“Thinking is the soul talking to itself,” said the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. Meditation is the quieting of the rational mind in order to hear the words of the soul. In that, we experience our divine spark and can truly grow into spiritual beings living on this earth plane. “The noblest of all studies is the study of what man is and of what life he should live,” Plato continues.
When we take the time to go within and listen to our soul and connection to “infinite intelligence”, we will, as the temple of Delphi has inscribed, “Know thyself!” Our life’s purpose—and our struggle in this high-paced world—is the discovery of self and the exploration of our true inner reality. With the knowledge of self, we begin to bridge the gap between the mind connected to the physical body and spirit. Knowing, liking and applying ourselves are aspects of self-knowledge that would change the world. Liking ourselves honors the healthy relationship with body, mind and soul. If we took the time without doctrine or creed to find this out for ourselves, there would be a much happier human race.
Knowing ourselves encompasses the three parts of our being. Physical awareness means we know our capabilities, are aware of our limitations and push to recognize our potential. This awareness helps us be the best we can be and do the best that we can do. Mental awareness honors the mind, often considered the “window to the soul.” Therefore, mental and spiritual awareness complete each other. The mind acquires knowledge that must be recognized and used. Our innate abilities and talents, when applied, create true self-worth, competency and well-being. When we share these innate abilities, we share who we are and express our soul’s purpose.
This self-awareness and realization can be achieved through a tool called meditation. Meditation is looking inward, but is not an escape from physical reality. We live on a physical plane and must live responsibly. Self-knowledge obtained through meditation improves us by helping us recognize the existence of the divine spark of human potential somewhere within us. It may be viewed as inner awareness or knowledge of our oneness with all of creation. This improvement to the individual is the re-acquaintance with the in-dwelling divinity we have lost sight of in modern times. It shows that the path of reaching total attainment of our total human potential is through discipline, insight and principles of meditation. The process is never-ending.
Meditation also offers us efficiency and greater serenity. Those who meditate regularly tend to be very efficient at any task they set to do. They also enjoy serenity and a joy of living. An inner grace is felt strongly within and its reflection seen from without. Meditation brings a great value emotionally and intellectually, enabling us to understand the relationship of self and the universe as well as our emotions and intellect. Meditation serves as a guide and tool to truly know the self on every level.
The process of meditation begins with silence, which is defined as “absence of any sound or noise; or stillness.” It is silence in our surroundings and in ourselves. The atmosphere conducive to meditation is a quiet and relaxed place without distractions. Meditation can be done anywhere in the stillness of silence. It doesn’t have to necessarily be quiet. Many people enjoy nature as the location of their meditative experience as it has a unique stillness. Nature offers its own peace, serenity and energy. Whether it’s the cozy sound of a forest or the soft crashing of ocean waves, nature offers us direct connection to Mother Earth.
Meditation has been practiced throughout history across the world. There are many types of meditations and methods to connect with the self. Silencing the rational mind and our thoughts is the way to obtain that connection. The trick to this is not focusing on silencing the mind but simply relaxing into the quiet that includes the mind. This quiet is a quietness of heart rather than an imposed cessation of speech or activity. It is the re-introduction to the unspoken divine spark, which has no expectations or demands; it simply is. This silence, therefore, becomes a vehicle to take us to the place of power, of self.
This may seem daunting. However, the benefits are well worth the effort. A meditation or silent retreat may be a good start. Surrounding ourselves for a period of time with like-minded people searching for the same results can increase dedication and overall experience. In such retreats, the collective energy benefits all, offering support and guidance. The purpose of the retreat is to help disconnect from the outside world and focus on the inner one. Inward reflection of this kind allows for greater clarity.
To healers, mediums and psychics, it is the still mind obtained through meditation that allows the connection to form and connects us to our own soul. The soul can also touch the discarnate spirit world and bring the memories and messages of that spirit person, allowing them to be felt and heard. Meditation— in whatever form resonates with us—is a benefit not only to us, but to the soul expression here and hereafter and to the world. It promotes peace and understanding, which are sorely needed in today’s world.