Many of the greatest and most successful minds of our time practice some form of meditation; Daniel Goleman, David Lynch, Ken Wilbur, Ram Das, Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey, and perhaps the most influential of our time, The Dalai Lama. These are just a few highly successful people who have publicly credited their success to meditation.
There are three main meditation styles; FM is focused attention (attention to breath or mantra), OM is open monitoring, (Mindful and Vipassana meditation, often called wisdom practices fall here), and AST, Automatic Self Transcending (Transcendental Meditation). The mind is what we experience the world through, so mindful practices train our minds to greater capacities. Author, Jamie Smart says, “the mind is the energy behind life, thought is our experience of life, and consciousness is what breathes life into existence.”
Taking time to dive into the depths of the mind, changes our brains in fundamental ways. Brain’s grow in density, and their wave functions differently with different states of mind induced by the various types of meditation. Harv T. Eker talks about the importance of mental preparation for a successful life in an article he wrote entitled, Successful VS Unsuccessful. He says that success requires, “focus and awareness of mind, body and spirit so the warrior can be optimal to do what needs to be done when the moment calls.” His definition of warrior is “one who conquers oneself.” Meditation allows one to know the self more deeply, one confronts and conquers the self in a natural way, through observing the unexamined thoughts and beliefs that drive our lives from past experiences. There is no greater power in life than having power over the self; the power to move past old fears, to be free to use action rather than reaction, to make fully conscious choices free from the influence of unconscious beliefs and patterns of living, and to enter into the realm of the unconscious mind and into pure consciousness.
In my book, The Incidental Guru, I wrote about my visceral discovery on the difference between ‘being’ and ‘doing’ and how it changed my life. I stopped so much mindless “doing” and started mindful “being.” Paradoxically I got more done and achieved more than ever before. I was doing too much, working too hard, adding stuff all the time, instead of being all of who I am, allowing being in the moment, to move and guide me. Eker says, “It isn’t about what the “warrior” is going to do; its who the “warrior” will be that will direct the action.” (emphasis added).
So consider how much you know about the deeper inner workings of your mind and how it might change your life to know more, to go deeper, to allow the conscious mind to relax its vigilance and dive into meditative insight. Really consider how much of your life is being driven by past patterns, learned behaviors and at its very core, the beliefs that crept into your mind that hover in that no-man’s land layer between consciousness and unconsciousness, determining how successful you will be, how happy or sad you will be, how you will live your life and what decisions you will make. Wouldn’t you rather be free to determine your own successful future?