The ego’s survival relies on the defeat of [spiritual] truth… [S]piritual truth challenges the ego’s presumption that it is sovereign.
David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.d,
Discovery of the Presence of God
The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe; to match your nature with Nature.
It’s almost a given that at some time or another, a meditator will stop meditating for a period. When asked why, they will say something like, “It was working for me. It made me feel better. And then I just stopped,” or “It made me feel better. And then I started working out, and that made me feel good, too, so I thought ‘why meditate?’.”
Before meditation, we may have an idea of unseen worlds beyond the physical. But only rarely, if at all, do we have a glimpse of anything other than the usual experience of the world. Life seen almost exclusively through the eyes of the ego. Rather than interaction with the world, we have thoughts and feelings about our interaction with the world. We are at one remove. We know ourselves as separate and apart from. No matter how much we may believe in unity–with our peers, our family, our lovers, or with the world at large–we only rarely, if ever, feel it.
And then we learn meditation. We drop in. We transcend thoughts, feelings, ideas. We transcend individuality, our sense of separation and loneliness. We feel ourselves at one with something far greater than our self. And we begin to know that we are something other than this ego and its ideas, other than the experience of separation. It’s not that we are getting in touch with our higher Self, but rather that we are our higher Self. Our higher Self is the reality. It’s the ego that is the illusion.
The ego hates this. It will do whatever it takes to get me to stop doing this thing that is taking away its power and its position. Picture the scene toward the end of The Wizard of Oz when The Great and Powerful Oz can’t come through with his promises and begins to yell at Dorothy and her friends, fire and smoke belching, and then Toto pulls aside the curtain and we see the man there, spinning wheels and pushing levers, frantically trying to scare them away before they discover the truth. Or rather the lie. This is the ego.
Rather than fight it out with the ego, simply ask yourself the question: do I feel better now than I did before I started meditating? If I could revisit myself the day before I learned this practice, would I see an improvement from how I was then to how I am now? Am I seeing the world differently, more benignly? Am I a bit more at peace? Do I have a bit more adaptation energy as I move through the world? Do I have a longer fuse than I used to? Do I have more of a capacity to smile? Is it easier for me to love?
If you cannot answer yes to any of these questions, then perhaps the ego is right and you might as well go back to just working out. But if you answer yes, then you might want to ask yourself this: Who is the ego to tell me what to do?
Today I will love myself enough to meditate morning and evening for twenty minutes, regardless of what the voices in my head might have to say about it.
Indian Dancer, Sacred Grove Retreat Center, Young County, Texas