Excerpt: Home At Last by Sarada Chiruvolu
Author Sarada Chiruvolu explores and explains the realm of meditation while taking you on a journey to higher consciousness.books Updated: Mar 01, 2018 11:18 IST
Some people find the idea of meditation pleasant or soothing, while others seem almost frightened of it and have much trouble sitting quietly, even for few minutes. And yet we all meditate to a certain extent when we focus our concentration to perform a certain task with our limited consciousness, whether it’s repairing an engine, helping our child with homework, or just screwing in a lightbulb. Without a certain amount of one-pointed concentration, we wouldn’t be able to do anything effectively. Thee concentration we use in deep meditation is different, however. Intensive concentration that frees the attention from all distractions to focus on one thought, or no thought, is the highest and most difficult type of focus. It may be a painful process as we ascend the many stages on the way. My teacher likes to say that “meditation is the hardest and highest form of spirituality.” But if we meditate deeply on a daily basis, we awaken the blissful, immortal consciousness of God that is always within us, hidden in our innermost core.
Interest in meditation has been spreading exponentially in the decades since Maharishi Mahesh Yogi came to prominence by teaching meditation to celebrities including the Beatles. To cite just one more recent example, the renowned film director David Lynch, who has been practicing meditation for forty years, has announced that he hopes to teach meditation to the world and, as a result, create world peace. Lynch had been inspired by Maharishi’s teaching that meditation isn’t just for monks and yogis but for the masses. But the practice still requires a level of will power, intention, and sincerity on the part of the practitioner. Meditation is a conscious process that puts us directly in touch with our true nature, or soul. Without conscious awareness, it is not meditation. Some people may imagine that meditation means just sitting, spacing out, and going into trance—or alternatively, trying to suppress our thoughts with force and effort. _ere may be some effort involved, but it must be a kind of effortless effort, a process that requires focus, not force.
In meditation we attain a conscious awareness of our inner Divinity; it is like being awake during deep sleep. As we experience our soul, or true nature, there is a conscious relaxation of the vital energy within all our bodily organs. When this happens we consciously raise our inner life energy to the highest chakra, at the crown of the head, and experience our soul merging with the universal consciousness and leaving the mortal sensory plane for a time. That’s another way of saying that we bring our mortal consciousness to unite with Cosmic Consciousness—and do it consciously. Eventually we abide as that Primordial Consciousness, withdrawing our sensory consciousness from identification with the body by stilling the restless sensory mind.
We are also in contact with our True Self, or soul, while we are in deep sleep, as the soul leaves the body and gets rejuvenated as it yearns for freedom and limitless joy. _is is why we often awake with a feeling of having had a “good rest” and may even recall fleeting memories of having been in a blissful state. But because we have been asleep, we have no conscious memory of our True Self. We do need at least the subconscious contact with the soul that is provided by sleep in order to forget, for a time, all the desires, sensations, and attachments we experience in waking life. Otherwise, we would become like an overworked machine, no longer able to keep going.
By contrast, in meditation we are immersed in our Self while remaining conscious. _at conscious awareness is what lifts us to a higher level. Do you ever wonder why we constantly indulge ourselves in choosing extreme activities that give us thrills or excitement? Certain types of sports, for example, like skydiving and bungee jumping, induce a “rush” of adrenalin and good feelings, as do some drugs. Even sex takes us to that moment of extreme pleasure that allows us to experience that spark of ecstasy or bliss and attain the utmost euphoric state of awareness—at least for that particular moment. We are continuously seeking to experience the blissful glimpse of that nondual state of oneness, or contact with our soul, without even realizing that is what we are seeking. If such a brief glimpse can give us that much fulfillment and contentment, imagine how much more peace we can attain through experiencing the Truth.
Excerpts from Home at Last Copyright (c) 2015 by Sarada Chiruvolu, published by Amaryllis Publishing.
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First Published: Mar 01, 2018 11:18 IST