“The only true vacation is the vacation from your own mind!” –Andrew Cohen
I love meditating. I do it every day. I didn’t always love it though. I used to struggle with it enormously. I have been meditating with relative consistency now for over 17 years, and only in the last eight years has the practice become a powerful source of confidence and inspiration.
I don’t often hear people talk about meditation in the context of developing a deep and abiding source of confidence, but that is why I practice meditation. Real meditation means letting go of everything, and letting go of everything reveals a depth of self that is infinite and utterly free from the world. Spending time in this practice of letting go is a little like soaking your being in a sea of pure goodness. There is perfect silence and stillness there, and an abiding sense of completion and communion. What I have noticed is that over time, through practice, this source of self becomes less and less a place that I visit, and more and more the truth of who I know myself to be at the deepest level.
That is what I mean about confidence. Over time, meditation becomes less about experiencing a particular state of consciousness, and more about the deep and unshakable knowing that who I am is that unmovable infinite self. I used to think that deep and powerful experiences of this Self were the main event! I could ride an experience of depth and higher awareness for long periods of time and learn a lot. Of course these experiences really are important, because they have fueled my interest.
But this confidence I am speaking about is much deeper than any experience or state. There is a kind of joy in this knowing, and I have noticed that now, even just speaking about meditation, I am instantly aware of this deeper source of self and that I am never apart from it or could be apart from it. When I speak about meditation or put my mind on it, I know that there is no distance between me and infinity and no process or journey to get home.
Sitting perfectly still in practice, letting go of every thought, every feeling, every aberration in my mind, every interpretation of what is happening, and any sense of time never ceases to amaze me. Whether it is through focusing on relaxing, on stillness, or on paying attention, each is a doorway to deeper letting go, and each yields new and deeper insights that then, in turn, need to be dropped. The letting go never stops, but neither does the infinitely compelling free fall into the depth of life and Being and wonder that accompanies it.
I don’t meditate to relax or to relieve stress. I meditate to cultivate deep joy and confidence in the source of existence and to deepen my own spiritual self-confidence. I practice every day to fuel my love for depth and my interest in what I will never see or know with my mind.