One of the most surprising benefits of meditation is the spiritual evolution that occurs when you have a consistent (usually daily) meditation practice. The realization that comes with consistent meditation is described by Yogi Bhajan in the quote: “You are not your mind. That stream of thoughts and reactions is not you.” (If you want help developing a daily meditation practice, click here to sign up for our free 10-day meditation program).
When you start meditating, it is hard to still the body, and impossible to still the mind. Whether practicing in silence or chanting your heart out, somehow the mind continues to send information and opinions to you, playing its recording on repeat.
As you continue to meditate consistently, you become a kind of observer of those thoughts, they float and flow through your consciousness without attachment. There are a few moments when they even stop, and it is silent. A silence filled with knowing and comfort and peace because you are in touch with your essence, without the distractions of the mind chatter. This experience is filled with a sense of well-being, comfort and peace because you are in touch with your essence, without the distractions of the mind chatter.
This observation begets the realization that: If I can observe the workings of my mind, then my identity is not tied to the thoughts running through my mind. I am something greater. This revelation brings great comfort. If I am not my mind, then I do not have to feel any way about the thoughts I have; I can watch them come and go throughout my day, only taking the ones that make me feel good and move me towards my purpose.
This realization bring two pressing questions: 1) If I am not my mind, then what am I? and 2) If my thoughts are not a reflection of me, what are they?
The yogic teachings state that we are “spiritual beings having a human experience,” suggesting that our true identity (sat nam) lies in our spirit and soul, and not in the physical brain and body that we occupy when we are alive. Thus, there is much more to life than what happens on the earthly plane of matter and physics: there is compassion and connection and an energetic field that quantum physics is only beginning to understand. This is where the idea of soul and spirit come into play: the idea that your true You is an ephemeral, energetic vibration all your own that resides in your body during this lifetime, and afterward will be released into Infinite from which it came.
Secondly, what are thoughts? Thoughts come from different sources. The repetitive doubts and fears that are automatic, negative and nagging are just a result of programming in our subconscious mind. It is like a computer that is programmed from early life experiences to protect us physically and emotionally, thus always looking out for danger and what can go wrong. This programming interacts with our environment in ways that reinforce certain programming and limits others. But when you silence or ignore those thoughts, you can tap into intuition, which is our connection to a consciousness or intelligence greater than our individual being and mind. This is where inspiration comes from, or how sometimes we know something is going to happen before it does.
Thus, consistent meditation is a spiritual practice because it forces you to accept your true nature: that you are more than your body, mind, and the thoughts that run through it.
You can jump-start your daily meditation practice by clicking here to sign up for our free 10-day meditation program, 10 Days of Kirtan Kriya. You will receive an instructional video teaching you how to do one of the most powerful Kundalini Meditations, as well as daily guided meditations delivered to your inbox.
Love & Light,