COURSE of STUDY, emotional calmness
What people experience during meditation
One of Dr. Laurel Clarks meditation experiences illustrates this very well.
I had this experience in 1982, about three years after I had been meditating regularly every day.
I was in a very emotional state. I was planning to be married in a few weeks, and was having grave misgivings about it. I was beginning to realize that the character of the man Id chosen to marry was not very good; I had been blinded to this when I decided to marry him. The problem was that all the plans were made and in place; we had sent out invitations to all of our friends and family. We had even started receiving gifts. Our relatives had purchased airplane tickets to come. We had reserved the place for the wedding and had put down deposits, and had ordered the cake and flowers. I had already looked for and found my wedding gown, and so forth.
So...at this late date it seemed impossible to do anything but go ahead with the plans.
I needed to meditate and at first wanted to use my meditation to answer the question, "should I go ahead with this marriage or not?" Deep down inside I knew I did not want to go ahead with it, but I was not objective and was being pulled in every direction by my out-of-control ego and emotions.
I sat down to meditate and did everything I knew how to do to try to still my mind. I was having difficulty keeping my mind still. At first, I asked a question like, "What should I do?" and received no answer. My mind kept running toward all of my questions like, "What about my mother? How will I tell her?" Suddenly I heard a clear voice (not my own) that said matter-of-factly, "Shell adjust." Then I asked, "What about everyone who has bought plane tickets?" Again, I heard that clear, matter-of-fact voice, "Theyll adjust." I asked in my thoughts, "What about the people from whom weve reserved the place?" The same calm, clear voice, "Theyll adjust."
Every question I had, I received the same answer in the same calm, clear, matter-of-fact objective voice. Gradually, my own mind calmed down to the same state. I realized that I was the one who had to adjust. I had a lot of ego invested in the wedding and associated plans and a lot of attachment to the idea of being married. I needed to adjust my attitude and draw upon my own inner wisdom, because I hadnt faced the fact that Id made a poor choice in a marriage partner. The one-time event of a wedding was a temporary thing, and although it did mean I had to face some reactions from the people involved, those were temporary, too. Adjusting to change was the important lesson for me, as well as adjusting to admit that I'd made a mistake so that I could correct it before making an even bigger one.
After this whole experience, my mind was clear and calm and I was able to meditate. I realized that this experience was not actually meditation, it was a communication with my guide. She was the clear, calm Voice repeating, "theyll adjust." She helped me be more objective so that I could be at peace with my decision to call off the wedding.
I learned several things from this experience. First, my years of discipline doing concentration exercises and daily meditation paid off when I needed them. Although I was very emotional, I was able to hear the voice of my guide and know that it was she. Without the previous discipline, I probably would not have been still enough to hear anything other than my own undisciplined conscious thoughts. Second, I learned that meditation is not designed to make decisions for me. Thats the job of the conscious mind, to choose, to decide. The reason I did not receive an answer to the question, "What should I do?" is because thats a question for the conscious mind to answer. The deeper question I had - "please help me to make a wise choice" - is what I received an answer to. My guide gave me another way to look at the situation. She did not make a decision for me; she helped me to view the situation from a more objective perspective without the emotional entanglements or attachments I had consciously.
A question and answer session with my guide was not in itself meditation, but it helped me to make the decision I needed to make so that I could clear my mind to meditate.
I learned something else: persistence pays off. When, at first, I did not receive the answer I sought, I did not give up. I stayed there in my meditation place, calmed my body and mind as best I knew how, and kept directing my attention toward what I wanted to receive. I received what I wanted and needed and also gave myself an experience I have been able to draw upon in the ensuing years to understand more completely how to use meditation.
Dr. Laurels experience illustrates something else that becomes more apparent and therefore more readily usable with repeated meditations. Her meditation time enabled her to bring to the forefront of her conscious mind lines of thinking that had been unconscious. The trains of thought concerning what family and friends would think of her were unconscious until she settled her mind enough to allow them to surface. The degree to which they were unconscious is the degree to which she was controlled by them and about to make a serious life mistake. The urging "deep down inside" to alter the course of her life was the urging of her subconscious mind, her soul......
©2002 School of Metaphysics
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