by J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) (excerpted from the book: Meditation for Starters)
Learn to live more superconsciously. This means to live with meditation-born awareness. Try to make the peace you experience in meditation the basis of your objective experience of life. Don’t let the meditative peace slip between your fingers like grains of sand the moment you find the winds of worldly duties again buffeting you. Don’t let the insistent demands people make of you blow away your calm self-awareness.
Don’t let others define you in their terms. Live by what you know of yourself, inwardly. Your abiding reality is the peace, love, and joy you have experienced in your own soul.
Meditation makes you aware of a better world. It is no dream world, but a world more real than any other. Owing to your awareness of that world, you will be able to cope far more effectively with things and situations that others around you insist are the world of reality. Peace will help you to solve problems that others, living as they are, hemmed in by cares and worries, find insoluble.
Calmness will come to you as a result of daily meditation. In that calmness will come intuitive perceptions. Where, formerly, you may have felt paralyzed by the sheer enormity of life’s problems, intuition will supply you with simple, clear answers.
You will find through meditation a heart quality developing that will inspire others to look at their problems, too, more constructively.
Meditation will sharpen your concentration, and develop your will power. Obstacles of many kinds will simply vanish, and you’ll be able to accomplish in minutes what, formerly, might have taken you hours, days, or even weeks to do.
A highly successful businessman of my acquaintance spent his mornings meditating. He went to work only in the afternoons. His associates sometimes chided him, “With all your responsibilities, how can you afford to be so late for work?”
“Because of my responsibilities,” he would reply, “I can’t afford not to!” He had found that by coming to work with a clear mind he could solve problems on which others would have spent days, without ever being sure whether the answers they found were the right ones.
For intuition, the natural fruit of meditation, has one supreme advantage over the reasoning faculty: It provides inner certainty.
The rational mind can never be quite sure of anything. The best it ever does is decide on which, out of a variety of possibilities, seems the best choice. Great discoveries and accomplishments are the consequence, always, of some measure of intuition.
Learn to look at life more with a sense of its underlying unity. Don’t analyze everything. Obviously, there are situations where analysis is necessary, but even then, cling to a deeper consciousness of the interrelationship of all things. For everything is a manifestation of a universal reality—even as waves, whatever shape they manifest, are manifestations of the same sea.
There is a coherency in life, an underlying purpose and meaning. Know that, for every problem, there has to be a solution. See other people, not (to quote Sartre) as “that which you are not,” but as part of your own greater reality. Love them from that inward awareness which you are developing in meditation. All humanity is, in the deeper sense, your own self.
All things are subject to the Law of Oneness. Everything has its compensating opposite. The pendulum, after moving in one direction, swings back in the opposite direction. For every up there is a down; for every left, a right; for every negative, a positive. Darkness and light, cold and heat, pain and pleasure, male and female—in all Nature we see opposites balancing one another.
For every problem, similarly, there is a solution. Be solution-oriented, not problem-oriented. That is what it means to think superconsciously. Don’t dwell on difficulties longer than it takes simply to define them clearly. The solutions often come from seeing opposites as pairs in a single unity.
Be guided, above all, by inner joy. The more you let yourself be guided superconsciously, the more you will feel joy in everything you do. You will reach the point of understanding that, if that quiet, inner joy is missing, anything you contemplate doing were better left undone. And when inner joy is present, it will be your way of knowing for a certainty that what you contemplate is right and good.
Answers to Important Questions
Question: How can I be really sure that I’m being guided superconsciously?
Answer: You can’t be absolutely certain; the mind is very adept at fooling itself! You can, however, become increasingly satisfied with the results, as everything you do works increasingly effectively for you.
Don’t abandon reason in your attempt to be guided superconsciously. Reason is a valuable tool for understanding. It is the corrector. Though not creative in itself, it is an important part of the creative process. Reason checks your conclusions objectively and helps you to make sure they will really work. Reason looks at the ideal and sees whether, in application to prosaic reality, the ideal will work.
Nikola Tesla, for example, the great inventor,(1) “invented” a number of marvels that had to await the discovery of new materials before they could be made practicable. His inspiration outstripped the practical knowledge of his times. Superconscious guidance will be true, but it may be true before its time in this world of prosaic realities. Sometimes, also, guidance comes mixed with human desires and expectations. Reason will help you to separate the true from that which you merely wish to be true.
Question: How will “solution-orientedness” in itself bring me solutions? I may wish for a solution, but I don’t see how, if I’m not really functioning on a superconscious level in a state of deep meditation, mere wishing for answers will supply them to me.
Answer: What “solution-orientedness” does is open your mind to inspiration “from above” by attuning it to the way that inspiration works. “Solution-orientedness” carries no guarantee, but great inspirations always come by putting out the positive faith, first, that the answers exist, and that they are simply waiting to be found. Have faith that you have them already, and you’ll be surprised how often your faith is justified.
Question: What is the best way to carry my meditation-born awareness into daily life?
Answer: By developing a consciousness of your own center in the spine. Live outward from that center, rather than inward from your periphery.
A Visualization Exercise
Close your eyes and see yourself riding in the basket of a large hot-air balloon. Look down below you at the vast countryside: at the busy city you left behind, at the road as it winds through peaceful meadows, at the tree-dense forest, and at the river twisting its way through the plains. See the foothills rising and meeting the high mountains.
Observe everywhere a unifying reality. Nothing, in itself, is complete. Everything below you is part of a totality which, taken all together, is right, good, and beautiful. The very anxiety and noise of the city were necessary; they provide a comparison, a choice. What, you ask yourself, did your ego want? Did it really want bondage, pain, and suffering? Never! You know now what you wanted far more deeply than the immediate goals you sought. You wanted expansive peace, soul-freedom, wisdom!
Rise higher still with your balloon’s ascent. There is no feeling of cold about you as the balloon soars into the stratosphere. Nor is there a feeling of warmth. Your body is becoming diminishingly real. Weight no longer exists. There is nothing firm around you. You are becoming space itself—circumscribed vaguely by the balloon, with its increasingly non-material basket.
Higher still you go—into outer space. Behold the round earth spinning slowly beneath you. Realize that it, too, is but a part of your infinitely greater reality—a reality that includes the moon, sun, planets, and all the stars.
Until today you have retained your human center: your little sense of “I.” But what is this “I,” when there is no one else to relate to, not forests, nor plains, nor mountains to remind you how very little your body was?
Cast away the last of your earthly attachments. Pour out the little grains of sand, representing your last, lingering earthly tendencies. Release your ego from its little nest of security. Offer yourself into the vastness of space all around you. Embrace the galaxies. You are they, and so much, much more. The very universe is you!
Rejoice calmly in your newly discovered liberty: in your freedom from littleness! Dwell on that image of vastness, until you feel that infinity is what you truly are.