Meditation and Emotional Healing
Adapted by Chris Simmonds from a Talk by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
In human life, there is but one true goal and that is to dissolve the separation the duality that creates the sense of “I” and “Thou” and the separation between them that limits your understanding of Self to a small body and mind and what you can perceive through the senses. The goal of spiritual life is the upliftment of the human spirit so that human beings are not dragged down into hopelessness and despair but instead that hope reigns in the human heart and the flood of love and joy comes in human life.
That which uplifts the human spirit and makes it bright is spirituality. That which makes the heart soar is spirituality. In this flow, dreams feel as if they can be fulfilled and there is joy in the heart and hope in life. Hope comes from the dissolution of barriers in the mind. It is our natural state of being. It is Sahaja, meaning “natural state of being”. It is entirely natural to feel joy, to feel hope, to feel love of life. This is entirely natural. The babe is born to this then due to the sufferings of the body, mind, and most of all, the heart, this hope gets covered up, gets diminished. One may begin to feel there is no way to achieve joy and happiness, no way to achieve the deep yearnings of one’s heart in one’s life.
When despair arises in human life, it prompts actions that promote sorrow, depression, unhappiness. It is a kind of hopelessness. It expresses through indulgence in the senses, in activities harmful to living beings, to life, to those you care about. Over-indulgence can occur in gambling, alcohol, drugs, spending, acquiring, or constantly working. These are all avoidances. What happens when one stops the habit of ceaseless work, overindulging in spending, acquiring, drinking or keeping smoke in the mind? When you stop, then you have to look at yourself. You have to feel the let-down, the sorrow, the hopelessness, the despair and the tears. Rather than face these inner lions, people run. This path of spirituality is not for cowards because it takes courage to face yourself.
When you let go of the crutches that keep you ever too busy to look, to feel, then you are confronted with your mortality, with the losses of your life, with the pains of the heart, the disappointments in life. You are confronted with yourself. When you have the courage to be with this, to look and not run, you are pursuing the path toward freedom. For when you look, that which has become a monster in the mind that you run from, shrinks. It shrinks when you stare it in the face. Then you begin to see there are possibilities, hopes, and if one has had the good karma, the good grace to learn Brahma sadhana [meditation on Cosmic Conciousness], to know yoga and yogic practice, then one has the potential and methodology for transformation.
Transformation in human life is never easy. The roses have thorns. They are lovely but when you step on them with bare feet, they will poke you. The path of spirit is both beautiful and thorny. When you look at the inner demons, when you call up the courage within to face yourself, face your life, you must feel the pain, the pain within, that pain of your human condition. This pain has many forms and many names, but the pain is all the same. When one has the courage to look at this pain, to face it straight on, to be, then the joy that dwells within emerges in the midst of this pain. Joy and hope emerge when one goes deep. There one discovers beneath the existential void of life, beneath the meaninglessness and suffering lies the bright transcendent nature of Self, the joy of life itself, the bliss of connectedness and wholeness, the love unending. To connect with this love, joy and bliss, one must connect with oneself.
As long as you run from yourself, as long as you separate from your pain, as long as you build walls between you and what is within you and you avoid it, you will be lacking peace. So many behaviors are avoidance. As long as you do this, you stay in a state of disconnectedness. Then you wonder, “Why is my meditation not better?”
Meditation is not good when you are in a state of disassociation from yourself, disconnection where you will not allow yourself to feel your tears and to feel your joy. When you disconnect and are running away meditation becomes superficial. When you connect with your Self in a deep way, with your feelings, you inner experiences and are willing to be with yourself, then you have the capacity to do deep sadhana [meditation].
By the techniques of Brahma sadhana, you take that emotion, that feeling, that connection, pain or joy, and you drop deeply into wholeness, into love beneath the chasm, beneath the brink of annihilation, beneath the fear, the sorrows and the anguish of human life where flows the golden river of spiritual bliss, the unconditional love of the Supreme.
Beneath fear is only love. You will not find it if you run from the fear and then complain that you cannot find the love. Instead, settle in. Beneath the fear, lies the love. Beneath the existential lies the transcendent. To know yourself, you cannot be on a path of avoidance and running. Sooner or later, karma will catch up with you and you will get tripped in your running and fall on your face. Then you have time to think. You can save many years if you just turn around and make the commitment to know yourself, to be with your pain and let it dissolve into bliss, into joy.
The yogi, established in the Self, runs not from pain. Nor does that one cling to pleasure. The grasping and the fearing are bondage. Stop running. Pleasure and pain come in human life. They are two sides of creation, always turning one to the other, like a shiny coin with two sides, one will shine and then the other. The human experience is ever changing. Can you be with your humanity? Can you be with your failures? Can you accept your failures in the life? Can you accept your flaws? Can you love yourself, flawed with failures? Can you accept your humanity? Not only are you one in your union, in your joy in the light, you are one in your humanity for not only do you have flaws and failings but all those around you have flaws and failings. You share the common human condition, the struggle, the pain the dreams not fulfilled, the self-criticisms, the flaws, the failings, yet you are dear, dear to Parama Purusha [supreme consciousness], just as you are! He does not judge you. He does not say, “Oh, that one I don’t love. They are too flawed.” His love is unconditional. Despite flaws and failings, you are all his children, all children of the Great, the offspring of Purusha [spirit] and Prakrti [nature]. You are within him and his love for you is beyond measure. But to know that love, you must be willing to accept yourself just as you are, just as you are with imperfections, with dreams and desires, some fulfilled, some unfulfilled, with sorrows and sufferings, with achievements in the world and without. All of these things are irrelevant. What is relevant is your essential being.
Parama Purusha will love you, will care for you, just as you are, but if you are running, running from yourself, how can he reach you? You are within him, his love is showering on you always but you are so busy working, working or drinking, drinking or any number of other outlets that you haven’t the time to notice. You are so busy with the toys, the different outlets that he created, that you don’t notice the creator. You do not notice the shower of grace and love. When you stop, when you take a moment to be truly with yourself fully, to feel, then he is there, just beneath the pain, the fear, the struggle; when you feel, when you allow, just beneath it lies the river of love, lies the light of your soul, lies the joy that is not dependent on achievements in the world and cannot be lost.
It is your essential nature. When one comes in contact with this essential nature, one begins to feel a restoration of hope, a joy which is not dependent on external circumstances, a joy that comes from one’s natural state of being. This is Sahaja, one’s natural state of being, the natural state of simplicity, joy, honesty, connectedness and wholeness. It is natural, very natural.
Hope is natural in the human heart. Joy is natural but this is not the joy from achievement. It is the inherent joy. It isn’t dependent on anything. It comes from one’s inner state and the more you connect to yourself, the more it emerges and when you lose connection, it seems to fade but it never goes anywhere. It always is the same, only you lose the focus. So to maintain that focus is to stop, accept yourself, feel complete unconditional love and acceptance for your own self and allow yourself to be with the totality of your experience.
Allow yourself to feel and then bring yourself to mantra, to dhyana, and dissolve the barriers of duality in the fundamental joy of existence, the fundamental nature of the Self, a love beyond the comprehension of the mind that can only be known in the depths of one’s inner experience that transcends words and concepts. That alone is the refuge of human life. The practices of meditation will bring you there but the barrier to true sadhana is the running away.
Just be. Just feel and have great compassion for yourself, your faults and your failings. Then you will have compassion for others as well. Nobility, truth, dedication and love emerge when the heart and the mind are one.