As a meditation practitioner and teacher, I have experienced myself, and witnessed others experience, the miracle of radical liberation countless times. There are many forms of meditation designed for a variety of purposes. The form that I teach is designed to bring you into direct recognition of your own inherently limitless nature. This recognition is the source of profound freedom.
When we awaken to our own inherent freedom we awaken to limitlessness. We recognize that we are free and unbound. In these moments we see for ourselves that our spirit was never trapped, stuck, or tied down even if it appeared that way. At the very same time we see how constrained and limited our experience of life has been up to this point.
Without realizing it most of us live burdened by an oppressive sense of limitation and constraint. We feel held in place, stuck and unable to attain what we truly want and sometimes even what we need. For those of us living in the West, this sense of constraint is often acutely felt in terms of our inner experience. We’ve been taught that we have the right to be happy and yet happiness seems so elusive and when we do experience it, it is so fleeting.
One way to explain the existential sense of constraint is psychological. Many would say that we begin this life ready to live open and free, but then we are wounded. We experience pain and suffering, and we recoil. We learn to be weary and guarded and self-protective. This defensive posture is a major source of our sense of existential constraint.
When we sit to meditate, we don’t do anything. We stop trying to manipulate or control our experience in any way. We simply allow everything to be exactly the way it is. We consciously release our defensiveness in the very safe space of silent meditation.
It took a long time of diligent practice before I was able to give up control for even a few moments in meditation. Yet those few precious moments of freedom were enough to change everything.
We tend to assume that when we give up control everything is going to stop, but the truth is that nothing stops when we give up control. That’s all part of the miracle – the recognition that we weren’t in control of anything. It was all just happening.
What you discover in these moments of total release is that everything you thought was you is actually part of the unfolding process of life. Your own self, the seemingly independent choices you make, and all of the effort you’ve expended to get to where you are, was a naturally arising part of the life process. You were never the one doing it all. It was all happening spontaneously and effortlessly.
When this miraculous state of awareness descends what you find is that all of the thoughts and feelings that are so familiar just keep going. Your aspirations and dreams, your fears and concerns, the helpful coaching that you always offer yourself, everything just keeps going. And you realize that all of the voices you used to think were you thinking and talking to yourself were just habits of mind.
Suddenly you don't know who you are. None of those voices were ever you.
Can you see how liberating this is?
All of those voices are just habits running along prescribed paths. The longer you sit in meditation and watch them the more you see that they just keep going in predictable patterns. You realize you've been trapped in mental loops because you had mistakenly thought they were you.
Now you're a free-floating point of awareness. You see and hear all the thoughts and feelings, but you aren't caught in the belief that they are who you are.
As I said, even a moment or two of letting go this deeply changes everything.
Before experiencing the miracle of meditation, we felt like an isolated individual struggling to navigate through the confines of a busy mind, now we see ourselves as a mysterious locus of awareness floating in an ocean of consciousness that is much bigger than any mind we have ever known.
Everything looks different and the problems we thought we had start to disappear – not because we’ve solved them, but because our attention is becoming riveted on a reality so awe-inspiring, we can’t take our eyes off it – our own truly unlimited nature.
We are captivated by the true nature of life, by the love and wisdom that has always been guiding it, and by the unfathomable reality of who we are.
That is the miracle of meditation, and in this experience we discover that our true nature is free, whole and unlimited.