“If you don’t invite God to be your summer Guest, He won’t come in the winter of your life.”
– Lahiri Mahashoy
It is common to pray, meditate, to invoke or turn to a higher power only when we feel helpless, in challenging times of stress, loss or desperation. Sometimes the urgency of our cry may elicit the consolation we crave, the solution we seek: other times, not.
An Olympic athlete trains for years to be ready and focussed, physically, mentally and emotionally for the moment of competition. For the spiritual seeker, inner discipline – prayer and especially meditation – is constant preparation. This inner training not only prepares us to meet, brave and endure life’s moments of greatest stress and challenge – our own Olympic competition; our meditation to a large extent removes hurdles and obstacles from our life’s path even before they appear.
Just as those who consciously practise good diet, positive thinking and regular exercise are more likely to enjoy good health and less likely candidates for the hospital emergency room, so the practise of inner discipline is proactively to ensure our life’s smooth flow, happiness and bountiful fulfilment, the best insurance against life’s practical, mental and emotional curveballs.
So much conflict, chaos and calamity flows from our insular egos’ inherent fear, pride, doubt, insecurity, jealousy and suspicion. As meditation lifts our consciousness above and beyond our egos’ snares and brittle fault lines, whole catalogues of self-inflicted catastrophe are averted.
While meditation may not change our outer circumstances, its regular practise profoundly alters our perspective and understanding, and hence our acceptance of and response to life’s ebb and flow. Instead of being tossed and turned capriciously by our life-river’s surface waves and whirlpools, meditation draws us into the sure deep haven of our soul-current, safe, steady and certain.