Are you meditating from the mind or from the heart?
Different spiritual paths use different meditation techniques and they all serve on some level however personally speaking, the most useful has been a meditative state that uses the energy of love to go beyond the mind.
Love is after all the the essence of the Divine and therefore it is the most powerful force in this universe.
Energetically speaking, love has a faster and higher vibration than the mind and it therefore has the ability to overcome the mind and ego. We see evidence of this when we experience "falling in love". We lose rational perspective and oftentimes we cannot even think clearly.
In terms of cultivating inner Divine love, during spiritual practices like prayer or meditation, it is important to giving yourself in love to the Divine that is both within us and all around us. The rational mind convinces us of our separation but the heart is the holder of the truth. When we drop our attention to the heart our meditative experience is amplified many times over and we lose ourselves to the ecstatic truth that Divine light and love is within and need only be cultivated to become a more powerful driving force in our life.
Our spiritual connection to the sacred and holy is not rational, it is mystical in nature...that is why Sufi's are at times called "idiots of God." They are so devoted in their connection to the holy that they lose their ego mind and fall into ecstatic love. This also is also reflected in the Sufi saying, "When love comes reason disappears. Reason cannot live with the folly of love; love has nothing to do with human reason."
So how do we make meditation of love practical? Instead of using meditation to still your 'monkey mind' and attempting to dilute thoughts by focusing on the mind, try bringing your attention to your heart instead. Set an intention to focus on the feeling of love within the heart and you will find that this will help you quickly leave your mind behind. As you centre your attention to FEELING love, your thoughts will slowly dilute and your emotions will also follow suit and be stilled.
I call this "meditating on love". It is a practice that essentially drowns out the mind and the emotions and helps you swim in love's ocean...love being a state INSTEAD of an emotion.
TRY IT: Make yourself comfortable, either sitting or lying down is fine.
The first thing to do is to breath calmly and rhythmically, in through the nose and out through your mouth.
Then drop your focus to the gently rise and fall of your chest as you breath.
Begin by evoking the feeling of love within which will activate the heart chakra. the best way to bring in love is to think of someone who you truly love and have deep affection for. It could even be a pet. This can be The Divine which is the ultimate aim but often at the beginning The Divine is just a concept or a mental idea rather than a living energy within the heart, and so it is perhaps easier to think of a person who you love.
The feeling of love will be different to different people but it is often accompanied by feelings of calm, joy, peace, tenderness and softness.
Then simply allow yourself to really immerse in the feelings and place all of yourself in the energy of love within your heart.
Once you have evoked this feeling of love and you can sense it in your being, it is likely that intrusive thoughts will come and the mind will attempt to pull you into memories of the past or apprehensions of the future.
Just notice them without following their lead and bring yourself back to thinking of that person you love and merge your thoughts back into the feeling of love.
I find it is easier to get into this space in the morning before my psyche is imprinted by the happenings of the day but you can practice it before falling asleep. The main thing to avoid is forcing it. If there is too much effort, it is not spiritual.
Go with the flow. You might find that you are unexpectedly drawn to go within which tends to happen once you get used o this process. It's like your heart, awakened from within, calls you inwards...like you're being called by love by the pull of your own heart. It is truly beautiful and something I have not really shared before.
In time, this meditation will become part of your inner self. Also personally I find that thinking of my guardian Saint or angel or repeating a mantra helps me inwardly align with the energy of love.
Just know that resisting the mind just gives it more energy..what you resist persists! You can either use your will power to ignore the inner chatter but it is likely it will fight back because our ego does not like to be controlled and so it will throw up thoughts that it knows will most fully disengage you from your practice. It will attempt to distract you from immersing in the spiritual chamber of your heart so I feel it is best to just let love do the magic of conquering the incessant mind.
This is essentially a letting go process as you learn to surrender you mind in the heart and as you do this you are offering your ego consciousness up to be replaced by soul consciousness and so the Divine spark will light a flame in your heart that will be the true spiritual gift of this inner focus.
This is the true gift of this practice for me...it allows me to slowly build a pathway from my ego, back into my essential soul based self and in that place I feel I can better meet God within me. And each time I move inwards and sacrifice my ego self, I slowly build a stronger and more permanent alter of love within me which gives me Divine confidence, courage and strength to get through life.
More importantly, in doing this I create a scared space within myself for the Divine to reveal itself to me. I liken it to preparing the room for God to meet me there.
I hope you will try it...and let me know how it goes.
A passionate teacher, author, coach, a modern psychic, healer and soultreupreneur, Eryka has been a soul based coach and healer for over a decade. A master number 11 and a self professed tree hugger, Eryka is genuinely passionate about helping people experience inner and outer transformations that empowers their soul.