Meditation: ‘It doesn’t take time, it makes time.’
A teacher of mine, Joe Dispenza - once described meditation as the practice of ‘negating time’. In other words, when we sit in meditation, we deny the existence of ‘the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future’.
He went on to explain that when we meditate, we are deliberately choosing not to be influenced or affected in any way by the past or the future. We are placing our awareness in, and therefore consolidating our energy in the ‘eternal present moment’ as a way of overcoming the limitations of time as we know it.
In his work, Dispenza often explains how we get stuck in the past. He says that even when we are thinking about the future, we are typically looking through the lens of past experience. We refer to and draw on our past experiences to attempt at predicting future events. The following is a quote from Dispenza that explains this further:
“So if you wake up in the morning and start to think about your problems, the moment you think about the memory of that problem, you’re thinking in the past. Since each memory has an emotion associated with it, the moment you feel that emotion, the body is now in the past. Because thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings are the language of the body, now your brain and body are completely in the past. As a result, when you feel unhappy, frustrated, sad, or deflated from the memories of your problems, your body doesn’t know the difference between the real life event or the memory that is creating those emotions. Thus, if those negative emotions are driving your thoughts, and you can’t think greater than how you feel, you are thinking in the past. As your feelings become your means of thinking, you create more of your past.”
The tendency to filter every experience through the lens of past experience is so automatic, we don’t even notice we are doing it. In fact, so much of our thinking is characterized by this referencing of the past to interpret the now that we are not able to experience the now with ‘fresh eyes’ and we basically miss it altogether. In this sense, what really takes time from us, is the thinking that ties us to the past and thus eats up the present moment.
Meditation is a process of disrupting this automatic stream of consciousness that runs off data gathered from the past. Joe would argue that the entire goal of meditation is to ‘become conscious of our unconscious thoughts and behaviours’ so that we can extricate ourselves from the limitations of perceptions built up through past experience and create the futures of our dreams. He asserts that we must then become experts at arriving in the now, this place where we cease referencing the known altogether. In Quantum Physics this place is referred to as the quantum field, a place outside of space and time as we know it, the place where all potentials exist in their pre-manifest state, as energy. This process of bringing the mind to neutral, or as Joe would put it, ‘taking our attention off of the knowns and making contact with the generous present moment’, is a way of making time as it gives us back all of the energy that would otherwise be tied up in the past (internally interpreting, explaining, predicting). I wont go any further here but the just of it is that our meditation practice is the crucial step in being able to bring our desires to manifest form. More on this next week.
The reason time can feel like a constraint is because we have become so accustomed to racing against it. When we meditate, we step out of the race, we silently signal the nervous system that no matter what happened in the past, nothing can touch us now. The ego hates when we do this, it screams and fights and pulls out all the stops to convince us we better hurry up, we better try harder, always telling us we are running out of time.
And so we answer sweetly and silently with stillness. We make time.