What Does it Mean by Spiritual Awareness?
The Ancient Greek aphorism “Know Thyself” invites us to self-reflect; to look at ourselves and to understand our true nature, and having done so, to live our true nature. But what is our true nature? Are we simply the body that we come into this world with, that ages with time and withers away after death? Are we the mind that grows astute with intellectual pursuits only to evaporate at the time of death? Are we our emotions that change as frequently as the weather? Or is there much more to our “selves”? Is there something more constant, more powerful that defines our true self?
Saints and spiritual Masters, since time immemorial, have come to remind us that we are much more than the body that we see with our physical eyes, much more than our mind or emotions. They tell us that our true self is the spirit or soul. They tell us that the soul is a part of God, the Creator and that it is the Power that enlivens the body, that animates us, that makes us tick. When this Power leaves us, the body becomes motionless, and we are proclaimed dead. Saints also tell us that there is a way for each of us to experience our true nature. It is not an intellectual pursuit, but one of practice, wherein we can have a direct experience of our true self.
Currently, we are asleep and ignorant of this truth. To become spiritually aware is to awaken to our true nature as spirit, to experience our true self. Spirituality is the process of discovering our true self. We normally think that perception is possible only through our bodily sense organs. Nevertheless, when we become spiritually aware, we recognize that we can perceive with the spirit.
Meditation, put simply, is inner concentration. It can be practiced by anyone of any age. In meditation, we withdraw our attention from the outer world and focus it within ourselves to have a direct experience of the divine. We tune out from the world outside, from our body and our thought processes, so we can become conscious of the soul.
To understand this process better, we need to understand the nature of our attention. Our attention is the outer expression of our soul. It is currently scattered throughout the body and exits into the world through the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Through these senses, we enjoy the world outside and remain focused on the outer world. To become conscious of our soul, which resides within us, we have to withdraw our attention from the world outside, and focus it at the seat of the soul, between and behind the two eyebrows. This point is referred to as the third eye and is the gateway into the inner worlds. As we withdraw our sensory currents, our attention begins to collect at the eye-focus. In the darkness around us, we perceive inner Light, not through our outer eyes, but through the inner eye. It is at this point that we become conscious of our soul. As we connect with this inner Light, the current leads us from physical consciousness into higher consciousness. How?
The Light we perceive is a manifestation of God. The other manifestation of God is the Sound. This Power of God flows out from God and also returns to God.
When the soul connects with this current, it can ride on it back to the spiritual realms from where it originated.
We experience love, peace, and eternal happiness.
A whole new world opens up for us.
Through meditation we can gain access to this.
What Happens as We Become Spiritually Aware?
As we become aware of our spiritual nature through meditation, the soul regains its original bliss, love, and consciousness. It returns to its true state, which we have forgotten because the soul is environed by the body and mind. As we empower the soul through meditation, we tap into and harness the hidden and inexhaustible energy of the soul, and slowly, we begin to embody the characteristics of the soul and find that we are one with God.
Connected to the limitless spiritual power within, we recognize the immortality of the soul and lose all fear of death. We embrace the oneness of all life. We realize we are connected to each other, knit together by the bonds of love. With this understanding, we treat others with love and respect. We become more compassionate, more tolerant, and more understanding. We become oblivious to outer differences of religion, culture, color, and nationality, and we channel the unconditional love of our empowered soul to all. We live human unity. We experience ourselves as reservoirs of Light, consciousness, and bliss.
Harnessing the power of the soul, our understanding of life shifts. We begin to see that there is a deeper meaning to life. We are at peace because we learn the answers to the mysteries of life and death and know that we will survive beyond the demise of our physical body. We begin to live with intent so that we make every moment count. The ups and downs of life, the disappointments, the minor disagreements, all begin to fade into the background, and joy, happiness, and fulfillment become the narrative of our life.
In short, becoming spiritually aware connects us with the reservoir of divine love that is within us. This love nourishes us, uplifts us, transforms, and, ultimately, heals us. This is the promise of the spiritual path that is delivered as a direct experience through meditation.
A New Dawn
By becoming spiritually aware, we become embodiments of love, and we spread the fragrance of this love to all we meet.
As more and more of us meditate and become conscious of our souls, we will begin to embrace our collective oneness. The walls around us will gradually crumble and we will create a world in which every individual – no matter how humble – is respected and cared for.