Meditation is Going Home
Book excerpt from A Million Thoughts: Learn All About Meditation from a Himalayan Mystic by Om Swami
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Have you ever unlocked the main door and entered your home after a vacation of two or four weeks? You are greeted by the smell of a closed home, a sweet smell of dust. You throw yourself on the couch and you let out a big sigh. You say, “Home, sweet home.”
No matter how beautiful the vacation might be, after a while you start missing home. You want to get back to a familiar setting. Your home may not be the plushest, it may not have the luxury of room service and housekeeping, and yet you feel most comfortable in your own home. There’s a natural ease, a sense of belonging, a different sort of freedom. It beats the luxuries of the five-star hotels.
The same goes for our soul as well. Our body is not its permanent home. Our individual consciousness is eternally trying to merge in the supreme consciousness. It wants to go home. It may not be an eloquent orator to tell you so clearly but that’s what it wants to do. Because we are beings of immense freedom and infinite potential, and here we are caught up in the petty tendencies and desires of our mind and body.
The soul wants to go back to its source. This is the most fundamental law of nature, of creation and destruction: everything must return to its source. Our body may be temporary, our minds conditioned, our consciousness a wary traveller, but our soul knows where it belongs. That’s why every person at some point of time in their lives is forced to think about the meaning of their lives. Everyone, who’s experienced even a minute of fulfillment, embarks on a journey greater than their individual existence. That journey could be the path of Einstein or the passion of Christ; it could be the path of Buddha or the moksha of Vedas.
We may have forgotten our true nature, but our soul – eternal and unblemished – wants to go home. Until you show it the way, the restlessness in life will not go away. No pleasure or relationship can offer you permanent fulfillment because we are all on a vacation, and we are missing home.
Meditation is going home. It is going back to your source, where you belong, so that you are no longer what people tell you who you are, or what the world has made you to believe, or even what you think of yourself. Instead, it is to discover yourself, to get to your primal source from where bliss, happiness and joy flow constantly. It is to discover your original home, without the furniture of jealousy, covetousness, envy, hatred. A home with no walls of ego and anger. A place where your soul rests in peace, where consciousness flows unimpeded like the gentle Ganges murmuring on a sunny day.
Let me take you home. It’s a long walk, the path is arduous but it’s worth every step. You’ll discover that happiness is not a pursuit, it’s a feeling. On your way home, you’ll find that freedom is not a quest, it’s a state. You’ll understand that even the best resort can’t be your home. For, as Shiva, the foremost yogi said, “Things are not what they seem, O Goddess, for this world is like a dream.”
When you get home, you’ll realize that your room of bliss has always been there. It’s your home, after all.
This is the Prologue from the Book, A Million Thoughts: Learn All About Meditation from a Himalayan Mystic by Om Swami.