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Spirituality

Why Meditation Is the Key to Spiritual Evolution

Gouya Zamani | Jan 8, 2021

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

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Gouya Zamani | Jan 8, 2021

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

I’ve found that achieving unity within myself requires meditating to seek clarity and spiritual consciousness. I try to attain this condition of unity by being detached from material things and turning myself over to that higher calling found in God alone. It takes effort, but I make it a priority and work for it.  

Indeed, in a speech in London in 1913, Abdu’l-Baha, the son of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, and his designated successor, said, “It is an axiomatic fact that while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit. In that state of mind you put certain questions to your spirit and the spirit answers: the light breaks forth and the reality is revealed.”

RELATED: 5 Benefits of Meditation for Our Physical and Spiritual Well-Being

I believe we can each attain this state by thinking and caring less about our five senses —  the material things — and more about the spiritual. The further we go from the material, the closer we are to the spiritual. The choice is ours. It’s our free will to decide which part of our reality we experience. 

Baha’u’llah wrote that “we should open our eyes, meditate upon His Word, and seek the sheltering shadow of the Manifestations of God.” To live in true freedom and joy, our spiritual perception, our inward sight, must be opened. Then we can experience and see the traces of God’s spirit in everything. 

How crucial is meditating to being able to see and understand spiritual reality? In that same speech in London, Abdu’l-Baha explained that “Baha’u’llah says there is a sign (from God) in every phenomenon: the sign of the intellect is contemplation and the sign of contemplation is silence, because it is impossible for a man to do two things at one time—he cannot both speak and meditate.”

Abdu’l-Baha also said that “You cannot apply the name ‘man’ to any being void of this faculty of meditation; without it he would be a mere animal, lower than the beasts.” He also explained that “Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit — the bestowal of the Spirit is given in reflection and meditation.”

I think of it like this: If we get up from a creative process and we feel grateful and joyful and have a passion for our evolvement, then we are not looking for our future — we are already living it. But the moment we start feeling self-doubt and self-limiting emotions and relying only on our limited human condition, we feel separation and disunity with ourselves and our creator. 

Thoughts are the vocabulary of the brain, and feelings are the body’s vocabulary. If we dwell on our past, we cannot reprogram our vision and heal from it. Essentially, if we live in a limited version of life, which means living in our past, we are more in love with our past than our future. Meditation aids our spirit by connecting with a spiritually-based reality and future.

RELATED: Quieting the Mind Through Meditation

Abdu’l-Baha spoke of this when he said

The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation; through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food.

Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves.

When we have a spiritual vision, nothing can stand in our way. Suppose we are evolved and in a place of humility, genuinely loving everyone, joyful and living in gratitude, and delighted in a peaceful higher conscientiousness. In that case, we will never trade those feelings for what others think of us and buy into the judgments people make about us.

All of that hard work — everything we work so hard to evolve and eventually become — no one can take that away from us.  We can look back at that person (us) who went through all those challenging moments and how we overcame them. And then we fall in love with that person, that spirit, that new reality. The true reality is to know it was those moments that got us to this moment. That is evolution!

It’s confirming that Abdu’l-Baha said:

The meditative faculty is akin to the mirror; if you put it before earthly objects it will reflect them. Therefore if the spirit of man is contemplating earthly subjects he will be informed of these. But if you turn the mirror of your spirits heavenwards, the heavenly constellations and the rays of the Sun of Reality will be reflected in your hearts, and the virtues of the Kingdom will be obtained.

He also encouraged us to turn “to the heavenly Sun and not to earthly objects—so that we may discover the secrets of the Kingdom.”  

This is the relationship of unity and oneness with God and our higher selves.  When we change, we stop talking about it. Instead, we feel all the thousands of reasons why we are joyous. It’s no wonder that Abdu’l-Baha said we should “become mirrors reflecting the heavenly realities,” and “so pure as to reflect the stars of heaven.” 

When we feel that spiritual high through meditation, our oxytocin levels are high, and we feel amazing. It becomes easy to forgive others and choose to unite with them. This is the highest form of unity and the highest form of living a true reality born of the spirit.

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