by Michael Maciel
There are many reasons to meditate, and each reason has its own method. One reason for meditating is quieting the mind, and its method is to focus on your breathing. Another reason is to obtain knowledge, and its method is to ask a question and then form a vacuum around it, drawing the answer to you from the universal creative intelligence. Another reason is to effect a healing, and its method is visualization, learning how to control the brightness setting on your inner screen. And yet another reason is peace of mind, or escaping the whirlpool of negative thoughts and emotions about yourself, and its method is the equilibration of the heart.
Quieting the mind is easy, much easier than you would think. It’s simply a matter of where you place your attention, because a noisy mind is a mind focused on itself. Just as loud music from your neighbor’s apartment can slowly but surely drive you crazy, your own thoughts, when they become the center of your attention, just keep getting louder and louder. The method is simple: become kinesthetically aware of your breathing. The kinesthetic part is important, because you want to FEEL it, not just have ideas about it, and you want to feel it in a location distant from your head. The best place is in your belly. Belly breathing is diaphragmatic breathing; your belly extends when you inhale and sucks in when you exhale. No special effort is needed. You don’t have to count your breaths or hold them or anything like that. You simply have to place your attention there and return to it to your belly any time it wanders. It takes a little practice, but the benefits are immediate. Your mental chatter stops as though flipping a switch.
Obtaining knowledge is a little more difficult and requires more discipline. But it, too, is relatively easy, once you get the hang of it. The first thing you have to realize is that the brain does not store knowledge. The brain is a tuning device, not a hard drive. There is only one brain, and it’s called “The Universe.” We live in it. The brain in our head is a fractal representation of this larger brain. Any knowledge that exists in this universal brain can be downloaded simply by increasing the negative gain in your awareness while at the same time standing silently in the middle of your question. “Negative gain” is an electronics term. On an oscilloscope, it’s the part of the wave that extends below the line – the negative or drawing potential. You effect this by asking your question as clearly as possible and then emptying your mind of its contents. You don’t go to sleep but rather focus your attention without forcing it. You turn up your expectation while at the same time relinquishing your control. It’s a bit like downloading information onto your computer from the Internet, only the Internet, in this case, is The Universe. Thoreau said it best: “To be awake is to be alive … We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” What you seek will surely, as day follows night, rise up over the horizon of your awareness.
Please understand that when I say that The Universe is a brain, I’m not talking about Stephen Hawking’s version of the cosmos—huge chunks of rock and ice punctuated by fiery furnaces and weird black holes. The Universe is made of light, not stardust, and that light is intelligent. It is made of information, not particles (or waves), and the information is not limited by space and time; it is immediately available no matter where or when you are. And the human brain is the most sophisticated instrument we have to access it with.
Healing, another reason for meditating, is also a matter of downloading. In this case, we’re downloading the original program for the human body. We’re defragging the disk, so to speak, and restoring the operating system to its default settings. The body is more of a stream of information than it is a device; it’s a happening, not an object. As with any stream, obstacles can disrupt the flow, and the obstacles that comprise diseases are more often false ideas and beliefs than they are external substances. Tapping into the the original program will clear out these false ideas and beliefs along with the gunk that has formed around them in the tissues of the body. The foreign material will literally radiate out, which oftentimes produces awful smells.
The beauty of this kind of healing meditation is that we don’t have to know what the original program is. We only have to know that it exists. Just as we use meditation to obtain information from the universal creative intelligence, we access the program in exactly the same way, only the information in this case is the program itself. It’s not enough to simply visualize perfect health; we must also tap into the universal creative intelligence. Our visualizations are only an invitation—they do not, of themselves, have any power. It’s God that does the healing, not us.
Healing takes power. And power only moves through a clean channel. We are the channel, and God is the power. This is why there is so much emphasis in the spiritual teachings on “emptiness”—as long as our mind is cluttered with its own contents, very little power will flow. Learning to quiet the mind, then, is the prerequisite to all other forms of meditation, because a quiet mind is a clean channel. The size of the channel is directly proportional to how awake you are; the more awake the channel, the more power can flow through it. That’s the formula: quiet + awake + access to the universal creative intelligence = power to heal. You will know when you’ve made the connection, because your internal brightness turns way up.
Don’t worry, by the way, if you don’t see light. You can also feel it. It can feel like an internal expansion, as though the atoms and molecules in your body are becoming less dense. You might feel more transparent, even physically lighter in weight. The world, both in your mind and the world you see with your eyes, can look different—more alive, more present, more real. These are all functions of light.
The final form of meditation, at least in this presentation, is the method for obtaining peace of mind. We do this by equilibrating the heart. In the ancient Egyptian Mysteries, the gods would place a person’s heart, at the time of his or her death, on a scales along with a feather. If the heart was heavier than the feather, the soul had to return to Earth for more development. This was all very symbolic, of course. Anything that causes us to have a “heavy heart,” therefore, must be resolved before we can attain spiritual freedom. In A Game of Thrones, there is a mystery school called The House of Black and White. Students have to empty themselves of all self-identity—they become nameless. When asked, “Who are you?” they reply, “A girl has no name.” The test for whether they have done this is in their ability to take on different faces, to assume different personas as needed. Having no fixed identity, they can be all things to all people. The metaphor is simple: in order to be fully present to the world, we must face it head-on. We cannot live in the past and expect to be in the here and now. Our identity is, by default, our past. Lose your past and you become nameless.
Only when we are fully present to life can we be fully alive. The less identity we have (the less past), the more alive we can become. When we are completely devoid of identity, we become a clean channel for the power of God to be active in the world. But it is our activity itself that is the channel. As we move, God moves; as we live, God lives; as we speak, God speaks. And it is through our speaking that creation comes into being. But it is not “us” who speaks. And yet, without us, nothing can be spoken – quiet + awake + access to the universal creative intelligence = power to speak creation into being. That’s the formula.
Equilibrating the heart requires confession. We cannot rise up spiritually with anything more than a carry-on. No checked baggage is allowed. And what is confession, really? It is revealing that which is concealed. And it’s not so much what we are concealing from others as it is the things we are concealing from ourselves. This is the cause of all suffering—ignorance of what we are hiding from ourselves. The crucial thing to realize is that we can’t do the unconcealing without help. We can either turn to others or we can ask God, the universal creative intelligence (maybe I should create an acronym for that: UCI – “You see I”). The UCI won’t necessarily speak to you personally from On High. As a friend of mine recently said, “If you pray for strength, it won’t come in a box on your doorstep. It will come as opportunities to be strong.” So it is with looking for your blindspots. You can’t get that from Amazon.
If you stand in the question of what you don’t know that you don’t know about yourself, you better get ready for tears—“Blessed are they who mourn” and all that. Equilibrating the heart isn’t for cowards. No one will come up to you and say, “Hey, listen. There are some things about you that I think you should know.” That’s not going to happen. Instead, they will mirror them back to you in ways that will make you think that it’s their problem, not yours. This is what makes life so…………interesting. So, be on the lookout, because no sooner will you do this than people will start showing you what you’re not seeing—as in immediately.
It’s not the stuff that you’re aware of that destroys your peace of mind. Everyone pretty much knows what their bad habits are. It’s the stuff that you’re not aware of that haunts you, that speaks to you from the shadows, that makes you do things seemingly against your own will. These are the things that keep you up at night, wearing away at you like grist in a mill. That’s what you need to know if you are going to achieve a realistic level of peace of mind. And it’s going to take work. Don’t worry about hitting rock bottom; it’s the most solid place you can stand. There’s a certain look to people who have been there—their skin is different, smoother, more relaxed, less prone to giddiness, eyes that can actually see you, and a brow that’s unaffected by external circumstances. You can spot them a mile away.
So, these are four reasons to meditate, along with their respective methods. And, you may have noticed that I’ve listed them in an ascending order of degree of difficulty. But don’t let that worry you. Once you master the first one—shifting your awareness away from your thoughts and onto your breathing—the rest will come much easier. A quiet mind is a powerful mind. You will be surprised how much more you can understand when your brain is freed up to function in concert with its progenitor, the UCI. Let IT show you what you need to know. It is the true source of all knowledge—the real kind, not the stuff we love to make up.