Shakti Durga shares her personal experience and benefits of meditation…
When I started to meditate in my early 30’s it was because I was in a place of stress, having recently separated from my husband and being a single mum managing a busy legal practice as a barrister. I began with a simple guided meditation that I did every morning and every evening. As I was having trouble sleeping, I thought it was fabulous if I fell asleep while meditating because this alone made me feel so much better.
I noticed that there were times in meditation when I got into a very deep and peaceful state, yet other days, try as I might, I would be fidgety, my mind would want to rebel and thoughts would be incessant. Have you ever experienced this?
Sometimes feelings would come up that I did not particularly want to feel and it would make me teary and sometimes I would ‘disappear’ into some kind of voidal reality that was similar to sleep, but different as well. I would emerge extremely refreshed even after a short meditation.
Despite the early frustrations and inconsistent results, I continued my journey with meditation. In the mid 1990’s I began to study energetic healing and my meditation practices changed. I became a disciple of Master Choa Kok Sui, founder of modern Pranic Healing. I practiced his meditations daily for over 7 years. These too were guided forms, but they were actual spiritual practices which engaged the energy field and Kundalini Shakti in a healing process, and that led one into a profound meditative state. Along with this we practiced pranayama (breathing practices) and these were very effective in soothing one’s emotional state, calming the mind and preparing us for intensive meditation sessions.
Over the years I experienced much growth and change internally. A lot of the changes came about through the blessings of Gurus. Their blessings profoundly altered my reality. The experiences that I had in meditation became more expansive, more blissful, less about solving stress and more about exploring consciousness. By the late 1990’s, I could drop into meditation quickly and consistently, I was teaching meditation to others and enjoying the added intensity of group meditation, which I still love.
I was introduced to Jappa (recitation of the names of God) and Kirtan (call and response sacred mantra songs) through a Holy Man in Bali. The spiritual power (Nada Shakti) that can be infused into sacred music is amazing. In our spiritual path we use this method a lot as a means of blessing people, expanding their consciousness and lifting them into transcendence. Nada Shakti has become central to my spiritual practice. I find that the easiest and deepest meditations are those where we utilize this method to attain unity, love and expansion of the heart chakra. The Divine energy pours down and the bliss is pervasive. The guiding consciousness and Shakti of the Guru in Satsang can direct and regulate the kundalini within the being of the disciple so that everyone is kept safe. So spiritually intense are a few of the chants we use, that I have asked our musicians that they not use them outside of the temple, because they activate the kundalini too much to be used in an unsupervised, unsanctified environment.
Meditation upon one’s being-ness or if you have a Guru, meditation on the energy field of the Guru, or of the field created through unity with the guru, is a very powerful and transformative kind of meditation that brings great rewards and bliss. It promotes Satchitananda (truth, consciousness, bliss). And, what we meditate upon we become like. Think of Hanuman and his constant meditation upon his guru Rama. The understanding that Hanuman is known for his immense strength and power to do seemingly impossible things in the world gives us an understanding of the nature of the Guru Disciple relationship, which can be experienced first hand through meditation.
Now, I enjoy many different forms of meditation, including a period of silent meditation at the end of any other practice that I do. Much of my normal life is conducted in a state of consciousness that over 20 years ago I could only hope to glimpse in meditation. I enjoy feeling bliss anywhere, any time, in a natural manner that is beyond the form of meditation and is one with the life force. Peak experiences of unity consciousness and Divine ecstasy occur now when I am with spiritual seekers who sincerely want help and if they are receptive, the transmission of Divine energy into their chakras is like ecstatic electricity being passed from one part of God to another. It blows apart the imprisoning Maya and helps us all to see a world that is beyond the limitations of the prevailing thought matrix. In short, it is liberating and is capable of bringing instant awakening and change to a person, activating a higher destiny than the cultural conditioning would normally allow us to see.
Do not be afraid to try a new method of meditation, and don’t assume that the same method will be optimal for all stages of your spiritual unfolding. When you find a method that in your heart feels right, stick at it diligently and practice it regularly until the fruits of it are realised and you are inspired to try a different flavour. Wherever you are in your meditation journey, and whatever methods you use, daily practice is key.
There are many paths home, there are many meditation masters and spiritual traditions. Who and what we find, how we practice and the results we get are part karma and past life attunement and a large part application. You will never regret a meditation and your life will be enriched by the experience it brings you. Above all, even when challenged, don’t give up!