meditation and spiritual growth

Manuel grabbed his books, gave Angelina a kiss and headed out the door for his first day at the Juárez instituto de tecnología. This was a long time coming; born of dreams, fallen hopes, a broken heart and a shattered will. But he mustered his strength from within on this special day and continued forward.

That was not always so. Just three months ago Manuel’s life seemed to come crashing down. He was working at the marble quarry and was not very happy with his job. He was there because he followed his father’s footsteps. His father Rafael worked at the quarry as a stone cutter; using jackhammer, sledgehammer, wedge, and dynamite to rough out the stone walls into smaller manageable pieces. Rafael worked at the quarry for almost 36 years; supported his family, went to church regularly, and was a descent caring person.

But his son had other dreams. He wanted to be an engineer. He wanted to build earth moving machinery and other large vehicles. But the economy took a downturn and his working hours were cut back significantly, and then he was eventually laid off.

For a long time before that he wanted to quit his job and pursue an engineering degree, but was held back by fear of an uncertain future. He even prayed for guidance to help lead him down another path, hopefully to the university. But when he got laid off along with 26 other men at the quarry his mind tumbled into depression. His world had come to an end. But then Angelina reminded him that he was praying for another path, and that he wasn’t able to take the first step on his own. So why was he now in despair when fate intervened to free him?

There is a famous Victorian age saying, “every cloud has a silver lining.” Even a bad situation has some good aspect to it. No matter how bleak or dark the circumstances, be encouraged that there is a way forward to growth and happiness.

The phrase “silver lining” was first put forward by John Milton in his literary piece, “A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle,” in 1634.

I see ye visibly, and now believe That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill Are but as slavish officers of vengeance, Would send a glistering guardian, if need were To keep my life and honour unassailed. Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night? I did not err; there does a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night,

And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

Milton’s cloud with the silver lining gained notoriety within other literary circles, and in 1840 Victoria England Katty Macane wrote (in Dublin Magazine, Volume 1):

“There’s a silver lining to every cloud that sails about the heavens if we could only see it.” And in 1849 it was written as, “Every cloud has a silver lining.”

We all experience times in life when there seem to be no solutions for moving ahead. Mired in problems and distraught where do we turn?

But on those occasions we need to be reminded that our situation is fictitious – a product of mind. It has no real basis or foundation. The dance of creation is perceived as consisting of a past, present, and future. The three qualities of nature (gunas: creation, preservation, and destruction) when out of balance conspire to fill a clouded mind with visions of dread, and a heart with emotional separateness.

In reality there is only the eternal present. Meditate every day to establish that bedrock foundation for your life.

Our experience of hopelessness is based in the mind, due to lack of full development. Through continued meditation the mind gains strength and is no longer buffeted and overturned by the vicissitudes of apparent life. It’s strictly a matter of your personal level of consciousness.

It is said in the Bhagavad Gita:

“The turbulent senses forcibly carry away the mind even of a discerning man who endeavors to control them.”

“He who’s mind is unshaken in the midst of sorrows, who amongst pleasures is free from longing, from whom attachment, fear and anger have departed, he is said to be a sage of steady intellect.”

Every cloud has a silver lining. All bad things have an element of good in them. Growth is a personal matter and comes from within. Life takes us into uncharted waters, to experience what we have not seen before. But stand tall and brave the headwinds established in the bedrock of absolute bliss consciousness.

Manuel’s job loss propelled him to take the necessary steps forward to realize his goals. How are you addressing your dreams?

Others have said:

Albert Einstein, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”

John Maxwell, “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”

Mark Victor Hansen, “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “He who moves not forward, goes backward”

George Eliot, “The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.”

Pearl S. Buck, “Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.”


Nature has a vested interest in you.

Nature promotes growth and expansion of awareness. That is its purpose; to unfold the infinite value of the absolute within the finite (human ego) relative value of life. When our actions are in harmony with nature, the three gunas are balanced in our personal constitution and life is lived in happiness.

The influence of action and its resulting consequence (karma) is unfathomable. Just as a pebble tossed into a pond starts with a small ripple that expands outward, so to human action emanates to influence all of creation. Participate in activity that promotes growth, education and understanding.

We have said that “the world is as you are.” Maybe that sounds trite and does not seem to be supported by your life experience; never the less meditation shows us that other states of consciousness are available to human beings. When we are in a valley we don’t see great distances in any direction. But from the mountain top all of the landscape below and the sky above is plainly visible. So to as human consciousness expands (Enlightenment, CG and UC) our appreciation/perception of the world becomes enhanced and we are lifted out of the field of problems and suffering.

Growth involves change, and change sometimes involves risk. Stepping from the known to the unknown can often be a challenge. But we can start with small steps, and as time passes and our meditation practice becomes more fulfilling (more inner silence) we feel more confident to take ever larger leaps. Nature will help us along the way.

Meditation is a key that unlocks our potential. There is some good to be found in every situation (every cloud has a silver lining). Dive within to experience the field of all possibilities. Act in the world to stabilize that influence. Enjoy bliss consciousness.