We all know the famous quote which says that all man needs to live is food, clothing and shelter. Well, I would like to update this quote to include one more item without which I think life might as well be considered dead. The phrase I think should say, that all man needs to live is food, clothing, shelter and meditation. Yes, meditation is the one item I think should be added to complete this phrase. This is because meditation is the tool with which to accomplish the true purpose of human birth, to find the Truth, to find God.
Meditation becomes possible when food, clothing and shelter are managed. Without these bare necessities it is very difficult to embrace a deep and significant meditation practice. A hungry man with hungry children is not thinking about watching his mind, he is contemplating the source of his next meal. For those of us though, who have these necessities attended to, there is no excuse for not starting a daily meditation practice.
Unfortunately, the wisdom above is not the prevalent thinking in society today. Today the objective is to accumulate more and more wealth, power, fame and fortune. The value system in place supports this attitude. The rich, famous and powerful are respected, adored and applauded. They are held in high esteem and considered the role models to be emulated. With this perspective attention is not turned to meditation and fulfilling man’s highest destiny, with this perspective the direction is always self-aggrandization.
More, more, more would have been fine if at the end one could say, I am happy, satisfied and at peace. But, if one looks around, one finds that this is just simply not the case. All around there is misery, suffering, conflict, loneliness and dissatisfaction. The more, more, more never ends and no matter how much we get, we quickly get used to it and then want even more.
I have friends who are very rich. They have plenty of money and power, but I don’t see them as rich at all. Inwardly they are very poor. They are unhappy, restless and stressed. No matter how much they seem to acquire, it never quenches their thirst for more. To me the answer is clear. Their life is missing meditation. Only with meditation can the thirst be quenched, only with meditation can peace be found, only with meditation can the true purpose of life be fulfilled.
To help see the truth of this one should closely inspect one’s life. One needs to ask, if achieving the material goals one had set for oneself in the past brought lasting happiness. In inspecting one’s life in this way one can learn about the direction that one has so far been taking and determine if it’s worth continuing in that same way.
In addition, to self inspection, one should also learn from the lives of others. Observe those that do have and see if they are significantly more happy than those who don’t. For this you may have to look past the image of happiness they might be presenting, for it is important for those who have a lot, to give the appearance that all is well. Dig a little deeper, go behind the scene a bit and out comes the misery, out comes the anguish, out comes the pain. Want to be joyful, wise and loving, then meditate.
If you have food, clothing and shelter, then that is enough. Stop chasing anything more and turn your attention inward. You have the potential to uncover the treasures within, and I am telling you that to dig up this hidden infinite wealth all you need is meditation.
Anmol Mehta is a Yoga Teacher & Zen Expert. His site, Free Guided Meditation Techniques & Chakra Kundalini Yoga Exercises, offers Free Online Yoga Instruction Videos. Also, find lively spiritual discussions on the Free Guided Meditation Practice, Kundalini Yoga Poses & Zen Meditation Blog.