I first tried meditation about seven years ago, when things were difficult but I wasn't giving up on believing that there is something better out there for me. I came across "The 6 Phase Meditation Read By Vishen Lakhiani". I found the courage and made the time, or was Divinely led to give it a go, and I have to say, the results were pretty astounding.
I started having enough energy to wake up earlier than usual and things started going my way. It elevated not only my energy but also my performance at work and I started achieving great results at the college course I was attending. I felt physically better as my health also levelled out. I can admit now that the forgiveness part was a difficult one, and still is to some degree, but knowing how it works I consciously override my ego and do my best to forgive myself and others.
I noticed that if I started to miss out on my morning or evening meditation practice, my mood would go down from happy to indifferent, and down a few notches again if the slouching went on.
How does meditation work?
There are a lot of studies which show why meditation improves our earthly experience, proving that the endocrine system floods our system with bliss chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin, and that the connection between our brain hemispheres gets thicker, and that we start operating from our right brain which allows us to operate from the present moment. Also, very importantly meditation clears residues of stress accumulated in our body and allows us to act consciously rather than react in so called "stressful situations". To help you learn more about the scientific side of things I am happy to recommend Emily Fletcher's book "Stress Less, Accomplish More", which brought my meditation practice to a whole new level, for which I am eternally grateful to Emily! However, I would like to make a few observations, and tie them into a comprehensive conclusion based on my own experience.
Without further adieu lets dive right into the state of mind reached during meditation - the theta brain waves. Theta occurs not only during deep meditation but also in the dream-like state which humans normally experience before falling asleep or right after waking up, unless your alarm clock lifts you up with the sound of a steam tug. In theta we are in the dream state and so we are in meditation.
"The Vedas are the ancient mantric scriptures set forth by Himalayan rishis, yogis and sages who lived thousand of years ago at the reputed beginning of this World Age (called yuga). They are said to manifest the wisdom of the cosmic mind that is the origin and support of the universe and the foundation of natural law. The Vedas are the source of yoga and Ayurveda. ["In Search of the Cradle of Civilization" by Feuerstein, Frawley and Kak, and "Gods, Sages and Kings: Vedic Secrets of Ancient Civilization by Frawley]
Waking state vs dream state
In the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, the attraction to the external or what we perceive as physical world is called maya, the power of illusion, which is referred to as the lower or unspiritual magnetism, which makes up the ego force or power of ignorance. In layman's term, due to ego, humans are attracted to illusionary world. If you pause and let that thought permeate your being the realisation is pretty gloomy from the physical being's point of view, as it will transpire that the rat race and our material possession world is pointless!
On the other hand there is the dream world, in which we can fly, make things happen at the drop of a hat, or at the instance of a thought, in which we meet people that are deceased and have a conversation with them, or people that don't want to meet with us in the real world. The Vedas explain that the astral body functions during dream and inspired thought, during which it defines time and space and not the other way round as it is in the 'waking state' as we know it. In dream state we can create a world with our imagination. I personally like the idea of instant manifestation a lot, especially that it can also be instantly erased and replaced by something else if things don't go according to my liking.
There is one more option, deep sleep or profound meditation. Those happen in delta brainwaves, not theta, and allow us to exist in our own consciousness devoid of external objects, physical or imaginary. This state, referred in Vedas as casual body, exists as an idea which creates time and space according to our deeper thoughts and perceptions, a world of our own ideals. Now we are really diving deep. Why? Because if our ideals are happiness or love then that's the basis for creating our own world. Think about it…
So why does meditation is so important?
Since meditation and instant manifestation dream state happen at the same frequency of brainwaves, it seems logical that if we can consciously create this state it would make sense to go there as often as possible and enjoy it! As previously alluded to, when I first started meditating, things began going my way, DREAMS WERE COMING TRUE and I felt at peace no matter what challenges life was presenting! So this is it, meditation is the readily available tool, which can be utilized to make your life more like what you dream of.
Perhaps that is why so many cultures considered dreams and connected with it spirituality as the most important part of their lives. For example, Indians of North America deemed dreams as the ultimate source of both practical and spiritual guidance. A more contemporary example of how powerful and limitless theta state is, are the Achuar people from South America, who called into their lives the philanthropist and aid worker Lynne Twist through dreams to aid them in preserving the natural environment they live in.
While not endorsing or recommending, it is worth mentioning that shamanic healing rituals are always performed in dream/theta state. Isn't that because theta is the gateway to untapped potentials of inner wisdom and intuition which enables healing. Also, theta state of brain is where we store our traumas or fears, so this is where we need to go to clean the mess up.
Also, isn't modern technology designed for learning languages or whatever else, based on dream state? From my experience no wearable devices are required to tap into this, it is enough to immerse in meditative state before commencing your learning process and the result are positively surprising, as in theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within.
Meditation doesn't have to be done in a perfect place or at a perfect time, just needs a time and space in everyone's life, every day, and then new spaces appear for all the serendipitous moments to happen, for all the happy coincidences, miracles and blissful encounters, for all the little and big successes and for the inner peace and happiness.
Happy meditating as this is a gift that keeps on giving!