The process of self development can be a slow, tedious experience. Other times it can happen in leaps and bounds. The most powerful meditation I have ever experienced occurred a little less than a year ago. First, I had a short but nice meditation. Then, I went on an hour long walk. I connected with Father Sun twice while I contemplated my personal sun ray. When I got home I decided to meditate again. I was laying on my back with my hands crossed over my chest, but soon I felt the desire to put my arms out by my side and totally surrender. I thought of Jesus and felt energy in my ajna chakra, or third eye. Then I thought of Paramahansa Yogananda and felt energy in the middle chakras. Finally, I thought of the Buddha and felt energy in the muladhara, or root chakra.
The following story is taken from my book, The New Season: Journey Toward Enlightenment. I have presented it here in order to demonstrate the symbolism of some of the most profound ancient teachings to be found. More importantly, I hope to provide examples of how to incorporate this wisdom into one’s daily life. I hope you enjoy it:
Life often gives us examples of how we are connected to everything. I once read a story about a man who could “tap” another person and cause them to turn around, even though twenty feet or more separated them! Is this even possible? In the story it was stated that, out of forty people who passed by, only four failed to turn around when this man mentally “tapped” them. That is remarkable! (From The Lost Season by Jeffry Beers)
“Part of life’s beauty is that we are all connected, so that beauty is in me as well”
“It is the ego that causes us to perceive separateness and the stronger the ego, the more separation there is between source energy and us.”
Once a friend sent me a text that said everything happens for a reason. I sent a text back that stated we are not always privy to that reason. The very next thing I read was this: “Chaos, then, is just a point of view. Things that appear random to a limited awareness fit into place perfectly when awareness is expanded.” This quote by Deepak Chopra points to the importance of expanding awareness to see the harmony in all things. The alternative is to allow the ego to convince us that separation is the rule, rather than the connectedness that runs deeper and remains hidden to the untrained eye.
A while ago I sat on the back porch and witnessed an amazing sunset. The trees framed vibrant colors in a select location, almost as if it were done on purpose just as a special gift to me. I could sense the difference of coming from the place of being a part of everything, intimately connected in every way, versus perceiving oneself as separate from everything and continually being acted upon by the environment. The former brings a sense of peace and joy while the latter brings a sense of pain and suffering. The difference is quite profound.
“Your brain creates the illusion of constancy, yet in truth the person or thing you believe to be in front of you is actually a ghost of what was in front of you a few thousandths of a second ago.” -Deepak Chopra
The great teachers of the past have been telling us for thousands of years that the idea of physical reality is a mere illusion. Now it appears science is telling us the same thing. It seems time for us to revisit the wisdom of the past and combine it with the new information available today in order to gain a better understanding of the reality in which we live. In turn, we can make informed decisions when eliminating belief systems that do not serve our best interest.
Since the beginning of time, every culture has taught the path to enlightenment, but the old models are not proper for today. This is why so many of the ancient teachings are in metaphors and myths, which transcend cultural changes in beliefs and ideologies. When we understand the deeper meaning of mythology, folklore and religion, we begin to see beyond the barriers of social conditioning that the psyche holds. This is really quite paradoxical given that the culture itself is the creator of the social conditioning that we then use the mythology to overcome.
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
One night I was sitting in the hot tub gazing at the nearly full moon when suddenly I had a very lucid thought about just who and what we truly are. As I was sitting in silence feeling the stillness of the night, the words, “know thy self” came to mind, followed by “love thy self,” and the meaning hit home deeply as I felt a strong sense of compassion for the parts of me that have suffered, and which in turn, became a great teacher.
I have to say, when I had first heard of the idea “love thy self,” I had only an intellectual understanding of what it meant. However, that night while gazing at the sacred moon, I actually FELT compassion for hurt Jeff. Consequently, I now truly get what it means to love thy self. And it is powerful!
“Know thy self.”
One of the main teachings it boils down to is simply living in the eternal now and being of one mind. This differs from the perspective of the split mind, where we have created the identity of “I,” which can be described as the person I want or intend to be vs. “me,” which is the person I want to improve upon. The latter is the one we must develop compassion for, as it is the one who has suffered. And this is the very reason we attempt to improve upon it; because quite simply, we do not want to suffer.
When we seek to discover heaven or nirvana, we must know that it is ineffable and no one can describe it to us, they can merely point us in the right direction. We must discover it for ourselves, and to find the right path, we must be here now! -Jeffry C. Beers
In Buddhism it is taught that there is no “thing.” This is often misunderstood. It is not teaching, as is often thought, that the world is an illusion. Instead, it is the idea of any solid, permanent object that is the illusion. Every object is merely vibrating energy.
This has been demonstrated to be true over and over again by quantum physics. As physicist Niels Bohr puts it, “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet. Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” Ironically, we had a better understanding of this as babies, before object permanence set in, which is why many ancient teachings speak of “remembering” rather than “learning.” They implore us to remember what we knew before the birth of the ego.