Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I am learning about living a more spiritual life. I am slowly realizing my connection with God. I attempted meditation and had a beautiful, frightening experience. It was beautiful because it was the most beautiful light and a promise that I will have everything I most want and frightening because this light and this love came from within me and without me. I don't believe this is a "normal" meditative experience, and it's kept me from attempting meditation since. I'm intimidated by this experience, and though I consider it a good experience, I am concerned what may happen next time. I am concerned for my mental health, perhaps. What did I experience? How do I meditate correctly? Please leave my last name off, if this is addressed publicly. I don't want any attention, just some guidance. Thank you for your time. Your writings have influenced me and my life immeasurably, which have influenced my guidance of my children, which can only help the future. Thank you for sharing your gifts.
— Denise, Maple Falls, Washington
Thanks for asking a question that will prove helpful to many other people. Experiences in mediation can be anything. They come unpredictably because the mind by nature is unpredictable. Labeling an experience good or bad isn't part of the process. In meditation, we want to achieve clarity and reach deeper into ourselves. Once your mind is given the opportunity to find itself, a process begins that is complex, multifaceted and basically automatic. You don't need to pay attention, just as you don't stare at a bruise every minute to see how it's healing.
I'm sorry that your first experience continues to trouble you. It might be a vivid stress and nothing more. It might be an indication of a level of consciousness that you never realized was open to you. Whatever it was, you probably won't know and don't need to. Meditation works over a long period, so staying the course is the most important thing.
So, what to do next? I'd suggest a simple return to meditation in the most nonthreatening way possible. Find a quiet room and a comfortable time of the day (not at night). Close your eyes and follow your breathing as it moves in and out. Do this for five minutes and then open your eyes. Lie down and rest for a few minutes more. Having performed this simple meditation for a week, or until you feel completely comfortable that nothing is going to happen of a disturbing nature, move back to your former meditation if you wish. Otherwise, there are countless meditation teachers to counsel you, especially if you continue to feel a bit doubtful or fragile inside.
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Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your question now!
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
Published on March 10, 2010