There are countless paths, each with its own landmarks, its own route. Meditation unfolds in a sequence, but the specific experiences and their order vary from person to person and from method to method. In devotional meditation or prayer you may be filled with intense love, or with great pain of separation, or with the presence of the Living Spirit. If on the other hand you meditate using a one-pointedness technique, such as concentration on the breath, you may first experience agitation, then quietness, a deepening silence, more immediate awareness of smaller units of thought, and finally the silent space and emptiness that exists beyond form. In still another approach to meditation, say a movement method like t’ai chi, your first experiences might be of balance, harmony, or flow with the earth, the air, and the surroundings. It is not possible to chart a single path, or to say that every individual will have the same experience. The paths of the heart, the mind, and the body each traverse different terrain to the same goal.

Ram Dass


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