The Magic of Meditation

Healing, Blessings and Abundance will fill all the empty spaces of our lives….

So said the kabbalist, Joseph Gikatilla, in his beautiful treatise, Sha’are Ora (Gates of Light), written in the 13th century.

The experience of light during meditation confirms that we are, essentially, light beings and our physiology, which appears dense and solid, is light vibrating at a very slow frequency. When we meditate and reach the deepest levels of our consciousness, we become directly aware of our own light body, our divine or angelic nature that sustains us every moment of our life. When we develop a relationship with the light we realise that the Holy Guardian Angel who supports and guides our journey, is actually our own light body. We usually feel the Guardian is someone separate, hovering around us, but in truth it is an inner potency, embedded in our whole being.

Our task, while we are living in the slow world of materiality, is to maintain constant awareness of the brilliance of our own light, which we derive from Divine Source. Regular meditation takes us to Divine Source and we are reminded of the Power, Love and Wisdom that underpins all creation, including you and me, even while we are living short term, human lives. We cannot live up to our true potential unless we maintain this connection and dive deep into our consciousness to get refreshed and bathed in the limitless light. The more often we do this, the more we will shine in our daily lives, attracting and sharing all that is good, true and beautiful.

Divine Source is the great benefactor and when we open our inner Gates of Light we naturally receive all the benefits and resources we desire for a wholesome life – a life that allows us to fulfil our Holy Ambition, our Soul’s Purpose.

Keep up your twice daily meditation, using the Zera – the seed of inspiration – to take you easily and quickly to the Divine Source. Bathe in the light and allow its limitless qualities of Power, Love and Wisdom to fill you.  Take note how your life changes, moving from stress to bliss, from fear to love, from anxiety to trust.


You are wearing a Crown

The democratization of enlightenment. The most exquisite crown is yours to wear…it is already radiating energy from your head. Believe it!

This exquisite crown is one of the most beautiful pieces of regalia designed for a Queen I have ever seen. The Crown of Princess Blanche, also called the Palatine Crown or Bohemian Crown, is the oldest surviving royal crown known to have been made in England and probably dates around 1370. It is a delicate and intricate piece of craftsmanship, made of gold, with enamel, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, diamonds and pearls. Its height and diameter are both 18 cm. It may have been the crown for Richard II’s Queen, Anne of Bohemia. It has been kept in Europe since 1402, when one of the English princesses left England to marry, and took the crown as part of her dowry.

The emblem of a crown, often made in precious metals and decorated with valuable jewels, has been a sign of rulership for thousands of years. It symbolises a certain kind of status. Not simply social recognition, as in an elected leader, but a divine role. The earliest pharoahs and kings were appointed by heaven. This meant they acted as the representative of ‘God’ on earth. The ceremony of crowning was accompanied by anointing with sacred oils. The human recipient was transformed into a heavenly being, fit to receive divine power. The crown was an indicator of that potency. (Just as an aside, a Queen, of course, was not usually expected to actually rule. She had no divine rights. She was simply a handmaiden to the male monarch.)

Religious leaders, like the Pope, were also crowned. The papal tiaras were often triple crowns of enormous value. In 1963 Pop Paul VI laid his tiara on the altar in a gesture of humility and said it would be sold, the proceeds to go to charity. The tiara was purchased by American Catholics, so it has been retained by the church.  Some traditionalists believed abandoning the tiara was a sign that Paul VI was, in fact, an anti-pope.

In 2016, a fictitious Young Pope, as played by Jude Law in the TV series, claimed the triple crown, because he wanted to wear the full regalia. Very splendid he looked too!

Many non-European cultures have also created elaborate head decorations for their leaders and chiefs – native American feathered headresses make brilliant examples.



Where has the imagery of crowning come from? The headgear represents the divine light that can radiate from the crown of the head when a human being is illumined, or enlightened. When the ‘crown chakra’ is activated, we see a glow around the head. Spiritual masters, mistresses and saints are often depicted in paintings with circular haloes, or beams of light radiating from the head.

For many generations we have all assumed that this was a state of perfection only a few can achieve. Perhaps cosmic consciousness is a goal only for people willing to give up all wordly possessions and realtionships. But everyday householders like you and me, people with families and 9–5 jobs, we can also aspire to states of elevated consciousness. We already have haloes – they just need a bit of spit and polish! Radiant energy, like social justice,  is for the many, not the few. Social justice and the solution to a crisis like climate change, will be more achievable when we collectively pay attention to our spiritual potential. Just as a monarch was put on a throne to act as a channel for heavenly intervention, so we as indivduals can contribute to creating Heaven on Earth.

Meditation is the most powerful tool for accessing the light which shines through all creation, and through each of us. This light will radiate through our daily lives, if we give it space. We won’t need kings, queens, popes or chieftans when we take up our individual and collective power and step into our inherited divinity, which is our birth right.

Climbing Jacob’s ladder

The ladder to heaven needs a good foundation on which to rest.

The famous biblical story in which Jacob dreams he sees a ladder of angels can tell us great deal about our spiritual development.

Because he wants to get away from his brother Esau, Jacob leaves his parents’ home in Israel, and sets off to visit his uncle Laban in Mesopotamia. On the way, Jacob stops for the night and falls asleep on the ground:

And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

(Gen. 28:12)

Jacob’s dream describes a spiritual ascent. He is accessing higher dimensions of reality. He is looking into ‘heaven’.

Our spiritual lives follow a pattern: sometimes up, sometimes down, rather like playing a game of snakes and ladders. But we are moving towards enlightenment, illumination or self-awareness by incremental steps. We make progress one or two steps at a time. We might have a sudden awakening experience, and we feel we are already at the top of the ladder, then realise that we need to ground this experience. The ascent needs an unshakable base.

The word in the original biblical verse for “set up” is mutzav (מֻצָּב). This comes from the Hebrew root which means “to be firm, unwavering”. Jacob’s ladder was not just standing, it was securely fixed in the ground. This is why meditation is so important. It centres us on the Divine Source which is the ‘ground of being’, and allows us to start our beginner’s steps up the ‘ladder’ towards expanded awareness. Regular, daily gentle Zera Meditation sessions will be your foundation stone for a firm, unwavering spiritual ladder. It is not the goal of a meditation session to have conversations with angels, but they may drop by occasionally! And, when you begin to realise your true self you may, like Jacob, get a change of name….


Mystery in the Rose

The mystical rose is a symbol of the unfolding blossom of love and joy in our heart.

This exquisite rose was photographed by Will, right outside our front door. A rose bush was planted on either side of the porch when we moved in last year. I asked two of my daughters to gift me two identical rose bushes for my birthday/Mother’s Day celebrations which happened just after our moving in date.  We enjoyed blooms during the first summer, and now they are blossoming again!

Like the lotus in Eastern mysticism, the rose is an ancient symbol of spiritual development in Western mysticism. In Sufi thought, the rosebud represents unity with God, the rose in bloom represents abundance and wealth, the outer expression of love in the heart. When we love without condition, then everything we need arises in our life, with ease and grace.

In ancient times, the rose was the symbol for the goddess of the planet Venus, who creates a five petalled flower pattern as she dances in the sky.

Later it became an icon for the Virgin Mary, pure and untouched by physical love.

This development shifted the symbolic emphasis from the erotic to the sacred. In Western mysticism the love expressed in the rose is a sacred mystery, not a physical pleasure.  But, whatever attempts have been made, to distinguish the love called ‘eros’ (physical), from the love called ‘agape’ (charity, or spiritual love), there is no denying that the spiritual ilumination can be described as a ‘cosmic orgasm’. This experience is a rush of intense, unearthly light that surges through the body as well as the Soul, leaving the seeker in a complete surrender to the Divine.

With this spiritual love, which is experienced as soft and delicate, as well as being intense and fiery,  great joy and delight arise. The energetic shift is paradoxically both comforting and challenging, reassuring and awesome, forgiving and demanding, personal and impersonal. All our energy centres are open, and Divine energy flows through all levels of our system: from spirit, through mind, through heart, into the physical. This is how deep healing can take place, surprising us with revised configurations. Cancers miraculously disappear. The blind can see. The lame can walk. ‘New lungs are no problem’ – as an angel said to a dying man, who promised to return to life and heal his family story.

How do we support the blossoming of our inner rose of love, delight and joy? By meditating. Whatever method you choose, you need fast, easy, regular access to the Divine Source. Obviously, I recommend Zera Meditation, as it is natural, simple and effective. But there are other routes to the same inner space of  deep Power, deep Love, deep Wisdom.

Divine Source loves you. Divine Source offers you all the wisdom you need to make your way in the world as a truly realised being. In the deep, peaceful, powerful silence of Divine Source you will receive all the good nutrients you need, to bring your exquisite, unique and remarkable flower bud into the world. where you will blossom, over and over again.





Meditation and magic!

The magic of meditation leads to magical results in everyday life.

Merlin the Magician strides through a green landscape – rather like the one outside our house here in Wales. He has long grey hair and a beard, he carries his staff, and he is wearing the pointed hat. This is the archetype of the magician who can transform the material world with his creative intention. We expect him to be wise and humanitarian, like Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, and not self-serving and destructive, like the Dark Lord Sauron.

For many generations, we have been stuck with the idea that ‘magic’ should only be in the hands of the wise and the pure of heart. But WE are making magical things happen all the time! Our deeper levels of consciousness are sending out magic vibes moment-by-moment. The problem is, we are mostly quite unaware of this. It’s a bit like sailing a ship with stowaways below deck. They might be harmless, they might actually do some good, maybe a bit of cleaning and sweeping, or – and this would be really serious – they might be drilling holes that let the water in!

Regular meditation allows us to delve deep into the layers of our unconscious mind that are usually mysterious and hidden. Some people report meeting guides or a guardian angel during meditation. Mostly, we need to say ‘hello, good day and thank you’, then carry on with our meditation. Even positive guides can be a distraction. But, sometimes, if life is being especially stress-laden, it can be useful to ask for inspiration and then go back to repeating the zera. Don’t hang around and wait for an answer… it will come. Possibly at another time – travelling to work, doing the household chores, whatever. Of course, if you’ve done the Program, you will remember we covered various distractions and how to deal with them in the topics.

At the deepest level of consciousness, magic happens. It is going on all the time! If there are challenging issues in your life, especially around relationships, money, or work, then you need to clean up at a deep level, so the magic can flow towards positive results.

We all know the fairy tales in which a grumpy imp, like Rumpelstiltskin, or a witch, like Carabosse, or maybe a dragon, like Smaug, seems to have all the power over the hero or heroine, who is trapped in a dungeon, or a tower. A curse is hanging over the good guys in the story. These stories are telling us something important about our magical abilities. Imps, witches or dragons have taken charge of life-energy and want to hold on to the gold. They are grasping and stuck. These characters represent our own limiting beliefs, our residue of negative feelings left over from old hurts and resentments. We cannot let them take charge of our magical kingdom. We cannot allow them to run the show – they will turn it into a tragedy! We need to sweep them out of dusty corners, then the Divine Source of life and magic within us will flow easily, creating prosperity, health and joy.

The magic of meditation is that we can dip into Divine Source easily, on a regular basis. This process is an inner detox. When we maintain a constant relationship with Divine Source, a golden light establishes itself in our life, and the imps, witches and dragons will have nowhere to hide. Then we become monarch in our land of delight, and our outer life reflects our inner joy.

Find out more about how easy and joyful meditation can be.

Asking the Oracle

When you meditate, you awaken your own personal oracle.

In ancient times, people travelled miles to consult the oracle at Delphi. Deep in a dark pit, at what was considered to be the centre of the world, were the rotting remains of a huge python, or dragon, slain by the golden god Apollo. A beautiful temple was erected above the pit, which gave off a constant smoke with a sweet, sickly smell. For several hundred years, the Delphic Oracle was the most prestigious and authoritative oracle among the Greeks. The High Priestess of the temple, who delivered prophetic poetry, was without doubt the most powerful woman in the classical world.

In modern times we can consult astrologers, Tarot readers, chierologists (sometimes called palmists), or we can use our own packs of cards, yarrow stalks for I Ching, or maybe rune stones. Even tea-leaves can be used to catch a glimpse of the future! The Angels Script, which I channelled in 1997, is another example, another method for consulting an invisible source of wisdom. These are all oracular tools. We use them to access wisdom that seems to be hidden from us – we want to ‘know’ the future. We want insights into the best way forward. We want to understand our Soul’s destiny.

Why have people, for thousands of years, consulted ‘the oracle’ – rather than just getting on with life, making their decisions as they go along, according to rational and pragmatic choices? Perhaps because we have a deep suspicion that there is some other wisdom that can be brought to bear when making important decisions. Nowadays, atheists and physicalists, who have no truck with such ‘specious nonsense’ (to quote British comedian Stephen Fry), point the finger of scorn and scepticism at people who consult astrologers or ‘fortune-tellers’. Yet, even in the 21st century, when science claims to know so much more than the Ancient Greeks, these activities have not disappeared from our culture. Many people continue to seek deeper answers, from a source that goes beyond rational thought.

Why should we imagine we can access this super-rational information, using these tools? Where does it come from? The image of a deep pit at the centre of the earth can be used as a metaphor to describe the depth of our own consciousness. We can consider the archetypal story here. Apollo is god of the Sun, which shines in the daytime. Apollo represents all that is clear and revealed to our day-to-day vision. The dragon that has been slain, whose remains are in the pit, is the unconscious mind, which is deep and mysterious to our daily awareness.

We use our tarot cards, celestial charts, hexagrams to give our unconscious mind an opportunity to communicate with our everyday self. This ancient story suggests our conscious self is actually in denial – it has been avoiding the power of the unconscious by ‘slaying’ it, tucking it away in a pit where, we had hoped it would be no trouble. But then – oh me! oh my! – we realised that what we ignored and feared, is actually the greatest source of wisdom and power. Then we have to use an oracular process to communicate with this magnificent, potent snake of true wisdom.

And what has this to do with meditation, I hear you asking? When we surrender to Divine Source we are dropping into an inner landscape – we are lowering our conscious self into a deep well of wisdom that resides within our heart and mind. But it is not a dark pit – not at all. What we find there is light! This light can expand throughout all levels of our consciousness. This means that what used to be unconscious to our everyday self, starts to become more conscious. We become en’ light’ ened, we begin to understand our own true purpose in life, because we can access the invisible content of what was once hidden in our own shadowy cupboards. Once that becomes an embedded illumination we will no longer need an outside oracle. We contain our own High Priestess and she will tell us everything we need to know.

The journey towards this illumined state of being takes time, so if you have a favoured pack of wisdom cards, or if you use astrology, don’t give them up right now. Just keep up your meditation and gradually you will begin to realise that your own core of wisdom can be your constant companion, your life guide, your personal oracle, your inner sat-nav.

Your unlimited wealth

How does meditation affect your wealth and abundance? Does ‘being spiritual’ mean you have to be poor?

When teachers encourage people to meditate, we usually list the following benefits: ‘less stress’, ‘easier problem solving’,  ‘increased joy’, ‘better relationships’, etc. But what if I told you that meditation can help you create a more substantial flow of money in your life?

King Croesus (pronounced like ‘creases’) was a real Greek monarch who lived around 6oo years before the common era (BCE). His name has become a by-word for being extremely wealthy – ‘as rich as Croesus’, the saying goes. Croesus discovered that his riches could not make him happy when his son died in an accident, and his wife committed suicide.

The god Dionysius offered another legendary king, Midas, the chance to receive a magic gift. Midas asked that everything he laid a hand on would turn to gold.  Midas rejoiced in his new power, which he hastened to put to the test. He touched an oak twig and a stone; both turned to gold. He was overjoyed and, as soon as he arrived home, he touched every rose in the rose garden and all became gold. But Midas very quickly discovered the downside of this gift. He ordered the servants to set a feast on the table but, when he tried to eat, all his food and drink turned to gold. Eventually, he begged Dionysius to reverse the magic.

Our Western mythology is full of negative stories about wealth and the desire for it. These myths lead many people to get stuck with a mindset that dismisses the importance of money and possessions, leading them to shrug their shoulders and say, “Too much money leads to selfishness” or, “Money can’t buy you love” or, “Wealth doesn’t bring happiness”. At the same time, people can be fixated on how to get more money, or more possessions. A recent newspaper article, by the novelist Joanna Trollope, suggested that J.K.Rowling is imprisoned by ‘too much wealth’, as much as she was once boxed in by lack of resources when she was struggling as a single mother. But this fixation – that excess money is spiritually and psychologically dangerous – does not bring happiness either!

So, where does meditation fit into the abundance and wealth story? First of all, take a moment to define what you mean by wealth…

  • Property ownership – just big enough to accommodate your family?
  • Property ownership – spare houses that can bring an income, or can be used for holidays?
  • A certain amount of cash in the bank? How much? A million? More?
  • A certain amount of cash flowing through your current account each month? How much?
  • Owning a luxurious car?
  • Owning a yacht?
  • Owning an island?
  • Owning a private aeroplane?

Take a moment with a calculator and work out what amount of money would make you feel truly ‘wealthy’.

When we consider what wealth means for us as individuals, we may not easily be able to identify the actual maths. It’s more likely that you will think in general terms, imagining a life-style that feels easy and comfortable. You might list the price of all the things you would like to buy when your wealth arrives. You might add up what you could spend on a yearly basis. But the calculator doesn’t tell you anything about personal satisfaction and joy. All it can tell you is the difference (in the current economy) between the cost of basic survival and having a great life that includes more than necessities, bringing you and your family delight every day.

Meditation takes you back to Divine Source. This is where true delight rests. This is the well-spring of all that is truly valuable. But, when we emerge from our heavenly home, we have to engage with worldly activities and these include finding the wherewithal to pay the rent, buy clothes, make dinner, and so forth. Meditators have an advantage in the material world: your practice will help you relax and stay calm. You will find it easier to deal with the stress-laden workplace that is a common lifestyle issue for many people. So, earning money can be less of a challenge for meditators. But there is an even bigger benefit…

Regular contact with Divine Source helps you discover your real identity – your true purpose and the real reason you are in this world in the first place. With this knowledge you will be able to identify what ‘wealth’ actually means for you. You understand that the flow of money is directly related to your Soul’s desire to reach its potential. During meditation sessions we can easily get a powerful sense of our own capacity and our innate desires. Each of us has an inner ‘seed’, or what we could call our ‘Soul’s code’. That seed of our being wants to grow, just like an acorn wants to grow into an oak.

Everything we need for growth and development is within us and money is only an outward symbol of our divinely inspired activities in the world. If you believe that worldly goods are ‘out there’, waiting to be ‘attracted’, or ‘acquired’, then you will always feel in need. When you understand that your wealth is embedded in who you are, then everything you need and require will come easily to you. Your desires will be in harmony with your Soul’s purpose and you won’t be longing for things that are not appropriate for your unique destiny. Divine Source provides abundance for everyone – there is no shortage. When we work creatively with the Divine, we will receive in plenty; when we think of life as a competition and there’s only so much to go round, that’s when the problems begin and we feel lack.

Meditation feeds your roots. Then you grow into the most beautiful plant you were meant to be; then you blossom; then your fruits appear for easy picking. After a season the cycle begins again, but there will always be fruit, because that is Nature’s way. Zera Meditators get their wishes fulfilled more easily than the average Joe, because they check in with Divine Source on a daily basis and their wishes get planted in good spiritual ‘compost’.

Smart Monkey!

Monkey Mind needs a break from constant duties. Otherwise that smart uniform will begin to look shabby and the suitcases will overflow on to the floor.

This picture offers us a great lesson about the role of Monkey Mind.

The ‘toff’ in the elegant suit and top hat is standing by, allowing the porter, a monkey in a red uniform, to carry all the baggage. Unfortunately, one of the cases has fallen open, because the monkey can’t manage such a big heap of bags. The porter is rather like us, really – we are often so overloaded with thoughts, ideas, plans, shopping lists and daily timetables that we can’t keep everything tidy. Stuff is bound to spill over, especially while we are meditating.

If we think of the monkey porter as our everyday self – looking stylish, but trying hard to cope – then the toff watching on, detached and uninvolved, is our ‘witness’, our ‘higher self’, or Soul. This is the part of us that can stand to one side, staying calm and stress-free, even while the baggage is falling apart!

It is Monkey Mind’s job to deal with the everyday stuff. And Monkey is really smart. Just like the character in the red uniform, Monkey can get on with the task, usually with a high degree of efficiency – it’s not very often that the suitcases spill out their contents. What we are learning, is how to make best use of Monkey Mind, as a servant who can supprt our daily needs. What are a smart Monkey’s duties?

  • Planning our timetable
  • Checking our shopping lists
  • Organising outings and holidays
  • Doing the money maths
  • Finding the keys
  • Remembering birthdays…  and so on.

Monkey Mind will always find something else to get smart with. Excellent work, Monkey, you deserve a tip. Now you’ve got that sorted I can get on with my meditation!

We might think, looking at this tableau, that maybe the toff could offer a helping hand – or at least offer some kind advice. Like, “there, there my friend, not to worry, everything will be fine.” But the toff stands in his own centre, at ease, feet apart, looking on unruffled. He looks as though he doesn’t really care about the untidy mess the monkey has made. He doesn’t express any sympathy with the monkey’s plight.

We do need to care about Monkey Mind, our faithful, hard-working servant. That’s why we meditate, to give Monkey a break from the constant grind of keeping up with all our twenty-first century demands. Monkey can take a sabbatical twice a day and will breathe a sigh of relief when duty calls again, and the uniform has to come out of the cupboard. If Monkey doesn’t get a respite, how will there be time to keep that smart uniform clean and tidy, ready to put on the best show for the public arriving at the hotel?

Your Brain is Not Your Mind!

Your brain states can be measured by modern scientific methods and we can learn a great deal about brain patterns during meditation, but your brain is not creating your consciousness.

Although died-in-the-wool physicalists (previously known as ‘scientific materialists’) are still clinging to their flat-earth mind set, we have plenty of evidence that our brain does not produce our consciousness, or our sense of being a unique person capable of experiencing reality, both inner and outer.

Out-of-body experiences (OBEs), near-death experiences (NDEs) and actual-death-and-return experiences (ADAREs)*, all demonstrate that the brain can be in a state of flat-line, registering no activity at all, while the brain’s owners are experiencing journeys of a life-time.

When we meditate, our brain waves gradually slow down. Along with the overall physiological slowing, we experience less hyper-activity of thoughts and what we call Monkey Mind chatter begins to fall away. This is the time when we become aware of a more spacious consciousness, where we feel expansion and a sense of joy as we free ourselves from the limitations of our usual mental state.

We can measure brain-waves during meditation, and the results can be cross-checked against what we are experiencing. But the brain-waves are not causing the experience, they are aligned with it while our consciousness is changing. We are using the brain as a facility, while we live in a human body. When we change our consciousness, then the brain-waves change, not the other way around.

The expansion we experience during our Zera Meditation sessions is blissful, because we have played a sort of trick on Monkey Mind, who has been put to bed for the time being. When we are free of monkey chatter, we step through a portal in our self-limiting wall, made of habitual thought bricks, and discover a different quality of being. Now it is time to ask: what, or who, are you – when your thoughts disappear?

After many inner ruminations, Descartes famously said cogito ergo sum, usually translated as ‘I think therefore I am’. The Latin verb we translate as ‘to think’ has other implications apart from plain thinking, such as ‘to reflect’, ‘to turn over in the mind’, ‘to intend’, and ‘to plan’. Cogito is about Monkey Mind processes, associated with activities that can be measured in the left hemisphere of the brain. But what is going on when all these cogitations are side-lined for a short time, during profound states of meditation? We experience an awareness of being that has very little to do with thinking. We are no longer, like Descartes, relying on thinking in order to know that we exist. So, who do you think you are, when you are not thinking?

  • The term ADARE was coined by my husband Will Shaman for his forthcoming book Across the Fold: what the hard problem looks like from the other side. We’ll let you know when it’s available.


No Human Being is an Island

A human being… experiences himself… as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness… Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature — Albert Einstein

I found this lovely banner on the website of IMERE, the Insitute for Mystical Experience Research and Education ( This is the US equivalent of the British RERC, Religious Experience Research Centre founded by Sir Alister Hardy, an Oxford Professor of Marine Biology. ( I’ve been involved with RERC for more than thirty years and studied for the Master’s degree that was established by the Centre at the University of Wales. RERC have digitised their enormous archive of spirtual experiences, available online at

If you have had a profound spiritual experience, IMERE invites you to contribute to research by submitting a questionnaire. There are some beautiful examples of mystical experience on their website. I recommend reports from astronaut Edgar Mitchell and Jane Goodall, famous for research into chimpanzees – both scientists, it should be noted!

I discovered the IMERE banner when I was hunting for information about brain states, but I got distracted because the image, and especially Einstein’s remarks, prompted me to write this blog.

A human being… experiences himself… as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness… Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature – Albert Einstein

The mission of all meditation teachers is to encourage everyone to experience a sense of connection – with the whole human family, with the whole planet, with the whole cosmos! As Einstein says, this is a collective task, to free ourselves from the mind manacles that keep us feeling separate from one another. He describes this feeling as an ‘optical delusion’.

Many people know the famous poem by John Donne that begins: no man is an island. Donne describes how we are part of the same landscape:

Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.

He points out that the death of any other person diminishes us all, and closes with another famous line:

never send to know for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for thee.

Less well known is a bleak poem by Matthew Arnold, To Marguerite, in which the poet describes how we have lost our mystical connection. Arnold uses the identical image as Donne, of being an island –  with echoing straits between us thrown. He complains that we million mortals live alone. When we experience the beauty of the world, such as starry nights, springtime, the sound of the nightingales, we long for something we have lost – because surely, once we were parts of a single continent. He wonders why we should have this longing, but still be separated? Arnold’s poem ends on a bitter note: he complains that it must have been a god who made the rule that we should be separate beings, living as islands kept apart by the unplumb’d, salt, estranging sea.

I was especially taken by Arnold’s description of the sea between the islands as unplumbed – so deep we cannot hope to fathom its depth. This mysterious sea makes us strangers to each other. But I don’t believe in a ‘god’ who wants to keep us separate. We can choose. Our consciousness is like a deep ocean, and we can explore its depths. We don’t have to be estranged.  We can experience different levels of our own inner landscape and discover the underlying contintent.

We do have a sense of being separate, individual people, with timelines from birth to death, and identities based on name, gender, familial relationships, tribe, nationhood, and so on. That separate ‘island’ of our being is what we mostly spend time living in. But, much deeper, if we take time to plumb the ocean of consciousness, we will get a sense of being part of a single continent. That continent is often experienced as a land of light, where we feeled loved, protected and reassured. I call this Divine Source.

Meditation is your gateway to the Land of Light, which is your birthright.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature.