- The meaning of life
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In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher. -Dalai Lama
2 you will:
Discover the meaning of life
Learn more about focusing your mind through heart-concentration
- Continue your regular, daily meditation practice
“For half a
century now, a new consciousness has been entering the human world, a new
awareness that can only be called transcendent, spiritual.
It begins with a heightened
perception of the way our lives move forward. We notice those chance events that
occur at just the right moment, and bring forth just the right individuals, to
suddenly send our lives in a new and important direction. Perhaps more than any
other people in any other time, we intuit higher meaning in these mysterious
We know that life is really about a
spiritual unfolding that is personal and enchanting and magical – an unfolding
that no science or philosophy or religion has yet fully clarified. And we know
something else as well: we know that once we do understand what is happening,
how to engage this allusive process and maximise its occurrence in our lives,
human society will take a quantum leap into a whole new way of life – one that
realises the best of our tradition – and creates a culture that has been the
goal of history all along…
I think our new awareness of the
spiritual is expanding in exactly this way, no longer through neither hype nor
fad, but personally, through a kind of positive psychological contagion among
people. All that any of us have to do is suspend our doubts and distractions
just long enough... and, miraculously, this reality can be our own.”
- James Redfield
You have to
unlearn all the things you have learned to truly flow with the force.- YODA, Return of the Jedi
simple; it is knowledge that craves complexity.
One of the main sources of stress is not having clear life directions or
goals. So often we are caught by the urgent things in our lives – our
material responsibilities and day-to-day struggles – that they create
their own vicious cycle within our minds. This is what we may know as
The 'tension loop' confuses meaning with movement.
Just like a computer, the mind processes data from many sources. The more
programs you run in a computer, the less time it can spend on each
program before having to go and process a little more of the next. The
time the computer spends switching from program to program makes the
computer run slower and slower until it may break down or stop.
The mind works in the same way. Only our programs that run around in
circles using up the minds resources are our fears, anxieties, doubts
and worries. As we run out of resources, the mind (unlike a computer)
speeds up. It becomes so involved by the number of things that it has to
do that it spends more and more of its time switching from one to the
other, drawing us further into the superficial and further away from the
analytical and obviously the intuitive or meditative levels. We find
that we can’t concentrate for very long, we’re flighty and scattered and
it is self-compounding. This 'tension loop' can be permanently
transformed only through calming the mind and allowing a deepening of
our awareness. We need to identify the negative thought patterns in our
lives and transform them into positives. For example, worries are
perhaps the most insidious of all negative thought patterns as within
the mind they are like a program that loops or is never completed. They
use resources, create stress, and are happiest when nothing is ever
resolved or an ‘end-point’ reached.
In the end,
however, the real problem is not so much that we may be stressed or sick
or having a nervous breakdown, the real problem is that we have confused
‘busy-ness’ with our life meaning. Meaningful goals become less and less
can be an opportunity to reach your real self - to meditate - no matter
where you are, or what is going on around you. It is all a matter of
where your consciousness is.
Meaning of Life
We have to become
again as children to enter the kingdom of heaven - JESUS CHRIST
How many times
in your life have you wondered about the meaning of life: Who am I? Why am I
people have stopped asking these questions, as if there is perhaps no answer; or
if there is, it must not be necessary to know.
Can you see how
absurd this is? How are we supposed to have clear life goals if we do not know
why we are here?
We have all
listened to speakers who were very complex in their arguments; and probably
thought ‘I don’t know what he is saying but it sounds important.’ We have
learned to value complexity because in our society it has meant increased prestige.
So the natural
progression of this is, that the most important of all questions must have the
most extremely complex answers. Gladly, for us, the opposite is true.
Have you ever said
- ‘I know this is right and it doesn’t matter what anyone says, I know this is
something I’ve got to do’. Perhaps you touched your heart and continued;
‘because I felt it right here.’ Or perhaps you were reading a particular book or
listening to a person speak and suddenly something they said struck a chord and
you found yourself saying ‘Yes, that’s right’. Sometimes these feelings might
have even defied logic but you knew they were true as grass growing for you.
These are the 'Aah' moments of real wisdom.
not thought but experience, It always feels very simple as it is a revelation of
our real self. It is a meditation experience.
What we need to
experience wisdom is meditation. To know the meaning of life, we need it in
own sincere search for yourself will become a synonym for perfection-happiness."
Imagine for a moment that you were the creator of the earth. Would
you have made it so difficult for us to know the meaning of life, that we would
have to renounce all other attachments and travel on a sacred pilgrimage for
years and years until finally arriving at some Himalayan cave, where a holy
teacher in a dim, dark cave would proclaim that the meaning of life was 42? - Or
would you make it so simple that it would be sitting right in front of us,
waiting for the child in us to see? And perhaps we, in valuing complexity are
looking for the most complex of all answers to the biggest of all questions, and
continually missing the simplest of truths.
seems much easier not to know the meaning of life because in not knowing we do
not have to change anything. Some of us are subconsciously afraid that knowing
the answer might mean a change to our present life-style. Many of us are not
happy with our present state but fear changing might make it worse.
yourself if you really want to know. Take a moment if you need to, because once
you know it is impossible not to be transformed by knowing. (Wonderful isn’t
Now try this... Instead of asking what is the meaning of life, simply ask
yourself what puts meaning into your life? What moments would you like to
increase? Take a break to think this over, write some
of them down if you’d like, and read on...
Of the thousands
of people to whom we have taught meditation, most describe very similar moments
that are meaningful: Relationships, travelling, laughing, children, birth,
death, experiencing and growing, nature and the like. Virtually no one ever
disagrees. All of these can be reduced to three words - loving, learning
(wisdom) and being happy. (They are always 'Aah' moments)
That’s it. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is.
Being asked by the Pharisees when the
kingdom of heaven was coming, he answered them,
"The kingdom of heaven is not coming with signs
to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or
‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of heaven is within you." - Jesus
All three qualities mostly arrive now when fate decides. Meditation shows us,
however, that once we start to focus on these important, meaningful qualities we
can begin to invoke them when we decide.
Now look at all those meaningful moments in your life. You will see that there
are moments where you have experienced the love, wisdom and happiness, that is your
real nature. The kingdom of heaven that is within you, within all of us,
in this moment right now. The reason loving, learning and being happy
are meaningful is because they are the qualities of the heart.
important: All moments of meaning in our lives are moments of the heart.
You gotta dance like nobody's watching, dream
like you will live forever, live like you're going to die tomorrow and love like
it's never going to hurt. - Meme Grifsters
The funny thing is
these three words - loving, learning and being happy are so misunderstood in our
We think of each
of them in mostly 'outer' ways.
Love - Our
world says to us that we will be happy when we find the perfect partner. We will
'find love' outside of ourselves in terms of our human relationships. Our
world says that there is more or less only one perfect person for us and if we
do not find them we will not find love. So we need to go outside and find love.
This is an extremely narrow version of love and nigh impossible to find, but
most of us are convinced that we will not know love unless we are riding off
into the sunset with our perfect mate.
From the point of view of meditation and spirituality the reality is almost the
opposite. It says to us that love is vast and huge, that it connects us to every
single atom and it starts right now inside of us. That our relationships do not
solely define our experience of love, that we can know love anywhere and at any
time in infinite measure, watching a sunrise, walking through a forest, sitting
on a train - and that our doorway to this infinite love is our own soul, our own
heart, so that we must begin by loving ourselves and opening up and developing
the muscle that experiences this infinite love. If we don't accept and love
ourselves how will it be possible to experience anything.
In short the highest love is defined by the sheer number of atoms we can reach
with our love, with intensity and connection. This is the experience of the
great masters, the ability to be connected by unconditional love to everyone and
everything. By limiting ourselves to one person, we will never know real love.
Learning - our world says that we need to go outside to learn. Go to
school, to university or college, go outside and have lots of experiences,
travel and learn. Again, meditation says to us almost the opposite. It says go
within and find wisdom. You can get lots of intellectual knowledge outside of
yourself but real wisdom comes from within. Many very wise people have had very
little intellectual knowledge, but have been extremely happy and calm.
Conversely many extremely intellectual people are not happy, calm or wise. Meditation says that the experience of wisdom is
another 'Aah' moment where we touch the wisdom that is inside us at every
When the solution
is simple, God is speaking. - EINSTEIN
Knowledge from science is constantly changing and evolving, over even the last
100 years our view of the world has changed immensely, but for over 6000 years
the same essential truths derived from meditation that lie at the heart of all
religions, that we all have an eternal soul within us that possesses infinite
love, wisdom and joy has remained unchanged.
is always simple."
Happiness - our world takes us outside again and says we will be happy
when we have financial security, a career, a
house, a nice family, a strong social life or even a paradise to live in. It
paints a picture of happiness always being at another space and time, 'you will
be happy when... - you have that Porsche, that girlfriend, that party, win lotto
' but meditation says happiness is not at another place or time - it is now.
Within us now there is infinite joy, there is infinite bliss, but we simply do
not know how to experience the kingdom of heaven within us. We glimpse it from
time to time in our accidental 'Aah' moments but it is time for us to realise
the infinite bliss that is our real nature. This is why we meditate
Later in Class 6, we will spend more time discussing this important topic, but first let’s
Exercise 2 -
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Prepare for your meditation as usual
Try to feel that
in these few minutes you have entered a sacred space, a heart-haven where the
worries of life can’t enter.
Read the following
exercise then choose aspects of it that you immediately identify with. Gently
close your eyes and expand the feeling inside your heart.
time before time itself existed. The universe is a symphony of planets,
stars and suns but no life. The earth is just a mass of water and rock.
You are a tiny drop hurtling through the heavens.
Feel your form drifting upon the winds as you descend to the earth. Clear,
pure, simple, you ride the skies. Way off in the distance you see our
precious, beautiful, blue planet. Our earth. It tugs somehow at your
heart, attracting you like a magnet towards it, and letting go. You
allow yourself to be drawn to it. As you accelerate towards it you see
it’s heavenly beauty rising from beneath you, your vision filling with
the vastness of an ocean below. For a moment you feel a little
trepidation for you fear that you might lose your identity in this vast
ocean. A moment later, however, a feeling reassures you; that this is an
experience you will treasure forever if only you could let go of your
fear. So, focusing only on the ocean, you relax and splash down into the
middle of that vast expanse.
Calm and still, you realise that you now have a sense of expanded feeling.
Not only do you still feel conscious of yourself as the drop, but also
your awareness has enlarged to the experience of the whole ocean.
Fascinated, you notice that you can feel the waves on top as well as the
dark stillness of the depths of the ocean, and again you can feel
yourself lapping up against the shores of a distant country. A sense of
silent power fills you as you see what you have become. You are the
Gradually days pass, time flows; your physical being begins to change.
Some parts of your larger self, the ocean; form plants and organisms and
even small fish. Your awareness of the whole ocean expands. Now it is
not only the water of the ocean, but also the perceptions of the plants
and animals therein. You are able to feel what every animal, every plant
is feeling, and as time goes on in this way, so too does your expanded
sense of awareness continue to grow. You realise that everything is a
part of you and you, a part of everything.
You realise that this ocean is nothing other than the love in all things
and the love inside of you. And it is this love that makes you much more
than just a drop in the ocean. So you explore that love, expanding your
awareness into the evolving perceptions of all within the ocean. And you
watch as all life within the ocean grows and progresses within your
larger, divine self.
Spend some time
exploring this expansion of your consciousness - it is your real self that you
are becoming. When you are ready to finish your meditation, spend some time in
silence assimilating what you have felt and use this experience as the starting
point for your next meditation.
presents imagination with the Truth, imagination successfully expands the
second class you will have;
the recommended meditation exercises for at least ten minutes daily -
preferably the same time each day.
the meaning of life, (or perhaps what is meaningful in your life) and
begun to put these important qualities in front of the ever present
‘urgent’ things in our lives
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