A man was walking down a road and came across a young man struggling with a long metal coil. He asked him what he was doing and was told that he was trying to undo the coil to make the wire straight.
When the observer asked why he was having so much trouble, the young man explained that every time he straightened out one coil, a new one sprang up. When he straightened out another coil, a new one appeared. This predicament is similar to our life. Our day-to-day existence is filled with problems. Every time we solve one problem, a new one springs up. We may be struggling financially, trying to make ends meet.
A day finally comes when we get a raise, and then we find our car has broken down, and the extra money has to go for repairs or for new car payments. When we settle that problem, someone in our family may fall ill. Along with that, we may find that we have a problem in our relationship with one of our co-workers.
While that is being straightened out, our roof suddenly begins to leak and we need repairs. After a while we begin to wonder if there will be a time in life when we can be free of problems. We may think we alone have been singled out for misfortune. But if we ask those around us, we find that everyone’s life is also filled with difficulties. It seems there is no end to problems.
Stresses of modern life
It is no wonder that we find people undergoing tremendous stresses and strains. The pressures of life are so great that they begin to affect us physically and mentally. We find that people undergo anxiety, fear, depression, and phobias. Offices of psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists are filled with normal, everyday people who cannot cope with life’s struggles. They are unable to deal with their problems. They live in fear of economic disaster. They are trying to handle broken marriages and broken homes. Others have anxiety about the loneliness that may come with the loss of a loved one. Some are so disappointed in life they see no hope for the future.
Stresses and tensions do not just affect our mind. Research has shown a connection between our mind and our body. Our mental state can cause stress-related illnesses. Studies have shown that when we are angry or emotionally upset, hormones are released in our body that prepare us for “fight or flight.” Since the norms in our society dictate that we deal with problems calmly and rationally, we tend not to “fight or take flight,” but to face the situation, keeping our feelings bottled up inside. The result is that the hormones act on our physical body, causing stress related diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, breathing problems, digestive disorders, headaches, muscle pain, skin rashes, and other related problems. The solution is not necessarily to let out our anger in the form of fighting back or running away, for those reactions can create still more problems for us in our relationships. We need to find some acceptable way to prevent the mental, emotional, and physical effects of stress which are making us ill.
Meditation: An antidote to stress
In the last few years people have turned to meditation as a solution to the emotional and mental strains of life. Meditation has numerous benefits for our physical and mental well-being. It is safe, effective, and does not cost anything. Once we learn how to meditate, we carry within us a ready remedy which we can use at any time and place. The meditation process helps us on two levels. First, it helps us by bringing about physical relaxation.
Second, it puts us in a state where we are absorbed in an enjoyable, blissful experience, and we become oblivious to the problems of the outer world.
How does meditation work? In meditation we select a pose in which we can remain calm and quiet. The process of meditation helps our attention focus on a point between and behind the two eyebrows, known as the single eye or the tenth door. In this way, we withdraw our attention from our outer body. The body then becomes as relaxed it is in sleep.
Studies show that in meditation, brain waves function at a frequency of 4-10 hz. During these states there is a sensation of peace and total relaxation. But this measurement only reflects relaxation at the level of the mind and body. Through meditation on the inner Light and Sound we receive an added bonus. It puts us in contact with a current of Light and Sound, radiant energy coming from states beyond this physical world. It is a powerful current of divine love, consciousness, and bliss. It is a purely spiritual experience beyond the realm of measurement. This current is within each person and can be contacted at the third or single eye. It provides us with much more than physical relaxation. It bathes us in an intoxication stronger and more lasting than any external intoxication in this world. Our entire being, body, mind, and soul, experiences waves of ecstasy permeating through every part of us.
This experience arises from our innermost self, our soul, coming in contact with its own essence in the form of the current of Light and Sound. If we do a comparative study of the great scriptures and mystical writings of the world, we find they say that the creative power that brought all the universes and all forms of life into being manifested itself as a current of Light and Sound. This stream that emanates from the creative Source was the force that brought everything into being. Our soul is a drop of that essence. This creative power, the current which flows from it, and our soul are said to be all-love, all- consciousness and all-bliss. As we live our daily lives, we are only aware of our body and mind.
We are oblivious to our true nature, the soul. In meditation, when the body and mind are stilled, we become aware of our nature as soul. When the soul is withdrawn and collected at the third eye, it is at the contact point with the inner Light and Sound. When the soul meets the current it is magnetised to it. It is like a water droplet resting on a table top. If you run a stream of water across it, the drop will attach itself to the rivulet and merge in it. Similarly, when our soul concentrates at the point where the current begins, at the third eye, it will be drawn to merge in it. We then start to travel on this current. Our soul rises above consciousness of the body and enjoys a journey into the higher realms.
This inner journey has been described by mystics and saints through the ages. Even today, we read accounts of people who have had near-death experiences. They left their body behind and entered a region of Light which enveloped them with a transcendent love, warmth, and knowledge.
In meditation we can practice this process easily and naturally. The experience is so exhilarating that it surpasses any thrill available in this world. It puts us in a state in which we become oblivious to the difficulties of this world. Our problems no longer have the same effect on us because we are in a state of so much enjoyment. They disappear like waves in the sea. We are lifted high above the storm clouds and float in the sunny skies full of radiant inner Light.
Excerpt from Inner And Outer Peace Through Meditation by Sant Rajinder SingH Ji Maharaj