Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 25 - Effect of Meditation on High Stress Situations
Date: Tue Dec 2, 2003 4:41pm
Q: I am going through a difficult divorce. Will meditation help me get through it?
A: Yes it will, but keep in mind that meditation is not a Band-Aid designed to deal with only the crisis at hand. It is a long-term practice that has many benefits. One of these is the development of an increasing tolerance for high stress situations. So, meditation will help in your current situation, but will also, over time of regular practice, make you permanently more resilient in high stress situations in general.
Why is this so? It is an interesting and observable phenomenon relating to the gradual rise of pure bliss consciousness in the nervous system. As we meditate, we find, over time, that there is more “silence” in us. It is not that we become silent in our outer life. We will probably seem much the same to others – perhaps a bit calmer. But inside we are more still, not moving around randomly in our thoughts, feelings and inner physical reactions as much as before. Less jangled, you know. This experience of inner silence continues to grow as we continue to meditate every day for weeks, months and years. As this is occurring, we notice that daily upheavals in life do not throw us off as much. Things that used to upset us don’t as much. We become steady inside. If there is a sudden event, like a bang, that used to make us jump before, we may not even move now. We will experience it from someplace that is not affected. It goes right through, leaving little trace of tension. Does this mean we become cold and unfeeling? Not at all. We still feel, actually become more compassionate, but we are not swept away by emotions as we were before.
This is the essential thing about not being undone by stressful situations: this inner silence, this inner immovability.
From a spiritual perspective, it is well described by Jesus when he says, “The wise man built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the house, and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”
If you build your house upon the rock of your inner silence, nothing will be able to knock you off center. This is why meditation is one of the best stress therapies known. As with preserving good health, meditation is best for cultivating the nervous system in advance, stabilizing balance and inner silence before the storms of life rear up.
Besides these practical, everyday-living benefits, inner silence also is the foundation for the rise of divine ecstasy in the nervous system, and refining our perception of the world around us in a celestial way. The rise of silence in the nervous system is the first stage of the enlightenment process.
The guru is in you.