Years of meditation practice made me realize that meditation isn’t a spiritual life. “Then what is it?” I’d ask myself time and again until it dawned on me that meditation is a craft. The tools of that craft are mind and breath, need and will, and the chakra system, like a musical instrument, must be fine-tuned; the chakra system, like the voice of a great singer, still needs care and development. It often brings up antithetically dark elements hidden deep inside us that must be flushed out, and coma-like states of blissful ease that coat the rough and tumble of life… an etheric consciousness that has little or nothing to do with a spiritual life and hides deep tension beneath its surface. 

It’s one thing to say God exists, but something entirely different to embrace and bow to life, to make each moment into something sacred, to be at peace with oneself and the world.

“To die, to sleep, perchance to dream/Aye, there’s the rub,” Shakespeare wrote. For “in that sleep of death” dreams and visions disturb our peace of mind, dreams and visions that irritate us the same way a particle of sand irritates an oyster and then produces a pearl. Do we need that irritation? Yes. Without life’s bothersome reminders, we’d do nothing about ourselves; we’d stumble about earth like the living dead.   

The craft of meditation develops a chakra system that opens us to spirit. But each day manifests both positive and negative experiences that remind us we are not fully realized beings.  If we listen to and learn from these experiences, if we accept life as our teacher, if we recognize that the external world, so complicated and beyond human understanding, is just a reflection of who we really are. It’s one thing to say God exists, but something entirely different to embrace and bow to life, to make each moment into something sacred, to be at peace with oneself and the world. We must dredge internal blocks buried beneath well-coated emotional and psychological facades and free ourselves from the one person who keeps us from having a spiritual life, that person being each of us dressed to please the false image we have of ourselves…

(To be continued…)