True meditation is the art of being creatively present. What does it mean to be creatively present? We must live in the present moment, without being a prisoner of past conditioning. Do not be misled by what you see in the world around you, the passing show with its violence, greed, and lust for power. We are incarnations of the light of the cosmos, and within that light is the possibility of realizing our true Self, which is beyond the small ego with all of its fear and security issues.
For this transformation which is Self-realization, we need meditation. In meditation, we enter, we experience, and we prepare to express our divinity. This seed of divinity within each of us is the Creative Power, a creative center of love, light, and truth. The discovery of this dynamic awareness will revolutionize our heart and mind.
Some think that meditation is concentration on a point of light, or a word, or a mantram, or a phrase, or an idea, or an image. The truth is that concentration is the practice of exclusion, and it will never reveal the wonders of complete awareness or complete attention. Attention means to attend, to be present. It is the key that unlocks the door of innocence, the true state of awe and wonder.
Meditiation takes us beyond the mind, beyond words, beyond the ego. In meditation, the confining shell of the ego is split. When the shell of the ego is cast off, the core which is within, which is your true Self, shines forth with dazzling brilliance. When will your ego shatter? When you enter deep within yourself; when you reach the core of your being. The ego is the facade-become-prison. When we shed it, the essence, or nucleus, emerges in freedom, offering itself and contributing to the bounty of the universe.
As we glide into meditation, we cannot force thoughts from our minds, or force bliss to come. It is as though we are seated on the balcony of our apartment, or on the porch of our house, and see people passing in the street. We let the many strangers pass. If a friend appears, we invite him to join us. As we communicate with our friend, we are not even aware of the strangers in the street. Then, finally, we become silent. As we communicate with our friend in silence, we are communicating with the Infinite.
Let us first think of the metaphor of the seed, and then glide into meditation. The glory of the earth includes almost limitless varieties of plants and trees, all of which start from tiny seeds. We share this richness of diversity in many forms, each individually unique. The seed is nourished by the richness of the earth, which is broken up by earthworms, watered by rain, warmed by the sun, and cooled by the gentle touch of night. The seed splits its shell, and a form of life emerges which begins to expand and actualize its potential. Now go to the law behind the maturation of the seed. There is a benign harmony in the cycle of its flowering and bearing fruit and its decay---only to grow again. The inter-relatedness of seed and sun and earthworms, of birds that eat the superfluous seeds, and of people who eat the fruit; all that lives on this earth is an inter-relatedness of one with the All. Without this harmony of the whole, we would not be here. We not only eat the fruit of the tree, we rest in its shade, and we also enjoy its beauty, which completes the tree.
We not only have senses that open the whole expanse of the universe to us, but we also have articulate language, the capacity for abstract thought, and the freedom to choose and move ourselves in a forward direction; however, we have to recognize the nature of that forward direction; we have to confront ourselves and come to know ourselves.
After concentrating on the seed, we must turn to the subject, which is ourselves. The eternal question which stands before us in all ages and in all parts of the world is this: Who am I? (or Why am I here? What is the meaning of life?) For centuries, all the seers, saints, sages, prophets and philosophers have been pondering this one question. Circumstances have changed, but the question has remained the same. While civilizations come and go, this great and final question never changes; it remains before us like a mountain. One of the functions of the intellect is to raise the mind to a higher level of consciousness by proposing questions that are beyond itself. "Who am I?" is a life-puzzle. The secret is that we have to go deeper than the mind or words. Those who have realized this truth become silent. For the answer, there is no vocabulary, no verbal expression, for we find it in the silence of meditation.
The truth is that the universe wants something from us. We have our place in the universe; we are significant. Each day we add something to the world---our thoughts, our emotions, our words, our actions. The same light, the same spark, the same flame that enlightened all great teachers is within us, the only difference is that they used it to their full capacity.
Meditation is a way of discovering our true Self. There are different forms of meditation that open different doors to higher truth, and these different levels of awareness are realized during certain epochs. Yet, true meditation will always lead us from the small self, the ego, to the larger Self. While ego is perverted power, we need to manifest the love and light of the larger Self that reaches out to all mankind, to all living beings. This light and love is the fruit of our realization, and it is our gift to the world.
We need to always keep in mind the immortal question of who we are, for at various stages of life our purpose may be different. At one stage, it may be to grow alone; at another it may be to raise a family. All levels and varieties of human effort and contributions are necessary to consume karmas---bearing children, raising them, letting them go, studying art, or composing music. We may leave the world for an hour a day, or for ten years, and then return. Once we discover our true nature, we must give our best effort to help create a more just and productive society founded on the principles of kindness, endless generosity, and truly compassionate love.
Age is of no consequence. You must decide your focus, your manner of giving back to life what life has so graciously given to you. This must be your true goal. It is the intensity of your experience of giving that is important, not the length of time. Moments can often be more enlightening than years. The important thing is to nuture the seed of divinity within yourself, and let that seed of realization become a rose in the dawn of a new era.
We are one with the universe, one with the sea and the stars, one with all life. May we all find a bliss beyond measure in the realization of the inner light of Self-realization, for the truth is that the mysterious flame of the tree of life is within the heart of a tiny seed.