Before we can be fully comfortable with where we’re going, we need to be sure of where we are now, to understand our subtle make-up in order to make the most of our meditation.
The material being
On one level, of course, we are all material beings. We exist in a physical world with objects and subjects and we operate by the laws of nature and physics.
On a personal level we also have needs and desires.
The need machine: We all have needs, whether for food, security, shelter or even happiness. We seek to satisfy those needs by taking action of some sort and once the need is filled, we move on to the next cycle. We can describe it as:
Need – Action – Fulfillment – Dissipation of satisfaction – Need – Action – and so on.
This cycle is constant and gives us no rest. It is remorseless in its demands with an engine driven by the fuel of fear, desire and consumption. In many ways it is this cycle that causes much of our modern day stress. Meditation breaks this cycle and gives us the time and space to enjoy life without constantly searching for that elusive sense of material satisfaction.
The spiritual being
We are also spiritual beings. We are equipped with a Spirit and with a subtle system which lies more or less dormant until awakened by our spiritual flowering.
Recognizing our spiritual type
We may recognize in us one of two types of personality:
a) Left sided spiritual personality. We may be quite emotional, prone more to lethargy and inaction, attracted to sadness or emotional entertainment or even subject to sudden bouts of depression for no reason. In this case we can be said to have a left sided tendency. This is the moon side or channel. The side which more accurately reflects the feminine inside all of us.
b) Right sided spiritual personality. We may be more action oriented. Always on the go, planning for this, organizing that. Never a moment’s peace or rest, happy only when doing. We like action in all its forms and can never sit still. For us a moment wasted is a moment lost forever. At the extremes we can even become stressed and ill from too much worry that we are not achieving enough. This is a right sided tendency, coming from the sun channel. This is the masculine side of us all, the futuristic planner.
c) Balanced personality. Of course there must always be a happy medium in everything, and that is where the balanced personality comes in. This person is calm at all times, whether in crisis or everyday action. They possess seemingly inexhaustible levels of energy, seldom complain and possess a continually cheery disposition. These lucky folk have a balanced outlook. In their purest form they are real Yogis, who are living very much in the present, and who utilize the energy of the Central channel, the balanced path.
Examples of our tendencies
We need to understand our spiritual tendency in order to make the most of our meditation and search for balance.
Left side: We are prone to taking a negative view of everything. Any situation, even the most trivial, which goes against our desires and hopes can affect us deeply. Eventually we can slump into a deep depression over the slightest thing, convinced that we are a victim of life.
Relationships: We may suffer through relationships as the victim of a lack of understanding, or so it seems. For us the slightest action has the potential to leave a deep scar, to wound our fragile dependency.
Right side: We never take no for an answer, nor can we allow ourselves to show any form of weakness. The result is that we live a life full of stress, often in danger of collapsing under the weight of an intolerable load.
Relationships: We are the dominant, maybe even insensitive partner. For us the world has to keep up, fit in with our timetable, even if sometimes that means we have to ride roughshod over other people’s needs and desires.
The effect of meditation
Meditation gives us balance. It offers us a focused yet relaxed viewpoint on life which is dynamic and also compassionate.
- The power of silence. In the silence of our meditation we can make sense of the turmoil we may be experiencing. For the left sided personality, we can use the balancing techniques to warm up our cool moon channel, and give ourselves more energy, more optimism and more assertiveness to face ourselves and our lives in general. Those with a right side tendency can tap into the growing calm in their lives to gather the strength to say no, to take time out to face whatever they may be running from. Their peace is all the more powerful for bringing with it the compassion of understanding.
- The power of attention. Our attention is constantly under attack. We are assailed by a world which demands our attention, it wants to sell, cajole and scare us in order to manipulate our lives and desires. By meditating we break the cycle of needs, we become detached and gain control over our attention so that it remains focused on the important things in life rather than the frivolous. We lose the fear and the neediness that subvert our true selves.
- The power of the spirit. As we go deeper in our meditation, we learn the true beauty of the spirit. We learn that material needs can never compensate for the peace and the timeless enjoyment of a satisfied Soul. We begin to live in a universe where we can recognise the power of love.