Meditation is a state of consciousness. It is a growing thing that, when nurtured and cared for, grows strong and constant, like a big old oak tree. You can count on it.

Every time you meditate, it is as if you are building a mountain, one layer at a time. Meditation is like strata; once a layer is set down, it becomes a permanent part of your landscape. It is cumulative. When you meditate again, you add another layer to your mountain. You keep getting stronger and stronger. Even if there’s a gap of many years in your meditation practice, this stratification doesn’t go away. It’s right where you left it. You just pick up where you left off. Usually, it will have grown on its own some, too.

Meditation is a discipline of mind blended with spirit that teaches concentration and focus. It brings clarity to every area of your life. It broadens your perspective, opens your mind to new ideas, and helps you feel free.

Sometimes we associate it with prayer, and of course, it is this too. Meditation is an elegant mental discipline that increases our spiritual connection. In the oldest recorded teachings, thousands of years old, it is said that meditation is the settling of the mind into stillness. This is true, and yet to meditate is not to silence the mind, or to not think, or to be thought-less. It is to be full of mind. Mindful. Full of mind, without attachment, without judgment.

This growing knowing is deep within you and always available to you. It is right there, always. It is a conscious breath away. We are never separate from our knowing. It is an infinite continuum of everlasting love and appreciation, ever available, ever knowing, ever loving. All we have to do is open to it. It’s right there. If ever we become disconnected, it is only because we have disconnected ourselves. And that’s all right. All you have to do is choose again. The moment we choose again, we are reconnected, instantly and always. And one of the easiest ways to connect is through meditation.

You are Good
Through the process of meditation you discover your true goodness. It may take a while, and you may have to wade through doubts and fears at first, but at some moment you’ll discover — there at the core of you, perfectly in place — your authentic, worthy, beautiful self.

Anything that says otherwise is the ego’s doubt; and if there’s a devil, this is it. It causes us to confuse ourselves and forget who we really are. When we doubt, we empower fear. Doubt is at the heart of any fear-based decision — the decision to not trust, the decision to not be open, the decision to not love. Doubt is the stuff of our insecurity. It is at the core of any act that is less than our best.

Meditation helps you sift through all this doubt and fear, and you feel your way home to your true self, to the knowing that you are naturally and inherently good. There are no exceptions. You are not the one exception.

What if you knew that?
What if it weren’t even a question?
What if it were a given in your life?
Feel how much this would change how you express yourself in the world.

You are good — not in the sense of being righteous, of being superior to someone else, but in the deeper sense of it all: you are truly, heartfully good.

This is the truth. You are good beyond your wildest imagination. You are good in a way that is immeasurable. You are as worthy as your greatest hero or anyone else you have ever thought of as admirable, inspired, or blessed.

You are that.

Meditation is a journey that unifies the mind and the heart. Meditation uncovers the layers of belief, limitation, and doubt to quietly reveal the pure and simple heart that is always there.

I like to do things in the most direct way I can: as the crow flies, fast and true. Meditation is the most direct route home I know. It is a process, a discipline, an art, and a practice that will teach you to trust yourself, to come home within yourself, to know who you are, to be who you are, authentic and free and unlimited. Meditation will give you nothing new, but it will give you yourself.

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Diana Lang is the author of Opening to Meditation and the owner and director of the LifeWorks Center for Growth in Los Angeles, where she lives. She is also active in a variety of nonprofit international efforts to teach meditation and yoga. Visit her online at www.dianalang.com

Excerpted from the book Opening to Meditation: A Gentle, Guided Approach ©2015 by Diana Lang.    Printed with permission of New World Library. www.newworldlibrary.com

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