When I was 19 years old an acquaintance invited me to take part in an hour-long meditation at the local spiritual centre. The thought equally fascinated and terrified me. I was not sure whether I could survive a whole hour without sensory input.
You probably guessed it – I survived this hour and I actually enjoyed it. This first meditation showed me a whole new world inside of me that I had been previously unaware of. Like everybody else I had looked to other people, to objects and achievements to make me happy. And like so many other people I also had the disturbing experience that there never seemed to be enough good things around to satisfy my unfulfilled self.
All this was to change once I started to seriously embark on meditation a few years later. A wise person once remarked that all we ever look for in all our endeavours and activities are "states of mind". We want to feel happy, peaceful, content and confident and our usual activities serve the sole purpose to achieve these states of mind.
I discovered like so many spiritual practitioners before me that we can have all that what we normally expect from outer sources right now. Through meditation we can feel secure, no matter how much or how little money we have. We can feel loved whether we have a loving partner or not and we can actually feel deeply happy even if there is nothing special in our life that would normally bring us this feeling.
What’s more, once we can stabilise these wonderful feelings within ourselves our outer surroundings will mysteriouly start to change. For example, if we meditate on love for a sustained period of time we may be able to finally meet our soulmate and embark on a deeply loving relationship. Or if we focus for a long period on our third eye in the centre of our forehead we may receive intuitive answers to our burning questions. Equally, our health may improve dramatically through a loving focus on the diseased parts of our body and we may even become able to heal others. In other words, like so many other spiritual practitioners I discovered that all good things start from within.
I have to admit that it was a long journey until I fully grasped this truth and even today after 25 years of almost daily meditation I still sometimes relapse into the faulty thinking that the good things are ‘outside’ and that I have to struggle and strain in order to get them. What meditation does for us is to gradually wear away this kind of victim attitude and instead enthrones us into the full responsibility for our reality.
Yes, meditation can sometimes feel boring, it may seem self-absorbed and it can bring up difficult material from our unconscious mind. But it also brings us happiness, confidence and love that is far, far greater than any outer experience can ever bring us.
Tara Springett M.A. has been a fully qualified Buddhist teacher since 1997. She is the author of The Five-Minute Miracle, Soulmate Relationships and Advanced Manifesting. Her website is: www.taraspringett.com. For more information on meditation, check out Tara's book: