise can be used to create beautiful things, to go in nature or exercise, to spend more time with the ones with love etc. Once we become increasingly aware of the moment by moment state of our body, our emotions, and our minds, we can reclaim a lot of energy otherwise wasted. And in that process, we train our mind, little by little, to become more submissive, taking longer and longer moments of inner silence, which is the nourishment for our consciousness.
In this context, it is also helpful to realize that if we want to become “athletes of meditation” as Samael Aun Weor (the founder of modern Gnosticisms) recommended to any person aspiring to awakening his/her consciousness, we need to review the way we live our live as a whole, and not only during the meditative states. In other words, if we want to gain inner peace during meditation, if we want to experience the Divine, receive answers, feel “connected” to the higher realms, than this aspiration needs to be reflected in the way we live our live as a whole, every moment of our life, under any circumstances, and not only during meditation (or other spiritual practices). It is unlikely to experience the depth of a great meditation, every day, at any moment, if outside the meditation moments we engage, emotionally and intellectually, in activities and states that are contrary to meditation: being agitated, feeling anger, indulging in self-importance or judgmental comments, driven by the insatiable desires of the earthly senses etc. The discrepancy between such states and meditation is so big, that even with the hardest efforts it will seem unlikely to succeed in obtaining any significant progress in the quest to reach depth of meditation, and cultivate a healthy state of detachments and equanimity.
Another small ”trick” yet a powerful one is to know that the best meditations are done when we are predisposed to sleep, or when we combine the state of wakefulness with slumber. That is why the meditations done early in the morning (at 4 am, or at dawn) or late in the evening, seem to be most successful. The Gnostic tradition teaches that we need 50% of sleep and 50% of meditation. “Practice meditation when you naturally feel predispose to sleep. The baker who wants to make bread must know how to combine the appropriate quantities of flour and water. If he mixes more water than needed for the flour, the dough will not become bread; the same if he mixes too much flour with the water. In a similar way works the process of meditation. If we give into more sleep than meditation, we will fall into unconsciousness. If we force more meditation than sleep, we will ruin the mind and the brain; if we do not know how to combine harmoniously sleep and meditation, we will achieve that that is called Samadhi, ecstasy.” Samael Aun Weor
In the Gnostic tradition, there are hundreds of meditation techniques, each with a specific function and appropriate use. Yet, all of them depend upon a single basis: the moment to moment awakening of the Consciousness, the moment to moment self-observation, with the purpose of eliminating from our body and psyche those energies and forces that are separating us from what is pure and divine within our nature (love, compassion, kindness, generosity, forgiveness etc.) from what is impure (anger, greed, envy, complacency, lying, laziness, intolerance etc.). The development of a robust and effective meditation practice depends entirely upon a rigorous and consistent effort to be continually in a state of conscious awareness of oneself, and one’s true and ultimate purpose of life: the intimate self-realization of the Being, the supreme and complete union with the Divine forces that we carry within, and who exist all around us.
Studies shown that people who meditate regularly, especially those who enter deep states meditation on a constant basis, have an increase immune system, manage stress with greater ease, are much more adaptable, sleep better, are experience less conflicts and disappointments – in generally have a more fulfilled life, a greater sense of self-awareness, and improved coping mechanisms. From the esoteric perspective, meditation is inherent to the spiritual awakening just as humidity is inherent to water. You may rightly say that this is all just another theory. You do not have to believe any of these words, but practice, experiment for yourself. As Goethe said: “Belief is not the beginning, but the end of all knowledge.