Meditation is often defined as thinking continuously about one object of thought. We often get stuck on this definition, however, and lose the real purpose of meditation. Meditation must reveal the true nature of that object upon which we are meditating. Such revelation comes not as a thought, but as a feeling. Therefore, meditation is a process in which we shift from thinking to feeling. It is a journey from the complexity of mind to the simplicity of heart. It is for this reason that most methods of meditation involve the heart.
Though we can easily remember an image or an idea, it is difficult to recollect a feeling. Have you ever tried to recollect the taste of a meal you had many years back? You may vividly remember the place where you ate. You may even remember its ambience, but the actual taste of the food can never be retrieved. Why? It is because feeling is always in the present, in the now. Therefore, we cannot be happy with the feeling of a good meditation from eons back.
Of course, the memory of a great revelation in meditation is good, but it is akin to someone who hits the jackpot once in his lifetime and is a beggar forevermore. The feeling we derive in meditation must become a permanent affair.
Yet, even feeling has its limitation. The heart is never truly satisfied with feeling. At some point, feeling becomes a burden, whether it is the feeling of pleasure, of joy, or even of bliss. Feelings are difficult to handle. In true meditation, we enter into absolute nothingness, a complete void of experience.
If you examine consciousness, you will find that it has a variety of states, just as water has different states. We have waking consciousness, with which we interact with the world. The consciousness of a person whose attention is only focused outwardly perceives only the outside world, accordingly. When we are asleep, we enter into the dreaming consciousness, and in deep sleep, our consciousness goes very deep.
In meditation, our consciousness is moving towards the innermost Self, which is the core of our existence. As we traverse through the various states of meditation, we enter into a special state of consciousness where we are, at once, at the depths of our being, while being simultaneously aware of the things around us.
A true seeker of Reality, though inwardly meditating, is meditatively active in the worldly sense as well.
This contradiction between the attraction towards the Self within and the pull of our awareness towards its outer periphery is only valid so long as there is no all-encompassing meditative state that expands throughout all states of consciousness, whether waking, meditating, or sleeping.
A person in such an expanded state of consciousness is unable to differentiate between worldly and spiritual activity, as all is done in a purely meditative state.
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