After more than 40 years of serious meditation practice, my understanding of the entire enterprise of awakening has shifted radically, in two phases.
First, I discovered that meditation is much more about the body than the mind. Practically speaking this means that meditation focused on bringing awareness into the body (somatic meditation) has the immediate effect of quieting the thinking mind and a longer term effect of releasing long-held tension, and eventually awakening a wisdom I had no idea existed, a wisdom that is larger than my intelligence, but which flows in a field that I have access to – when the left brain, discursive, judging mind relaxes.
The second discovery I made (none of these without guidance, by the way) was that meditation is energetic. I suppose I might have known this because, simply stated, the body is energy. Einstein said that matter doesn’t exist; it’s just slowed down energy. So, any somatic meditation is, by this definition, energetic.
As an energy practice, meditation engages us with the unseen world, the formless world. Just as we are shifting our understanding of the body in the direction of something much less fixed and much more fluid, so, too, we are coming to understand the implications of the fact that we live in a world that is less than 4% available to our senses and more than 96% dark energy and dark matter (more dark energy than matter, by the way).
What this means is that the invisible world, the formless world is … well, I think I, a non-scientist, can safely say … is a powerful force in the universe.
And this formless world is the Source of life, of Creation not as a static or complete “thing” but as an ongoing, ever-expanding creativity. And when we open ourselves to experience it, we experience bliss, and “miraculous” healing, and the return of joy. The experience is one of a profound alignment/harmony with our deepest self, of living our life as an expression of who we truly are, a manifestation of our optimal blueprint.
“Meditation” is what allows us to consciously participate in this ongoing, expanding Creation, which is happening in us as well as in the universe. Something else we are undoing is the sense that the world is out there, and we are separate from it, looking at it.
Think about it – even your own body is 96% dark energy and matter. How could it be otherwise? You are fully woven into this expanding wonder of love that we call the universe.
[I have written about the so-called Big Bang, renaming it as the Great Explosion of Love.]
I put meditation in quotes above, because many of us have a limited idea of meditation, equating it with mindfulness. Mindfulness is useful, life-changing and really helpful and I wouldn’t want to go back to living without it, but it is not what I mean by meditation. By meditation, I mean particular practices (and there are many) which organize the energy field within and outside of the body so that the brain and heart are in coherence with the infinite cosmic field of intelligence, the formless Source.
This is why I am now thinking of meditation as a fully-embodied, somatic energy practice.