On Meditation

An edited talk by David Spero, December 1, 2007, Palm Springs, CA.

There are essentially two ways to meditate. The first method requires outer instruction, and what you are generally taught is how to control or quiet your mind. That is the most common method available and, as you know, there are many traditions and paths that teach this form of meditation.

The second form of meditation happens when the very energy in your own being is spontaneously activated. That can be called transmission-based meditation. In other words, instead of learning “how to do” meditation, you learn how to intuitively feel the activating power of your own consciousness – the shakti. That’s something we can call esoteric. It’s hidden. How this actually occurs remains behind the scenes. It’s not apparent. It’s not a “how to do.” It’s about the state in which you are already functioning.

There are many obstacles that a person has to overcome when performing meditation as a learned exercise. It can take many years to master practiced meditation to the point where there is real and constant illumination – what we call enlightenment or awakening or Self-realization. And that can be a long drawn-out process only because there’s so much conditioning to shed. There are so many layers upon layers of conditioning that have to be, first of all, seen and acknowledged, and then released. And the last sheath is the very one who is meditating; the very identity that believes it is practicing meditation. That’s the most subtle level of conditioning to be penetrated and transcended.

But when you connect with me in my transmission-based context, something radically different may occur, something that cannot be fully expressed in human language. But I’ll try anyway. In the simplicity and naturalness of your own functioning, you breathe. Your heart beats. Your nervous system functions. You take in prana - breath, energy, or light - and then you release the prana. And in that you are already functioning in a natural perfection that was present at the moment you took birth, and that has been flawlessly functioning for many years. The breathing process is rooted in an aspect of your being that we can call the prana sheath or casing.

What I stimulate in my teaching capacity is the activation of great energy or prana in your own consciousness. And that’s because your pranic sheath is being ballooned, it’s being blown up and expanded. So, you see, this transmission-based meditation has to do with you being meditated – not you as an individual, separate person learning something about meditation and then applying it, but breathing and feeling your way into this tremendous power that I have realized, that has been realized. You could say that that power actually is the “I,” which is an impersonal level of cosmic consciousness. So to say “I” realize it, there’s a kind of contradiction or inaccuracy in that. I just want to clear that point up so that there’s no confusion.

So, as you sit in my presence, for a certain time, you’ll find that something genuine starts to happen. You start to cook. Your energies begin to liberate spontaneously and a Transcendental Bliss floods your consciousness. But this is actually a very major event, the cataclysmic event that all human births are pointed toward.

This transcendence of individual attention is the merger of individual energy into something that is cosmic or universal, something that is realized without any effort. When you learn a practical form of meditation, effort is required. Perseverance is necessary in the gradual cultivation of a sacred inner space. But in my teaching we fall into the Bliss spontaneously, without preparation.

Because this is so subtle it will take a certain amount of time to grasp and everyone’s timetable is different. There’s no specific time as to when a full realization of this Bliss will occur, but one could say, generally, that it takes time to blossom into its fullness. You can, from the very beginning, experience this great awakening, but it may take time for the body and mind to actually adapt and learn to function within it comfortably and with full recognition, so that all of one's spiritual dilemmas begin to disappear. Spiritual questions become answered. Spiritual yearnings become fulfilled or dissolved in the inherent Radiance of Being. This is basically what I’m inviting you into, the invitation I’m offering.

It’s not necessary to believe in God, not necessary to acknowledge any traditional spiritual source in my teaching. You can be an atheist; you can be an agnostic. You can be anything because it’s not based upon belief. Your breathing is not based upon your belief system about air and oxygenation of the blood. Whether you believe those things is irrespective to living – you just breathe, that’s all. It’s an existential event and this is the same exact process I’m describing.

So, there’s really no God in this, no external God. You may encounter something within yourself that is, in its inherent magnificence, worthy of the name God, but that thing will not be any different than your own Self. It will be located in your Self, not “out there” somewhere. God, truly, is precisely that which dawns when all “out theres” disappear. So this does cover the territory that religion traditionally covers, most definitely. It does move into those areas referred to as “the Divine,” God, but quite from a different angle. You’ll also find that I’m not directly dealing with the contents of your mind. I’m not going to ask you to change anything about yourself – how you live, what you think. I just welcome you in a kind of innocence, and an innocent approach to realizing what for me is quite obvious, which may become obvious to you too.