This is a question that keeps unfolding like a set of nesting Russian dolls. Imagine you are new to the whole idea and are asking such a question. Meditation may promise you better focus, relaxation, refreshment. Or you may want to meditate to enjoy being quiet and still, and listen to something that feels safe and loving in your heart. You may simply be curious or interested in a new experience of being. You may wish to meditate to become closer to your Higher Self, the Ground of Being within.
But how does meditation help with any of these? In a simple way, meditation utilizes our capacity to rest consciousness with a focus, like a beam of light. Babies like to throw objects and see what happens. Suddenly, something that we could see, feel, and hold in our baby hand can move somewhere else and be different. With luck it might be returned by someone who speaks or smiles or adds something that changes it all again. So the baby throwing game goes on, helping us to learn about the space beyond and surrounding and within our awareness...
Through development we go on “throwing” objects into different spaces. We meet and receive those of others through our attachments, our intentions, play, actions, sounds, feelings, words, games, ideas, stories, art, music, and the complex intellectual mysteries of the material world – all expanding and changing while we keep re-orientating our grasp on it all. We keep moving. Life seems to keep expanding.
Meditation helps us to pause; to focus a piece of our consciousness like a pebble and cast it into the open space of our heart-mind awareness, the ocean. At the beginning, it may be caught up in swirls of currents and weeds caused by our emotions and mental distractions; it may seem to float or get stuck on the surface of the water. Yet still it reflects back something of who we are and helps us to be more transparent to ourselves.
When we are able to clear these blockages and whirlpools, steadily, with the help of a Guide and transmission, with patience, the pebble of awareness can drop deeper and deeper each time. We can allow our consciousness to gradually sink toward the center of our existence and the reality within our heart.
This inner world is increasingly subtle and formless, known by feelings that become increasingly precious and fine. Meditation becomes a heart pathway of focused feeling – we could say love – to touch the intimations of this deepest source. It is beloved, and it is the Beloved. There is the promise of becoming one with the Beloved so all separation across space can disappear.
From far across the vast spaces of many lives, we have been throwing out our search beam to reacquaint ourselves with this source, this original home. Gradually, with more practice of Heartfulness meditation and increased intensity in longing and waiting, the solid walls of separateness start melting and disappearing. We feel permeated by the presence of the beloved in our daily lives. We feel as if we are meditating all the time in this presence of love. Such a state of being radiates love far beyond our small self.
Why then do we meditate? We have a spark of the divine realm within us that seeks to know itself and become one with its origin. It is a vast mystery.
In human existence, we are seemingly cast into space and time, and we throw out our search beam to find our original source. Yet this seed core is exquisitely close, deeply sheltered in the subtlest particles of our heart. Only when our consciousness is refined sufficiently to feel its softest expression, to be softness itself, can it touch and merge with such a state of vibration and harmony. Perhaps then, it can “breathe” such a love into the entire atmosphere of the Earth and even other worlds.