There’s been an ongoing study amongst the terminally ill, with an overwhelmingly recurring result: the number one regret of the dying is “I wasn’t true to myself.” That’s a very strong indicator that at the end of one’s life, when all is said and done, the most important thing is one’s relationship to oneself; to know oneself.
This, according to yogic philosophy, is the essence of the human condition. We are all on a journey to finding ourselves; our true nature; our inner self.
This whole universe is an expression of consciousness. Your own consciousness — your own sense of being — is part of the infinite consciousness of the universe, just as a wave is part of the sea. In fact, just like the wave, we are not only part of but one with the infinite. We just don’t realise it.
We think our existence is limited and so we experience a limited sense of reality. But we have an internal longing for limitlessness. We want unlimited happiness. What we ultimately want is the bliss — the infinite happiness — within ourselves; the essence of ourselves. That’s why we’re searching for ourselves. That’s why we’ll only be content when we find ourselves.
So if we can expand our sense of existence from our own consciousness to the infinite consciousness; from our small sense of self to the greater Self; if we can merge our own sense of self with the Cosmic Self, like a river merges in the sea; then we will experience the bliss — the infinite happiness — we all long for.
When one realises one’s small self as the Greater Self — the Greater Self as one’s own self — that’s self-realisation. And the essence of that realisation is the experience of exquisite happiness; infinite happiness; bliss… a sublime feeling beyond all worldly enjoyment.
That realisation is inevitable for each and every one of us. We are all on a journey to realising that ultimate state of eternal bliss. There is no possibility of ending up in the wrong place forever; only the right place. There is every reason to be optimistic.
And meditation is the way to do that. Meditation is the process of centring yourself on your inner self; of connecting to your true self. It’s not the imposition of any belief from outside yourself. It’s about you. It’s about finding the essence of yourself within yourself and realising that essence as the inner self of all beings and the entire universe.
Meditation is the core practice of the wider lifestyle called yoga. Yoga means to unify one’s individual consciousness with the infinite consciousness; your small self with the Greater Self.
It’s an entirely internal process. And so, more than anything else, you can only experience it internally.