Step 6: Wisdom
“May I Become Wise through My Meditation”
Questions to Stimulate Your Contemplation and Journaling on Wisdom
Mature meditators often report that it has taken them may years before they experience regularly the fruit of their practice. The process of meditation, they say, is not always like a “Spiritual Jacuzzi !” Not only do we need to know the techniques and formulas for our chosen meditation, but we need strong and abiding rationale, faith, perseverance, and devotion for sustaining our practice.
Whether our meditation is proscribed by a teacher, a tradition, or of your own design, it is important for you to own it and take personal responsibility for it. It is unrealistic to expect that the meditation will be done to you, for you, and that sublime experiences will happen automatically without your full commitment and engagement. Meditation is an inner career that can accompany us throughout our lives. Our mind is like a garden and meditation is the process we use to tend, nurture, and make it healthy.
The world’s contemplative traditions often concur about the general processes of meditation and the mental attributes to be cultivated in order to develop a mature practice. The following questions are posed to stimulate your contemplative journaling and practice. Your journal writings will help you formulate your own personal focus for this step. In developing or refining your meditation, these questions might help you gain clarity, confidence, and consistency.
- How would you describe the purpose of your meditation? For example, do you meditate to actualize your own innate potential and/or to acquire the attributes of a higher power?
- What are the fundamental beliefs you bring into this meditation regarding, for example: the nature of your being, a higher power, the existence of God, or the nature of the universe?
- How do you define or describe your sense of the absolute truth, for example: God, Allah, Brahman, the Tao, Universal Consciousness, Primordial Energy?
- How do you define or describe the nature of your essential being, self, soul, or spirit?
- What spiritual benefits do you hope for from meditation?
- What is the state-of-being you hope will arise from meditation?
- What psychological, emotional, or physical benefits do you hope will come from meditation?
- What changes in your relationships and career do you hope will come from meditating?
- Do you have full confidence that your meditation can help achieve the results you hope for?
- Do you have full confidence in the teacher or tradition that is the source of your meditation?
- How would you describe your own personal responsibility in the development and practice of your meditation?
Choosing the Right Meditation for You
As you attempt to refine your present meditation or find a meditation that is best for you, the following types of meditation might help you gain clarity. These questions are not meant to lead you to any particular answer or to imply that there is a right answer for all people.
- Tranquil focus is a necessary condition for meditation.
- What type of meditation will help you gain tranquil focus?
- Will it involve movement (like Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, walking, dancing, running, etc?
- Will it require silence?
- Will it be better with a group or alone?
- What is the best point of focus of your meditation? For example, is it your breath, unity, inter-beingness, emptiness, God, Allah, Brahman, the Tao, nature, love, remembrance, prayer?
- Non-conceptual direct insight and sense of unity is the hallmark of many meditations.
- How would you describe the sacred truth or divine state of being that your meditation will help you to realize directly?
- Are you hoping for a state of deep calm and equanimity from your meditation?
- How do you relate the terms happiness, equanimity, and calm? Are they interchangeable, mutually inclusive, or independent of each other?
- Do you fear equanimity because it might extinguish the vibrant and exhilarating highs and lows of life? Please explore this.
- What do such terms as unity, oneness, enlightenment and non-dual consciousness mean to you?
- Which of any of these terms describe your sense of wisdom gained through meditation?
- How would you describe the state of wisdom you would like to achieve through meditation?