MeditatorBy Paul Hourihan/ed. Anna Hourihan

Can meditation compete with such things as vacations? 

Going away on vacation is wonderful! There is only one fault with it—we bring ourselves along. We can get away from our jobs, but we can’t get away from ourselves—that is, the ego self, the compulsive self, the ordinary self. 

One reason we drink and take drugs is so that we can temporarily escape from the limited self we normally identify with. Sexual adventure serves the same purpose, since sexual excitement pushes the ordinary consciousness out of the central place in our life for a little while and we seem to become someone new. 

Hence, our constant need for novelty—new sensations, new things! 

But still, we can’t escape ourselves! What is the solution to this? We should make ourselves such that we won’t want to escape! The spiritually evolved individual, for example, is absorbed in his or her own Presence and is quite content. A great deep opens up within and he or she discovers at last what the rest of us are foolishly seeking to uncover through novelty, travel, sex, addictions, and losing ourselves in work. 

Meditation – The True Vacation

To reach this state, we must control, renew, and transform the mind. How do we do this? Through the practice of meditation. With meditation we escape from the ego self; we push this aside because we seek something else. We immobilize it for five minutes, ten minutes, half an hour, or whatever we can manage without strain. During this time, we give the mind a respite from its usual restless, ego-driven self. We infuse the mind with different vibrations, such as peace, love, devotion, and acceptance, which come from a higher level of the mind. Otherwise, it experiences its usual self … and thus is continually bored. 

Knowingly or unknowingly, we aim for the mystical state so that the mind will experience another consciousness than its own habitual consciousness: the Self, the charisma of the Divine Presence within us.  

Behold, the kingdom of heaven is within you. (Luke 18: 21)

The true vacation is meditation—we absent ourselves from the familiar limited self to reveal the Unlimited Self within.


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