Meditation: Anesthesia or Evolutionary Tool?

I once heard it said that you can use anything for anything. That includes meditation. If you’re not yet using meditation, and you’re reading the articles here at The Daily Heal, now is probably the time. The pull to keep reading these articles is a good indication that something in you senses a greater possibility for your life, regardless of how amazing your life might be on paper. Meditation is one of the single most powerful tools for evolution, transformation, and change over time when you know how to get it, keep going in, and bring it into your life.

Learning the “how” of getting inside the “field of meditation” takes time and practice. And it’s useful to have a guide who’s already practiced at entering this vibrant space of aliveness in his own consciousness, someone who’s a bit ahead on the road. We’ll talk more about this in future articles.

For those of you who are clocking time on the proverbial cushion, how is it going? How are you feeling when you step off the cushion and into the rest of your day? How is your practice impacting your ability to show up for life, yourself, and your relationships with other humans from a place of constancy, self-love, and non-reactivity?

There is a stream of inner bliss that gets tapped in meditation practice to varying degrees. It’s fairly easy to touch it with a little bit of practice, and it can easily become compelling, if not somewhat addictive. The million-dollar question is: Are you letting your meditation practice evolve you in your life?

Essentially, it can fairly quickly become easy to sit for twenty minutes twice a day and get high in meditation. When you’re on the freeway running late for work and someone pulls aggressively in front of your car without a turn-signal, what happens to your inner state? When your long-anticipated Friday night date texts at the last minute to cancel to attend to a sick family member, how do you respond to your friend? When your boss comes into your office minutes before you’re about to head to the gym for a workout you know will reset your mind after a grueling day of non-stop meetings, how do you respond to her?

Meditation can evolve your capacity for deep happiness, independent of your circumstances, or it can be a daily isolated peak experience.

A tantric text from the Middle Ages may hold a powerful key. A sutra from the Pratyabhijna-hrdayam states that “The permanent attainment of Samadhi (conscious establishment in your own enlightened Awareness) [is established by] contemplating one’s identity with Consciousness again and again in the state following meditation, which is full of the imprints of Samadhi.” (“The Splendor of Recognition” by Swami Shantananda)

A simple way to begin experiencing what this statement suggests is to recall the feeling of being in meditation in the various moments throughout your day, letting it affect your immediate experience. You could remember how your body felt spacious and light as you got up from your morning meditation. You might recall how quiet your mind seemed in the hour or so after you sat. You could let yourself remember the feelings of safety, relaxation, and contentment.

A great way to begin working with this practice is to take a few moments as you’re coming out of meditation to notice, and possibly write down, how you’re feeling, what you’re aware of, and carry this with you to refer to throughout the day. See if you can let yourself re-enter the feeling-space of what you wrote down as you refer to it during your commute, when on the phone, at the computer, and in conversations. At the end of the day, write a few lines about how it went. Over time, this notebook of brief observations, both from your actual sitting practice, and how you practiced bringing the fruits of your sitting practice into your life, will become a living guide to your own evolution. And it’ll be an exciting autobiography of your progress, motivating you on the days when you’re needing extra support.

Scott Schwenk, a Los Angeles based spiritual teacher, healer, writer and business consultant, is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and a featured teacher at We Care Spa in Desert Hot Springs, CA. For more information, visit

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