From concentration to meditation
Consider a drop of water falling into an ocean. Upon touching the ocean, it immediately expands to merge its identity with the ocean. So it is with concentration and meditation. When your concentration touches your infinite aspect, you expand into meditation. Herein lies the difference. In concentration, your consciousness is one-pointed, like a laser beam. In meditation, your consciousness expands to become the sun itself.
Now, let’s try to get a glimpse of the meditation experience. Remember, meditation does not happen in the mind. Meditation happens in the heart-the spiritual heart.
The heart, of course, is famous in spiritual literature. To reiterate a concept I spoke of before, just think of the heart as another room. The mind and heart are two different rooms inside our being. In life, if we want to eat, we might go from the living room to the kitchen. If we want to meditate, we want to leave the mind room and enter into the heart room.
world-division and self-division…
The heart is acceptance:
acceptance of the inner life and acceptance of the outer life.
The inner life is aspiration. The outer life is dedication.
Exercise / The heart’s concentration
We’re going to focus on the candle again, but this time we’re going to use the heart as opposed to the mind. Again, the emphasis should be on your concentration.
When we use the mind, we say we are „thinking“. What do you do when you use your heart? Feel. Feel love, feel compassion. feel oneness. This time, when you focus on the candle flame. do so with a sense of „loving“ the candle, or perhaps, offering your goodwill from the heart. Try it and see.
Sit comfortably erect in a chair. With eyes closed, invite your mind into calm, Tell the mind that for just seven minutes you’d like to focus on the heart. For these seven minutes, nothing else matters save for your heart awareness. Envision. perhaps, a huge, calm ocean of peace in the mind extending outward in all directions with yourself at the centre. With each inhalation. imagine all the issues of your mind dissolving into this ocean.
First, begin by saying to yourself, „I am the heart.“ Simply say that to yourself. And recall for a moment your inner occupation, which is to grow into peace, joy or whatever inner quality appeals to you. Feel inside your heart a childlike cry to grow into peace, grow into light, grow into love.
Now bring your concentration to your breath. With each inhalation, follow the inhaling breath. Feel the air enter your nose, pass through your throat and enter the centre of your chest. Use the inhaling breath as a vehicle to drop out of the mind and fall into the middle of the chest. Try to centre your self-awareness there.
With each inhalation, feel yourself diving deeper and deeper into your heart.
Your eyes are still closed. Imagine yourself turning your vision inward into the heart. In a moment you’ll open your eyes and, when you do so, feel as your if eyes are in your heart and your vision is coming from the inmost recesses of your heart.
Now, gently half open your eyes and look at the candle flame. Try to feel your heart’s identification, your heart’s oneness with the flame. Do this for three or four minutes: concentrate from your heart.
After a few minutes, close your eyes again and try to envision the candle flame in your heart which is perfectly still. See its light and feel its warmth. Do this for a few minutes.
Once more, open your eyes and bring your heart’s awareness to the flame as you did earlier. Again, after three minutes, close your eyes and see the flame in your heart. This time, with each inhalation imagine the flame growing taller and brighter. It remains rooted in your heart but is climbing upwards toward the crown of your head with each inhalation. After a few minutes, imagine the light from the flame extending outward beyond the limits of your body-forward, backward, upward, downward, to the left and to the right. Let the light expand outward to fill the room you are in. Then take it beyond the limits of the room. Finally, take it to the limits of your imagination-upwards to the sky, outwards toward the horizon.
As a final part of this meditation, imagine that you want to find the source of this all-pervading light, that source being in the depths of your heart. Direct your vision inward and dive as deep as you can into your heart, seeking the root of the flame. After a few minutes more, open your eyes but keep all your focus rooted inside your heart.
You cannot go very far.
Your vision is very narrow.
O my heart-traveler,
The length and breadth of the world
Are too narrow for you,
For you far transcend
The length and breadth of the world.
It is very important to note that, in fact, nothing in the world around you has changed. The traffic is still flowing. The background noise is still there. The only thing that changed was you. You experienced a change in consciousness. You moved on down the fulfilment line.
This is the experience of the heart. If you didn’t get it, no harm. There are many other techniques for you to try. If you did succeed, the task becomes to open this channel to the heart so that you can access it throughout the entire day, not just for the few minutes of the day when you sit for meditation. You’ll quickly discover that the world takes on a completely different appearance when viewed through the heart of oneness as opposed to the mind of separation.