You almost forget that it’s there, it becomes so prevalent, so normal, so much a part of each moment of every day. The charismatic sounds that get louder when you listen. The energy in and around the forehead, spreading like a halo around the skull. The energy at the base of the spine, blissful and euphoric, growing more so when you pay closer attention. Vision takes on a brighter light while external objects leave hallucinogenic trails behind them.

These (and others) gather together to form a single meditation object, but they are also with me all day long — at work, on the bus, walking — such that the accumulation of jhana nimittas conspire to meditate me, drawing my thoughts and emotions into narrower and narrower valleys.

After 15 years of this, the last six or seven marked with a sense of seasoning emerging from a dedicated and rigorous meditation practice, it’s clear that becoming saturated in meditative absorption has had a profound and beneficial effect in my life. Anxiety has all but disappeared. Patience has given way to contentment. Silence is fulfillment, while external stimuli are more and more of a diversion. Bliss, joy and ecstasy infuse my every moment. I see the Divine in everyone, I feel compassion for their suffering, I take very little that is projected onto me as personal.

All of this from a progressive surrender to meditative absorption, which has been called jhana and samadhi, which were previously seen as attainments meant only for the very special, the robe-wearing monks and holy folk who live in a land far, far away… but which I now know to be alive in each one of us, available to one and all, if only we decide that this is how life should be lived, and we surrender everything to it.

This is God answering, filtering into our awareness, taking over, consuming us, eradicating human limitation and replacing it with something more… essential.


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