The Effects of Meditation: Moving from Pain to Joy
Image by Bhikku Amitha 

Narrated by Marie T. Russell

Video version on InnerSelf Video can also be watched on YouTube

The effects of meditation often occur so gradually we don't notice them. Then comes a day when we have the sudden realization we're not like we used to be. With this dawning of understanding that we're not who we thought we were comes confusion. If we're lucky, we might have a teacher or friend who tells us, "Relax, it's all part of the process."

Dealing with these changes is where the science of self-discovery and the art of self-control come in handy. By taking a step back into the scientific mindset, the objective view of ourselves as beings on the path of self-discovery, we can analyze the condition in which we find ourselves. With the scientific viewpoint, we can simply observe ourselves without judging, without pulling emotional reactions into the observation. Once we've seen where we are in relation to where we want to be, we can practice the art of self-control to get there.

Meditation opens our awareness to the subtle levels of our being. We become more sensitive to our surroundings and at the same time we develop an inner strength, which allows us to deal with this increased sensitivity. The same way a child learns not to touch a hot stove, we learn through experience to move our focus away from that which causes pain to that which brings joy.

Blissful Presence

Meditation brings forth a feeling of well-being; some of my fellow students have called this "blissing out." We walk around in the world, sensing the pain of others, yet we are embraced in bliss. Even when the body suffers from pain, such as from the flu or even a chronic illness, we find we are inexplicably happy. After meditating regularly, there is an almost constant sense of lightness and joy permeating everything we do.

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This approach to life, this smile we carry around all day, is not always welcomed by those lost in the ocean of suffering. Sometimes our presence offends those with lower expectations of a happy life. We cannot change these people. They will show us anger and envy, and may even try to convince us to pity them. They sense the light we have connected to in meditation and they want to feel that light, although they may not be willing to admit it to themselves.

When they are ready, they will find their own way home. In the meantime, we enjoy the smile in our hearts, but don't try to force it on anyone else.

The Door to Infinite Possibilities

As we move deeper into meditation, we become more powerful and we develop the ability to concentrate on anything we choose. It opens the door to infinite possibilities. We become limited only by our own imagination, and by the imagination of those we choose to believe.

Over time, we find we have room to balance more activities, more people, more challenges. In conjunction with power and balance, we develop clarity. The situations that once made us lose our way become only minor obstacles because our view has expanded.

In daily meditation, we renew our connection to light, clearing away the blockages keeping us from seeing the way through the shadows. We learn to allow ourselves to become someone new every month, every week, every day, every moment. We rely less and less on others to tell us who we are. As we come to accept we are transient beings, we see we are expressions of light lasting only for a moment.

The War Raging Within

As we walk the pathway of self-discovery, we may find a war raging within us. The ego struggles to maintain itself in the physical and astral worlds, linking to what is familiar. We are pulled by karma to follow the patterns we have created.

Many people try to fight these old habits by punishing themselves. Soon a habit that once brought pleasure now brings pain, and yet we are still drawn to it. When we find ourselves caught up in an old habit or anything that causes suffering, we can immediately stop and put our focus on something else.

A New Adventure

Meditation expands the mind and opens up more options. We eventually recognize the ego is only playing the game of Life. Sometimes the games are fierce, sometimes gentle. Because we meditate, we know it is all illusion, and enjoy it anyway.

With meditation, personal power is increased and we have the ability to control our reactions to the games we play. The victim is replaced by the active player who uses discriminating awareness to choose how they will play the role they must fill.

Even after many years on the Path of meditation, every moment is a new adventure. Each day is a new exploration of infinite, eternal awareness.

©2020 by the author. All Rights Reserved.

Book by this Author:

Unreasonable Joy: Awakening through Trikaya Buddhism
by Turīya

Unreasonable Joy: Awakening through Trikaya Buddhism  by TurīyaUnreasonable Joy: Awakening through Trikaya Buddhism, points the way towards Enlightenment and liberation from suffering. We suffer through tragedies and the daily grind of eat-work-sleep, chasing happiness but finding fleeting pleasure. Built on the foundations of ancient wisdom, a new school called Trikaya Buddhism promises freedom from the suffering of this wearisome cycle.

For more info, or to order this book, click here. (Also available as a Kindle edition.)

About the Author

Turīya is a Buddhist monk, teacher, and authorTurīya is a Buddhist monk, teacher, and author who, despite living with chronic pain, founded the Dharma Center of Trikaya Buddhism in San Diego in 1998 to share her path. For over 25 years, she has taught thousands of students how to meditate, trained teachers, and helped people discover the unreasonable joy of our true nature.

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