Question: I learned a mantra-based meditation practice more than thirty years ago. Meditation has been wonderful for me until several years ago. For some reason it does not work anymore, there is no joy and nothing happens and when I try to meditate my mind just does not want to meditate. What has happened to me? I certainly would like to be able to enjoy meditation as I did for so many years.
Deepak Responds: The meditation still works, it’s just that the contrast of feeling in meditation and out of meditation has been erased. This is because the meditation has done its job of establishing that sense of peace and stability of the Self in your everyday awareness.
This doesn’t mean that your evolution is complete or that you no longer need to meditate, but it shows that you have developed enough familiarity with the innerself that it no longer feels inner. It is just your Self — as much inner as it is outer. The experience of meditation that you enjoyed from the past and made you feel like it was working, relied upon a sense of transition from your active waking life to a more quiet, joyful state that felt more permanent and unlimited.
Now after thirty-plus years of transcending, you close your eyes, and you are already there. You open your eyes and you are still there. So from the perspective of needing meditation to get there, it no longer feels like meditation is doing anything.
The value of meditation lies in how it effects your life outside of your practice sessions . . .
I can’t tell you how many people I run into with your experience. It is very common. We’ve become so trained to evaluate meditation based on the contrast of feelings we have in vs. out of meditation that we forget that the purpose of meditation is to give us constant access to that inner intelligence, energy, and love. When we have that connection fully open, it feels different and changes the quality of meditation.
Meditation from this point forward is still important because spending focused time in that state of self-referral consciousness will allow you to develop the full potential of your Self. It’s one thing to move out of your old house into a new house. It’s another thing to set it up as a fully functioning home and really start living in it. The same applies to your present stage of growth.
It is important to use meditation now to simply be in that awareness and become fully conversant with the full stature of the Higher Self. Many masters will tell you that this is where the journey begins in earnest.