Someone asked: “What would cause mystical experience?”
In the broadest sense, wider experience in all forms comes through evolution, both in the external and spiritual sense. So it is the growth of the soul—through many life times—that results in mystical or spiritual experience. So, to some degree, people tend to be born with an inclination toward such experiences. As a result some people have spontaneous mystical experiences that appear to have little relationship with the life they are living. If one happens to be, as a result of many lives of growth and experience, at a point of readiness for revelation then a seemingly trivial life experience—something seen or even a thought, can trigger mystical experience.
But more specifically, however, there is a path—or a number of them according to needs and temperament—that accelerates evolution in a way that tends to evoke whatever immediate potential exists for spiritual experience.
Many would say that it is meditation that leads to mystical experience, and while this can be true for many, the path is much broader than that. In addition to what we come in with at birth, it is our way of life—how we think and feel and act—that determines whether our potentials for deep experiences are activated or remain latent.
The key thing is: real mystical experience includes some degree of transcendence of the little ego—that is of the little mind, emotions, and body—that we have misidentified as “I.” The question becomes then, what type of life is resonant with such transcendence? What type of life takes us beyond the little self-centered ego with its many desires and petty concerns?
First, this is a life of love and service, a life that expands our focus beyond our personal needs into the wider world of humanity and nature. The second factor is how the mind is used—the mind must be developed and educated along some line, otherwise, our ability to be helpful or creative will be limited. Third, right meditative thinking, and more universal thinking is key. The life of service, of love, of creativity, and right thinking is supported by study. Right thinking means educating and equipping the mind so that it is an instrument of service and creativity. Right thinking means optimism and focusing the mind on questions related to wisdom, questions related to the needs of humanity, and of the part we can play in making the world a little better for all who live in it.
We should understand this word “service” very broadly. The mother serves by being a good mother. The scientists serves by discoveries. The artist services by inspired creations. The statesman services by good governance that takes into account the highest good for the greatest number. We serve by thought, by communication, by words of kindness, by words of warning, by words of poetry. And most importantly, we serve by making our emotional nature clear and translucent so that it is no longer dominated, as is the usual case, by fear and selfishness.
In the way of life that is service, the key thing is motivation. There is only one true motive and that is love, broadly understood. So, we do not let our interest in personal things dominate. For instance, the desire for mystical experience should not be uppermost in our minds or condition unduly our emotions. The evocation of mystical experience is the byproduct of right living. It will come to us when it is time, according to natural and spiritual law. Such experiences are useful not only to ourselves personally, but to others, to world. It is same with meditation. Meditation should not be something pursued for its own sake. Your awakenings, your talents, are gifts for giving.
QUESTIONS: “As a tip for a beginner, how do you approach meditation? What is your goal? What do you gain from it?”
I approach meditation without a desire to get anything out of it.
I find that it is best to think of one’s self as a channel, a receiver of gifts that are then to be passed along.
Meditation can be different things depending on the approach used. It can be about thought, about love, but fundamentally it leads beyond the mind.
Objectively, the tools are images/visualizations, words (affirmations), and forgetfulness of the physical body. A few deep breaths and total relaxation are good, but–in general—strenuous breathing exercise are to be avoided.
The fundamental power of affirmation is in the expression as “I am X” where X is God, spirit, life, humanity, beauty, love, spiritual power, order, harmony, etc. This corresponds to the fact and realization of unity. Meditation is movement toward consciousness unity.
The gains or effects of mediation vary depending on the type and depth of it, but they include:
* direct realization of spiritual reality
* knowledge of one’s purpose in life and of the meaning of life (nonverbally apprehended)
* detachment and disidentification from the things that formerly bound us
* realization that there are “More things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of…”
* sensing of deeper energies on some level, including energize in the body itself
* relationships with the sources–individual and/or groups–from which great spiritual teachings come
* consciousness of immortality
* greater mental clarity and self control
* the realization of the profound significance of the life of service to humanity