The problem: confusion and disquiet
How many times do we encounter what seem to be insoluble problems? Or simply problems that require so much thought and mental energy, that it seems to leave us depleted for all of the other tasks we must complete and situations we must navigate?
For thousands of years, humanity has been searching for some form of inner peace. We have enough wealth, knowledge, love, security, stability and various other things to try and give us a sense of peace.
Some resort to drink, drugs, religion, status symbols, power or control, in the hopes that these external factors will help sate that vacuum, that hole that we can never seem to fill.
Others, having temporarily found sustained happiness, fulfilment and peace through various means, simply give up on regular life when they realise their peace was not as permanent as they thought it was going to be. They conclude that the only way to succeed is to walk away from everything they know, hoping that a fresh start and a new way of life will help them find a modicum of peace. But it rarely comes.
The result is a lack of inspiration, purpose and confusion about what it’s all about, and what we should be doing to feel at our best on a sustained basis.
This underlying sense of dissatisfaction with life is often taken on the chin as part of some existential void that we avoid addressing. Ignorance is bliss they say, so let’s simply ignore questions concerning the meaning of life, and just trudge our way through or use recreational substances and medications to numb us from having to face up to these big life questions.
At an individual level, it is harsh, and when we have widespread confusion and disillusionment throughout society, aggression, crime and war tend to take hold.
But no matter how much we conquer, and how much we pillage, or how much we dominate, the victor is left just as hungry, if not more so, after the foe is vanquished.
As all wise men from all cultures and epochs of time have agreed, until we have inner peace, we have nothing. So developing that elusive quality is key to a happy and healthy existence.
How can vedic meditation help?
Inner peace will never come from your external circumstances. It will never be stable. Why? Because external factors are ephemeral. You cannot rely on any person, or any situation, to remain the same. It is impossible to sustain the status quo. We are constantly being asked to adapt to changing fortunes, and so the only thing that can remain permanent is your ability to maintain dynamic balance and equanimity through all of life’s twists and turns. This is what will give you peace.
Vedic meditation works first by helping you reach a hypometabolic state whereby your nervous system can start repairing itself and clearing out all the noise, the clutter, and negative associations you have picked up in your life.
According to Nobel prize-winning neuroscientist, Sir John Eccles, these negative associations (known as Premature Cognitive Commitments), clutter up 98% of our Central Nervous System, meaning we have a minimal spare capacity to relax, enjoy and adapt to life. To feel peace and harmony.
As you begin dissolving all these sub-conscious negative triggers, you find you have much more bandwidth to take pleasure in rolling with the vicissitudes of life, feeling secure in your ability to handle everything that is being asked of you.
But it goes much, much further than this.
By utilising the special mantras of Vedic meditation in a way that connects you to your deepest essence, your individuated consciousness begins merging with the unified field of consciousness that pervades the universe.
There is a growing realisation within every fibre of your being that you are part of something greater than your body form and your ego.
Myriad progressive changes start to emerge when we give ourselves a systematic experience of this deeper aspect of life.
There is a greater sense of connectivity, not only with yourself but with all the forms and phenomena of nature. The grip that your ego has over you, in terms of seeing itself as an isolated, body-dependent consciousness, begins to loosen, and you start to see and feel yourself as something that is beyond your body and your brain.
You are something much more essential, and you are an aspect of universal consciousness that cannot be broken by any of life’s dramas.
And the key point to note is that this isn’t some abstract concept that you have embraced, it’s a reality. It starts off as knowingness, and then gradually, it evolves into a full-blown perceptual experience.
If we only embrace these sorts of concepts at the theoretical level, then there is always room for us to feel discord between our philosophical constructs, and the actuality of our internal experience. But when we fully integrate it, we have actualised it, and it permeates mind, body and soul.
At the same time, there is a much greater flow of bliss chemistry throughout your mind and body, helping you to feel strong and positive, in the face of all of life’s challenges.
There is a sense of total fearlessness. You are stationed in something permanent, and so the ever-changing nature of life is but waves on the surface of your ocean.
When this is the reality of your experience, you feel peace, joy and calm. And when you feel this within you, all sorts of positive attributes flow outwards.
Your ability to love, be kind, be patient, to be compassionate and to be generous of heart. To inspire, to guide and to listen. All these and many other aspects of life, which bring such nourishment to others, will flow effortlessly from the infinite wellspring that is your more expanded state of consciousness.
What's the proof?
Vedic meditation allows our systems to rest an average of 33% deeper than the deepest point in sleep.
After six to seven hours of sleep, oxygen consumption usually decreases by about 15%. But the metabolic rate of meditation subjects goes at least 20% deeper, within just five minutes.
Vedic meditation improves the quality of our sleep, facilitating even more energy for the day ahead.
Vedic meditation is incredibly effective at reducing stress. There is an average reduction in the stress hormone cortisol of 33%.
It also results in greater hormonal balance, allowing us to feel energised throughout the day. Having a greater compliment of endorphins is also the reason why we feel such a strong sense of vitality when we do this.