Many people comment that when they experience a deeper level of consciousness in their meditations that it seems like they go to a place of nothingness, or emptiness. However, once we really embrace the understanding that during meditation we are connecting with a much wider range of consciousness than in our day to day lives, we can begin to realise that what we view as nothingness in our meditations, is actually a connection to a much more refined range of energies that we find hard to interpret and give meaning to, so we tend to describe the experience as nothingness.
This can belittle the depth and extent of the experience. By continuing to practice meditation we develop a sensitivity to the qualities of our deeper connection and start to expand an awareness of who we are and the nature of our connection to the larger field of consciousness.
I have meditated for at least the past 30 years. I’ve used a variety of meditation approaches, but whichever approach I have used I have found that sometimes I let go of meditating, and, as one friend put it, ‘become meditated’. When that happens I often find that I enter a ‘place’ that defies description. It doesn’t have any sense of time. Thoughts hardly arise. I may experience no sense of being in my own body. I may even wonder whether I have fallen asleep because I have no real tangible recollection of what ‘happened’ in that segment of time during the meditation.
Meditation: a deeper or wider spectrum of consciousness beyond comprehension
I’ve found that when people experience this sense of nothingness that they can often feel that they have not succeeded in meditating, because they have no tangible memory to hold onto, and they sometimes say that they must have fallen asleep instead of being in a deeper state of awareness. And, though people can, and do, fall asleep in meditation, that is normally because they are sleep deprived.
More often it is the case that they have experienced, even if only briefly, a transition to a wider and deeper level of consciousness that exists beyond the normal range of our comprehension: “The peace that passeth all understanding” or a level of omniscience that cannot be related to our day to day lives. And because we cannot comprehend the nature of the wider spectrum of consciousness of which we form a part, and have been taught by our rational educational system to discount anything that lies beyond our own skin, we simply do not pay sufficient attention to what we have connected to.
Subtle variations in quality during meditation
As we continue to meditate we start to detect subtle variations in the quality of that emptiness that we appear to enter into, and then we can realise that we are not entering a void of nothingness, but rather that we are connecting with a level of consciousness that has more subtlety to it.
What do I mean by more subtlety? I have come to understand that we are human manifestations of energy condensed into matter and that there are many energies that do not condense into the density of matter with which we are familiar. We are very used to how matter as we experience it appears, and we can respond to that matter and react to it. This physical matter that we are responding to is simply very dense, and relatively slow energy. But matter makes up a very small part of the overall energy of the universe, and there is an infinity of energies which span the very dense to the very light and non physical, and from the very slow to the very fast. And energy and consciousness are just different words for the same thing.
In our day to day living we filter out all the non physical less dense energies. We also filter out many of the energies that are faster (and slower sometimes) than the milieu we live in and what we feel comfortable with. But, in reality, we all have the ability to connect in with faster and less physical energies than we realise. Meditation allows us to do that, and the void, the nothingness, and the deep peace that results from meditation is beneficial, not only for it’s restorative effects, but also because it contributes to our growth beyond our existing perception of ourselves.
Developing sensitivity through meditation
As we continue to connect with these more subtle types of energy through our meditations we start to expand our sensitivity to those energies in our daily life, both for our own benefit and for the benefit of our fellow travellers. As we develop that sensitivity to those more elusive energies which we generally discount, then we can make that energy available to others, just by the simple expedient of expressing those energies in our own being. The quality of who we are, and how we behave in the world, changes, and it affects others around us. Life flows more easily for us, and we affect the energetic makeup in the environment for the better.
What we are doing in meditation is developing a stronger connection with our Inner Being, our core selves, our non physical essence, the part of us who existed before we came into being and who was responsible for creating us. As we develop that stronger connection with our Inner being there is a greater flow of energy that occurs between us and our own Inner Being, so that we can develop and blossom into greater creativity and contribute more meaningfully to our own and to humanity’s evolution.
A doorway to a greater sense of who we are
So, meditation is a doorway into a realm of growth, expanded perception of who we are, and recognition of the extent to which we can and do impact everything around us. Once we start to recognise that we are just beginning to touch greater and greater depths of consciousness, then we can start to appreciate our place in the cosmos and the significance of each and every one of us. What a beautiful thing to do!