Meditation like yoga is about connectedness. That is, moving from the experience of separateness where the ego is dominant through to connection where the higher self is dominant. In this state, we experience a greater connection with our body and everyone and everything around us. Whereas the ego’s role is to divide by creating distinctions, the higher self is always connected to everything. So when we identify with the higher self, we start to identify more with everything.
When separateness is operating there is more fear and more resistance. When the higher self is operating there is more acceptance and we find ourselves flowing more easily through life. So much of life then is about our awareness. That is, our inner experience reflects the outer experience and vice versa. Awareness is creating everything and the mind is an instrument of this awareness.
The goal of yoga and meditation is to change our level of awareness so that we are deeply connected with our higher self. Awareness has two aspects to it, attention and intention. Where you place your attention and the intention you have will determine how you experience life. A useful metaphor for this is to imagine you are in a restaurant ordering food. Let’s call it the “Cosmic Restaurant”.
In this Cosmic Restaurant, there are waiters running around taking people’s order. The trick is, these waiters don’t know the difference between ordering what you “don’t want” and ordering what you “want”. So let’s say you are ordering a salad and you order it with lettuce, tomato and cucumber but you say to the waiter, whatever you do, I don’t want onion! The waiter will bring you your salad with what you ordered, including lots of onion!
This is the same with life. Focusing on what you don’t want is the same as focusing on what you want. If you’re focusing on not wanting certain experiences or feelings in your life, you’ll find yourself having these sorts of experiences and feelings over and over again. This is because the universe is constantly conspiring to grant our desires, but even “not wanting” something is still a desire.
How we approach our meditation and yoga practice just as how we approach our life is going to be key. The intention of your meditation or yoga practice is really important but also your intention for the day. What is your intention? When sitting to mediate for example, some people will think they don’t want to have thoughts or they don’t want to have certain kinds of thoughts. If that’s their focus then, of course, that’s what they enliven and they get frustrated and think they can’t meditate. If you go about your day thinking “I don’t want to have these type of thoughts” or “I don’t want to feel this way” then not only will you have more of those thoughts and feelings but they will bother you more because you are also resisting them.
Instead, you want to focus on what you want. Focus on the kind of meditation or yoga practice you want to have. Focus on the kind of person you want to be in life and the kind of experiences and feelings you want to have. This way you’ll find yourself having more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.