Recently I received an email from a woman named Kimberly who sent me a wonderful poem that she wrote about her connection with God after reading CwG. She then asked me if I had any suggestions on how she should approach her "inner self." Below is the email I sent back to Kimberly. I did not intend for it to be, but it turns out that this is a wonderful little treatise on the practice of meditation. If I had sat down to write an "article about meditation" I do not think I could have produced such clarity. However, when our intention is purely to seek to assist another, I believe we open access to enormous wisdom. Here is the email that resulted...
My dear Kimberly...
First, thank you for sending the poem. It is a wonderful expression of your feelings and your inner truth after reading the CwG material, and it was a very special gift to receive from you.
As to your request for individual guidance on how you might approach your inner self, I believe that you have done so with your poetry. This is one of many ways that our higher Self speaks to us, and I do hope that you will continue to put pen to paper in this way whenever you feel inspired to do so. A collection of such verses may one day serve humanity.
To prepare for such inspirations, I want to make the already predictable suggestion (so predictable, in fact, that you may already be doing this) that you practice quiet, sitting meditation at least twice a day. Please do this for at least 15 minutes each morning and 15 minutes each evening. Try, if it is possible, to set a standard time when you will do this. Then try to keep to that time. Yet if you cannot keep such a schedule, know that any time will do, so long as it is at least twice a day, early and late.
Find a place where you can be absolutely private and alone. It works for me to be naked, because that removes for me any sense of "closed-offedness" from the universe, if that makes any sense to you. So I sit naked, but that is not a requirement, Kimberly. It is just something that helps me to achieve a state of mind. If sitting without any clothing on in any way produces discomfort in you, or creates a state of mind which is not totally open and joyful and at peace, then wrap yourself in something loose and flowing. But try to not dress in something that binds or constricts in any way, making you conscious of something other than your holy self.
When I meditate, I sometimes sit outside, if it is nice and warm, allowing the morning sun to bake down upon me, or the stars to sparkle above me. Inside, I sit by a window and let the dawn sun pour in and the night sky enclose me.
There is no "right way" to do quiet sitting meditation. (Indeed, there is no "right way" to do anything.) One may sit in a comfortable chair, or on the floor, or upright in bed, for that matter. Choose what works for you. I sit on the floor, usually with no back rest but occasionally against a wall or something, because floor sitting keeps me more "present" in the space. If I am too completely comfortable, as in an overstuffed chair or on the bed, I tend to doze off or fade away from the moment. When I am sitting on the floor, or outside on the grass, this rarely occurs. I am totally mentally "present."
Once sitting, I begin by paying attention to my breathing, closing my eyes and simply listening to myself inhaling and exhaling. I am in blackness and I pay attention only to what I am hearing.
When I have "united" - that's the only word I can find that fits here - with the rhythm of my breath, I begin to expand my attention to what my "inner eye" is seeing. Usually at that point this is nothing but darkness. If I am seeing images-that is, "thinking thoughts" of something and seeing that before me-I work to fade those thoughts out, like a "fade to black" on the movie screen. I turn my mind to blankness. Focusing my inner eye, I peer deeply into this darkness. I am looking for nothing in particular. I am simply peering deeply, allowing myself to search for nothing.
Soon, in my experience, what appears to be a small, flickering blue "flame" or burst of blue light pierces the darkness. I find that if I begin thinking about this cognitively-that is, defining it, describing it to myself, trying to give it shape and form or make it "mean" something-it disappears immediately. The only way that I can "make it come back" is to pay it no mind. I have to work hard to turn my mind off and just be with the moment and the experience, without judging it, defining it, or trying to make something happen or figure it out or understand it from my logic center. It is rather like making love. Then, too, for the experience to be mystical and magical, I must turn my mind off and just be with the moment and the experience, without judging it, defining it, or trying to make something happen or figure it out or understand it from my logic center.
Meditation is making love to the universe. It is uniting with God. It is uniting with Self. It is not to be understood, created, or defined. One does not understand God, one simple experiences God. One does not create God, God simply is. One does not define God, God defines one. God IS the definer and the defined. God is the definition itself.
Insert the word Self wherever the word God appears in the above paragraph and the meaning remains the same.
Now, back to the dancing blue flame. Once you take your mind off it, all the while keeping your focus ON it, without expectation or thought of any kind, the flickering light may reappear. The trick is to keep your mind (that is, your THOUGHT PROCESS) off it, all the while keeping your focus (that is, your UNDIVIDED ATTENTION) on it.
Can you imagine this dichotomy? This means paying attention to what you are not paying attention to. It is very much like day dreaming. It is like when you are sitting in broad daylight, in the middle of some place of great activity, and you are paying attention to nothing at all, or to everything all at once. You are expecting nothing and requiring nothing and noticing nothing in particular, but you are so FOCUSED on the "nothing" and the "everything" that someone finally has to snap you out of it (perhaps by literally snapping their fingers), saying, "Hey! Are you DAY DREAMING????"
Usually, one day dreams with one's eyes open. Meditation is "day dreaming with your eyes closed." That's as close as I can come to explaining my experience.
Now the dancing blue flame has reappeared. Simply experience it and do not try to define it, measure it, or explain it to yourself in any way. Just....fall into it. The flame will appear to come toward you. It will become larger in your inner field of vision. This is not the flame moving toward you at all, but YOU moving into, and inside of, the experience of it.
If you are lucky you will experience TOTAL IMMERSION in this light before your mind starts telling you about it and talking to you about it. If you have even one instant of this mindless immersion, you will have experienced bliss. This is the bliss of total knowing, total experiencing of the Self as One, with all of it, with everything, with the Only Thing There Is.
You cannot "try" for this bliss. If you see the blue flame and begin to anticipate this bliss, the flame will disappear instantly, in my experience. Anticipation and/or expectation ends the experience. That is because the experience is happening RIGHT NOW, and anticipation or expectation PLACES IT INTO THE FUTURE, WHERE YOU ARE NOT.
Hence, the flame seems to "go away." It is not the light that has gone away, it is you. You have removed yourself from the moment of Now by placing your thought into what you call the Future. This has the same effect on your inner third eye as closing your outer eyes has on your experience of the physical world around you. You quite literally shut it out.
In my own experience, Kimberly, this encounter with bliss comes but once every thousand moments of meditation. Having known it once is both a blessing and, in a sense, a curse, because I am forever wishing for it again. Still, there are times when I can retreat from the wishing, remove myself from the hope, desert my desires, reject my expectations, and place myself totally in the moment, utterly without anticipation of anything in particular. This is the mental state I seek to achieve. It is not easy, but it is possible. And if I achieve it, I have achieved mindlessness. Nirvana. Bliss.
Now, a moment ago I referred to the experience of making love. I did this for a reason. This can be a wonderful training for those who find it difficult to undertake the journey to mindlessness in quiet meditation.
If you have an intimate partner, you may find that the experience of sexual union is an extraordinary opportunity to experience the beginnings of the journey to bliss, or mindless oneness. In your sexual encounter you must retreat from the wishing, remove yourself from any hope, desert any desires, reject any expectations, and place yourself totally in the moment, utterly without anticipation of anything in particular. It is not easy, but it is possible. If you achieve it, you will have achieved mindless oneness. This is nirvana. This is bliss.
Then, knowing that such a state is possible, your next step on the journey is to achieve this state not through physical union with another, but through metaphysical union with the Self. This same bliss may be experienced in silent meditation.
Having experience this identical state of bliss, you will come to know the REASON that the experience of bliss through physical union with another is identical to the bliss experienced through union with the Self...
There IS no one BUT the Self.
There IS no "other."
Totally loving, non-expecting, non-desiring, non-needing sexual union with another confirms this. Totally loving, non-expecting, non-desiring, non-needing metaphysical union with the Self confirms this also.
In your note to me, Kimberly, you said...."If you have any suggestions on how I should approach my inner self, please feel free to express your ideas." I have just done so. There are other ideas I have as well. Next, we shall talk about Walking Meditation.
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.