I’ve always thought of spiritual evolution as progression and not something that flips on and off like a light switch – although I have heard of cases where someone, in a moment, transcends their ego and rises to a place of heightened spirituality, where the ego becomes subservient to one Consciousness.
However, I think this is more the exception than the rule.
So, for everyone else on the spiritual path, what is one to do to aid along with this progression?
In my experience, each day is unpredictable and one’s level of consciousness can feel like it waxes and wanes: one day, you might feel as though you have greater accessibility to your self-awareness, where it seems easier to center yourself, to witness your thoughts and emotions – and to make “spiritual progress”.
Other days, it can seem like a struggle: the mind doesn’t want to settle down and it takes more to drop into self awareness and to feel the energy of emotions.
For those who are aware of the undercurrent of unease in the body (or in the physical energy of the body and its emotions, as I tend to experience it) on a daily basis, it can move us to spend more time trying to break the unconscious emotional and spiritual patterns through a practice of meditation.
But what do you do when you sit down to meditate and can’t feel anything? Or your mind seems to be racing and feeling your body and emotions seems difficult?
I think it’s natural to experience days when it’s harder to meditate, for one reason or another (maybe to be covered in another post) but on those days, I find it helpful to ask myself “what am I feeling?” and listening for the answer.
When you ask yourself a question, the mind (and body) naturally has a tendency to deliver you the answer. So by posing the question, what am I feeling, you are priming yourself to zero in on the answer. This can have the effect of aiding you in deepening your bodily awareness.
N.B: I do not ask myself what am I thinking as this serves to engage the mind and we are not interested in the mind or its stories, rationales, or conclusions. We are much more interested in feeling our emotions and letting them exist in the moment. This is how we break unconscious emotional patterns.
So next time you are meditating and struggling to feel your emotional body, try asking yourself what you are feeling, and feel for the answer. Entertain the answer in your awareness and allow your consciousness to receive it.