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Benefits of Meditation

by Dr. Brian L. Weiss

The following is an adaptation from Meditation: Achieving Inner Peace and Tranquility in Your Life (Hay House, 2002) by Brian L. Weiss, M.D. For more information about Dr. Weiss and the Journey of the Soul event, please visit http://www.hayhouse.com

Meditation can open up possibilities for spiritual experiences, almost as if the subconscious mind is itself the gateway to the eternal dimension.

This gateway is never wide open, and there usually aren’t any signs above it advising us where the road will lead at any given moment. Opening this gate isn’t merely a matter of finding a key or saying some magic word — it’s more like the idea that guided the ancient alchemists: the process of transforming and being transformed. Another way of looking at it is to say that the mind becomes a passage, and the person meditating turns into an individual who’s able to recognize the passage and move through it into deeper, more transcendent states.

At times, this path we’re on might bring us to a heightened awareness of our spiritual essence and to a state of profound ecstasy, lightness, satisfaction and well-being, which represent contact with our deepest dimension. It may spread through us when we’re contemplating something that gives us pleasure, or it may be intermittent, brief and somewhat unspectacular. No matter the duration, the effect is the same: Heightened spiritual awareness glows on enlightened faces, reflecting joy and serenity.

One sure characteristic of spiritual illumination is that the person experiencing it radiates compassion and love to others without expecting anything in return. The enlightened person feels a oneness with every other person and being, with all there is. For instance, you can often see this effect in children at play or in people in love, for such individuals are directly experiencing the joy of the altered state. I’ve also witnessed this in some of my patients who have gained transcendent insights during a particularly powerful therapy session.

The many ways of achieving this feeling, or of letting oneself be touched by it, quite naturally vary from person to person. And although I’ve gained much knowledge and wisdom through my patients, I feel that it’s been necessary for me to develop my own channels to receive this heightened awareness. For example, meditation has helped me receive messages, transcendent thoughts, intuition and it’s also helped me to encounter my own past lives.

Somewhere in Time

My first experience with a vivid past-life recollection came to me when I went to an acupressure (shiatsu) therapist because of chronic back and neck pain. The sessions were conducted in silence, and I used this quiet time to meditate. About an hour into my third session, I had reached a very deep state of relaxation when I was startled by a crystal-clear image of myself from another time.

Most of my patients are able to recall past lives during actual regression therapy. However, the regular practice of meditation may lead to past-life memories as well. This is because the constant practice of meditation takes us to increasingly deeper levels of our inner selves.

If you should find yourself experiencing past-life memories, don’t try to determine if they’re actual recollections or if they’re metaphors, symbols or simply products of your imagination. Just go with it. If you’re uncomfortable, simply open your eyes and end the meditation. Exploring past lives through meditation is actually quite safe, because the unconscious mind is very wise and won’t let anything harmful move through to your memory.

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