Thirty years ago I learned how to meditate. I’d been trying to achieve that rejuvenating state of awareness for many years — from the tender age of sixteen when my dad took me to a weird introduction session — but I hadn’t even come close to the real thing. Then I found out that there are certain mechanisms naturally built into the human body that, when activated, automatically launch us into the essential state of well-being known as meditation, without drugs or acrobatics. It’s possible for anyone to achieve inner equilibrium and alert mental silence, but very few people realize that they need that. What we’ve accepted as a normal standard of daily life is actually subsistence.
General awareness about the subject of meditation (or yoga: inner union) has definitely increased over the decades, but it’s mostly misled. Although meditation does lead to overall fitness, the commercial image that’s been created by media and businesses don’t do it justice. Meditation is subtle, and therefore very powerful.
I just returned from my twenty-second visit to India, where this knowledge has been available to people for millennia. Not everyone there takes advantage of this wisdom (it’s been abused there just as much as it has in the West) but it’s very much apparent in the atmosphere. One can still sense a light of innocence permeating existence there. This primordial fragrance can be felt as a cool breeze emitting from the palms of the hands and the top of the head. In fact, the very earth there radiates this amazing phenomena.
Not to say that it’s impossible to meditate in the West. A couple of weeks ago my wife and I showed two visiting Indian businessmen how to meditate up in the Austrian alps, where our paths spontaneously crossed on the peak of Kafelekarspitze, 2,334 meters above sea level. And a few days before that, I enjoyed a very peaceful meditation in the grand lobby of the five-star Adlon Hotel near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (the pure alpine majesty was missing, but a different elevation — of fine architectural craftsmanship and aesthetic — could be felt there.)
The great thing about the inner phenomena that triggers meditation, often referred to as self-realization, is that it can so easily be felt and mastered. It requires only moments of sincere desire and patience, and enables us to rise above and witness the dictates of our own ego and conditionings, which we normally blindly follow. The rest is child’s play.
Happy Easter and happy ‘resurrection’. (The way has been lovingly prepared for that.)
Easter meditation in Dublin, Ireland (radio interview):