Do you believe in transformation?
It’s kind of a funny word when it comes to people. Caterpillars and butterflies are one thing, but how does it apply to us?
Meditation and Transformation
It’s simpler than you might think, and I want to demystify it for you. I also want to help you understand the mysterious and powerful role that meditation plays in the transformation process.
You can break transformation down to some pretty basic steps. And I’m going to do for you that below.
But if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that everyone has the capacity to change in ways you can never predict or imagine. Let me explain.
I have dedicated my life to exploring transformation. I have had the grace of experiencing transformation at the core of my being, and I have always lived alongside pioneering souls who shared my interest.
My experience over the last twenty years has filled me with an unshakeable conviction that there is a profound relationship between meditation and transformation.
Understanding the Limits of Your Mind
Let me be clear that when I talk about meditation. I am not referring only to sitting with your eyes closed. I am talking about resting in the experience of who you are beyond the mind. The physical posture that initiates that experience doesn’t ultimately matter. All that matters is that you move beyond the assumed limits of your mind.
You see, our minds are conditioned to fixate on a limited spectrum of thoughts, feelings, and sensory perceptions that lie within a much larger field of awareness. Because this spectrum is what we habitually perceive, we naturally assume that it is everything.
Learning to Fly
One of the miracles of meditation is the discovery that we can perceive more than our minds can. In fact, we are already conscious of more than our minds can know.
What does that mean?
Meditation—whether it’s done sitting with your eyes closed or using some other method—occurs when you remove your attention from anything in particular and allow it to float freely in consciousness.
When you meditate deeply for the first time, it’s like realizing that you can fly. You live your whole life anchored to a narrow range of thoughts, feelings and sensations, and suddenly you find yourself floating in midair. Nothing is more exhilarating or mind altering than the freedom you find in true meditation.
First Step: Knowing Beyond the Mind
To understand the relationship between meditation and transformation the first thing to realize is that our current experience of being human is carved from a much vaster field of possible experience.
For example, we know that our eyes perceive only a narrow margin of the electro- magnetic spectrum. Our ears hear only a small range of sound frequencies. In the same way, our minds experience only a small part of an limitless field of awareness.
As I mentioned, one of the miracles you discover through meditation is your ability to experience consciousness beyond the mind’s capacity for experience. In other words, we are not our minds and our ability to experience is not limited by our minds.
This discovery is like seeing beyond what the eye can see, or hearing more than what the ear can hear. We have more access to consciousness than what the mind alone experiences.
Second Step: Seeing Through ‘Me’
The next thing you must realize to fully appreciate the relationship between meditation and transformation is that all of reality is in constant flux.
You are born into an unintelligible rush of experience. Slowly you learn how to filter your perception so that you stabilize in a particular experience of being someone.
Within this unceasing flow of experience you temporarily stabilize into the experience of being ‘me.’ By ceaselessly focusing on a limited part of the ever-shifting field of experience, you experience yourself as a static being.
In order to stabilize into a particular identity, you had to learn to remain doggedly fixated on a narrow band of awareness—the experience of being ‘me.’
That habit of riveting your attention on the experience of being me is so strong that you have forgotten that there is any other possibility. Most people live their lives, busy being whoever they learned to be as that static ‘me’.
But there are others who don’t stop at that static ‘me’. People like you and me, who become interested in transformation.
You feel stifled by this fixed sense of self and begin to realize that you are more. But you don’t know how to break the habit of mental fixation that holds your identity in place.
Freeing Your Awareness Through Meditation
If you want to transform, if you want to expand your experience of consciousness and identity, you have to free your attention from the tiny margin of possibility that you learned to adhere to in the beginning.
This is what meditation is all about. It’s a practice for releasing your awareness.
The experience of freedom is the first miracle of meditation. The second is the discovery that once you liberate your attention from your fixed sense of self, you can enter into a natural process of growth.
When you discover the miracle of free-floating consciousness, you begin to realize something even more miraculous. Consciousness naturally expands. And then, we experience the transformation of consciousness as soon as we stop holding ourselves to only one spot in consciousness.
Growth is Natural
Suddenly it all makes sense. Growth is a natural part of life. Everything grows and often without much force or effort. Trees don’t have to force themselves to grow from seed to maturity, nor do flowers or animals or birds. Growth is the essence of being alive.
Why wouldn’t consciousness grow in the same way?
As you enter into a more natural process of growth, you realize that you have been holding on to who you are at the very same time that you have been trying to change. Pushing off of the past is just another way of holding on to it.
The experience of meditation is the experience of letting go of who you are. And as soon as you let go of who you are, you enter a natural process of growth and evolution.
Deep meditation allows you to let go of who you habitually think you are and frees you to become more than that. It’s not just about peace or centering you mind, although it’s about those things too. In truth, real meditation thrusts you into the awesome and natural condition of growth that powers all of life.
By Jeff Carreira
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Bryan Brooks says
Thank you for the excellent article, Jeff! I’ve been a meditation instructor for 4 years now & really enjoyed your article. Namaste…
Jeff Carreira says
Bryan you are very welcome. I hope you will share some of the ideas with your students.
Best to you, Jeff