meditation and spiritual growth

Janet sat at the kitchen table with her father and mother. She was seeking their advice on an important matter. Yesterday she was just a carefree teenager like the hundreds of other seniors at Hudson High School. The most important thing on her mind was who was going to Friday night’s football game against the Stow Bulldogs. Sure, she was concerned about her red dress not yet back from the cleaners, and her best friend Julie’s hair highlights that didn’t come out too well, but all in all life was tidy and sweet.

But today things were different. Janet got her acceptance letter from Kent State University. Going to college was now in competition with her desire to travel abroad for a year with the Peace Corp. She was also weighing whether or not to take an internship with Ernst & Young, or spend the summer at soccer camp.

Janet sat down with her parents to get their perspective. The choice of what to do was 100% hers, but she valued what they would have to say. The choices she would make today would set her out on different paths of discovery and opportunity.

We all have to make decisions in life. We constantly ask which direction we should pursue. For example, should we buy a new car, or fix the old one and keep it for another year. Should we take that job and move to Colorado, or stay put and hope that the economy improves. Do we spend the money to upgrade the kitchen in our house, or save that money for a rainy day.

As human beings we are high enough on the evolutionary ladder to have conscious wakefulness, which allows us to make calculated and thoughtful decisions before acting. The other life forms below us do not have free will, and their actions are dictated by instinct.

Free will is a natural outcome of expanding awareness in our world.

Meditation opens our awareness to deeper fulfillment and expanded freedom. As consciousness grows the field of all possibilities (pure awareness) unfolds before us, and more choices in life become available.

The downfall of man is often laid at the door step of free will. Eating from the tree of good and evil is frequently portrayed as the cause of our fall from grace, and our current life of suffering.

But free will has gotten a bad rap.

Without free will we could not realize the absolute (Enlightenment). That’s because inherent in the ability to suffer is also the ability to live the infinite value of life. And conversely, when we live life in absolute freedom we are free to choose anything, even suffering.

If one can live the infinite value of life, then one can make a choice to live any of its finite values. We can choose some happiness like going on vacation or visiting friends. Or we can choose suffering.

We unconsciously continue to choose suffering because we do not know any better. We don’t know how to get out of it. We have become satisfied with small things (like a new car) and continue to hope that the future will get better.

We continue to suffer because our awareness is bound and restricted. Limitation in life and progress is due to stress. When the human nervous system is dominated by stress and strain it does not function properly. A stressed nervous system does not see the possibilities that exist. Human will is subdued, and the intellect and all of our faculties remain constrained.

As consciousness expands free will becomes more effectual. We become more capable and elicit an expanding menu of selections and opportunities that lead to a more harmonious and happy life. Greater choice leads to more gratifying knowledge.

Since we have free will we can choose to sit and meditate, or not. Meditation (contemplation and/or transcendence) is effortless. But if we don’t meditate than how do we get to bliss consciousness?

Freedom allows life to prosper; it is never negative to life. Living in the field of time and change we have a choice to contact the absolute. No boundaries mean complete freedom. The tendency of human life is to want more and more.

Just as a flower turns toward the Sun and opens in the morning, so to free will is a natural expression of consciousness in the world.

There was no downfall of man, only an awakening.

Free will is a blessing which allows us to choose a path toward enlightenment. It can be our friend. Without change the absolute sleeps inside of us. The sleeper must awaken. Sit every day to meditate to capture the fulfillment of all life, the goal of free will, absolute unbounded awareness.