Most of the time, our minds are filled with idle thoughts, "roof-brain chatter" it has been called. This "roof-brain
chatter" centers our attention on one portion of our conscious mind. It keeps us from looking at the images and feelings
at the depths of our experience and, at the same time, shuts out much of the present-time world.
Correcting this state of mind is one of the first steps in awakening spiritual consciousness. Various techniques have
been developed to do this - techniques that generally fall into the category of meditations.
Meditation may be thought of as learning to explore the totality of one's consciousness. Through meditation, one can learn
to experience more fully the beauty of a sunset, the power of a Beethoven symphony, or the touch of a lover's hand - because
one experiences them in present time, without the distraction of idle thoughts. One can also enter the depths of one's being
and find areas that for many have been a source of inner wisdom.
One of the problems with meditation is that we in the West are goal oriented. We want to see results. The law of cause
and effect is integral to our thinking, so we want to be sure that meditation is the cause of the results we've seen. Unfortunately,
meditation doesn't work that way. Its effects are gradual. One doesn't leave every session of meditation with new insights
- or even a profound feeling of peace. If one simply spends fifteen minutes with a quiet mind, that is what that meditation
should have been. If illuminating thoughts come, that's a bonus. Don't expect them; don't look for them.
Meditation is rather like putting fertilizer on a flower bed. We don't wake up the next morning to a beautiful bed of
flowers. When we do see the flowers, two or three months later, we may wonder if they might not have been just as beautiful
without the fertilizer. Sometimes students of meditation realize what it has done only when they stop for a while and note
that something seems to be missing in their lives.
I'm not going to say any more about specific experiences. It is not good for a beginning student to have an exact idea
of what should or should not be happening. Through meditation, you are exploring your own inner space, your own higher consciousness.
If you think too much about other people's experiences you will try to explore their inner space and reach their higher consciousness.
This is impossible.