Today marks the 46th consecutive day that I have meditated. I do it first thing in the morning. Two days ago I experienced something interesting during my session. I entered a state where I was intensely focused on my breath, completely relaxed, and my conscious thought was at a minimum. I started feeling a warm glow just under my ribcage and it felt kind of nice. I observed it expand out to my arms and legs and I noticed my breathing started to get heavier. My heart rate started getting much faster and my I found it hard to catch my breath. Soon my heart was pounding and I wasn’t sure what was happening. I just kept observing and trying to remain calm.
The feeling was a little scary, but pleasant if that makes any sense. Like love was there but I was scared too because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. It turns out nothing happened next and my heart rate and breathing went back to normal.
The Enlightenment Experience
The experience described as enlightenment is often described as “meeting God” where every question they ever had is answered and they are overcome with an extreme sense of knowing, inner peace, and love. You might have heard them called “near death experiences” where people “see the light.”
Well the thing is, you don’t have to be on the verge of losing your life to have this.
Shameless Self Promo!
I have read and listened to stories of people’s enlightenment experiences where they describe this awakening, or Satori. The symptoms I was feeling were very similar, although it’s usually accompanied by an out of body experience where you’re pulled out of your body, you lose all of your senses and see the entire universe all at once. Crazy? I did not have an OBE, but was this the beginning of one?
The past few times I have done it I have experienced mild symptoms of this blissful energy. It feels very good inside. It feels like love.
I started meditating about two months ago with just five minutes of silence. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was just trying to chill out and cut out the noise. In actuality, I would do this during the days when I would take naps in my car. I didn’t know the purpose of meditation other than to relax. Once I started learning about negative emotion’s role in my life, meditation became much more important to me as a way to detach myself from the ego and discover my true self.
I eventually went up to 10 minutes, but that wasn’t enough time. As soon as I feel like the dust settled, the time would be up. I’m doing 20 minutes now and I feel like it’s just enough time for me to get a little deeper and experience these glimpses into inner peace.
I honestly can’t see my life without meditation now. I’m considering going to a group meditation session to see what that’s like. I’ve also become interested in doing a sensory deprivation experience. I’ll make sure to post about it when I do.
Resources for Meditation
One book I’m reading right now is Mindfulness in Plain English. This is awesome because it addresses all your stereotypes of meditation and what is and what it isn’t.
I have used mobile apps like Headspace and Calm.com – both of which I like and I recommend. I have also used various timer apps too. On a related note, I use ACIM Lessons which is a daily lesson from A Course in Miracles book which I am reading now. This book is a challenging read and the lessons are things like “My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.” And you’re supposed to practice that a couple times during the day.
I also really recommend episode 20 of the I AM Podcast where Sean Webb explains what happened when he entered this state after meditating for a while. Really moving stuff. And don’t forget to check out episode 19 where he talks about the basics of Enlightenment from a spiritual and scientific perspective. Probably the best and most pragmatic explanation I’ve seen.
I recently read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle which I loved. It’s not necessarily a meditation book, but it’s definitely one of those books that will change your world-view for the better. It’s about how everything you think matters doesn’t matter at all; that your true self is within and how to find it. The best part is the reader questions interspersed throughout that always seemed to be the same questions you are thinking in your head at the time.
Happiness is Already Here
What if they taught children to meditate? Haha, that seems funny to me, but I wonder what it could lead to?
I feel every human being should be meditating. There is so much hype and pressure to diet and exercise and not enough focus on mindfulness, single tasking, meditation, calming down, etc. There are so many resources to multi-task better and get organized or how to achieve more. But honestly, happiness is right here under our nose. It just starts with 5 minutes of sitting in silence to find it.