Aspire to be Fully Awake
Your interests and inspired ideas are what fuel a sense of purpose in life. You tend to do what you want to do. Why? Because it satisfies you. Doing what you truly want to do fulfills you. When you are set on a course of action that will result in fulfillment, you will make almost any sacrifice so that fulfillment can come to pass. Have you noticed this? That which fulfills you holds your interest. Your interest then inspires you to action.
When you begin practicing yogic meditation, you do so for a reason. Most have an idea about what yogic meditation will do for them. Some want peace. Some healing. Some want to know the reality of God. Some seek happiness and bliss. Some think meditation will create a more peaceful society and thereby bring harmony to the planet. Often times, these well-meaning ideas are not clearly defined.
What do you mean when you say you want peace, healing, to know God, or to experience happiness? Define this. Make it real in your life experience as a goal. When you do so, your motivation to stay true to a consistent meditation schedule will increase. Without a more focused definition you will be more likely to put off meditating or spiritual contemplation. They will hold no sense of fulfillment for you.
Write down the answers to the following questions and keep them near the place where you meditate.
“What is my exact reason for wanting to meditate at this point in my life? Why is this important?”
Read this before each meditation session.
Even the idea of enlightenment as a goal needs defined. To be enlightened means, “to have knowledge or understanding.” What is it you want to understand? Spend a few hours, or days or weeks contemplating this. Then define it. This definition does not have to apply for all time, but it does have to apply to where you are right now in your current level of experience. Once it becomes very clear to you, what you want to be enlightened about, you will find the inspiration and vitality to meditate every day until realization dawns.
Your understanding may change as the years go by. This is good. It may alter your initial intention. Explore that. Remain fluid with your reasons. Remain fluid with what calls you to fulfillment. Too many people become static dried up husks of old inspirations that were only appropriate on the beginning of their path towards peace and understanding. Not you.
Your meditation practice is a vehicle. Vehicles do not stay pointed in one direction as they make their way to their destination. They are navigated around obstacles, lifted up on bridges, turned around to avoid accidents, plunged into tunnels. That adaptability is applicable to your own path to peace.
You should be warned though. While it is important to remain fluid with your reasons and intentions to meditate, it is best to pick one approach and stick to it. The power of meditation results due to your ability to learn how to hold your attention, gently and with awareness, in one place. All authentic meditation traditions do this in one way or another. Learning too many techniques, or searching for the holy grail of meditation techniques is a distraction. If all you ever did was hold your awareness gently on the image of a tree or the Sun, at the exclusion of all else, that would be enough. For most that is too simple, so we meditation teachers do need to add a little more complications to keep your mind satisfied. Always bear this in mind, when your restless mind wants to distract you with yet another approach, without having mastered the original approach.
A clearly defined meditation routine and a clearly defined point of fulfillment will carry you to the end of your spiritual practice. Know the reason WHY you are meditating, and remember that at the beginning of each sitting. Aspire to be fulfilled. Aspire to be fully awake. Aspire to be alive in the spirit of your life, and let your meditation practice be the foundation for that inspiration.
Thanks for posting! There is so much I want to say here, too much I’m sure. It is all so simple, I tried so hard and made it so complicated for so long . When I began asking myself these questions, as u have suggested above, is what helped me relax into the process and find a deeper experience of myself . Recognizing the moments and opportunities for just focusing on a leaf or cloud or tree or bird and being aware of the vastness of LIFE/ GOD and the inherent love and joy that is within us at all times . Life ( and so death) isn’t to be feared , but accepted with open arms and love . It doesn’t always FEEL good and it often isn’t easy but that is just the going through it
Exactly what I needed at this time. Thank you.
Thanks so very much.
Yes, trying out of fear ‘to pack in’ different ways…Just defeats the purpose!
Thanks. You are a true practicing teacher.
I have learnt something valuable by reading this….
Why one wants peace or healing etc…The why….Thank you.
Thank you Ryan.
This really resonated with me.
As always, full of wisdom and inspiring… Thank you Ryan!