The Power of Cycles by Stephen Cottee

I am indebted to my teacher Paul Tisdell and his Law of Adaptation for inspiring much of this article.

'Rainbow Serpent Dreaming' By Wade Krowella Williams

Daily meditation works. It will literally change your life. I’ve experienced this personally and I’ve seen it work for countless students over the years.
But why is it daily practice that is so powerful? Why not every second day, or just when I feel in the mood?
The answer takes us deep into the power of repetition, the force of habit, the rhythms of nature and the cycles of time.

Our experience of life is measured in cycles. The cycles of the year, of the month, the week, the day, of the in- and the out-breath. Each time the cycle goes around you return to the equivalent point... but have you spiralled up or spiralled down since the previous cycle?

We evolve through the cycles of time. To measure your long term progress over time, you need to compare yourself at the same point in the cycle.
For example, your mood may worsen when things go against you, and improve when things go your way. This is not a sign that you yourself are changing in any significant way.
To find out how you are changing over time you need to compare your reaction to current challenges compared with previous challenges, or current good luck compared with previous good luck.
Do you navigate this break-up better than you used to? Do you get less manipulated by flattery this year than last year? Do you forgive yourself quicker for making a poor decision than you used to?

We evolve through the cycles of time. What helps you evolve? New awareness, new knowledge, and new access to internal resources (e.g. resilience). Practice makes perfect. The seeds you plant in this cycle will sprout in a future cycle if you persist in cultivating them. Amma (a contemporary Indian spiritual Master) says that no moment of spiritual practice is wasted - every little drop is gathered deep inside you and eventually makes a difference.

People have always used the cycles of time to enhance their results from spiritual practices. Major annual festivals (eg Easter, Ramadan, Guru Purnima, the Summer Solstice) take advantage of the solar cycle. Full moon meditations ride on the heightened energy of the peak of the lunar cycle. The Sabbath (Sunday in Christianity, Saturday in Judaism, Monday in Enochian Magic) uses a weekly cycle to take advantage of the planetary energies which vary with the days of the week. And, of course, the very earth itself revolves in a daily cycle.

What is it which remains changeless throughout these endless cycles of time? The eternal now, the Self, that which is, consciousness itself. This is the part of you which is already perfect and at one with Life.
What is it which evolves through these cycles? We can call it the soul. That which is born, lives, dies and then is reborn anew at the beginning of the next cycle. In other words, you.

Have you ever noticed the magical power of rhythm? One beat is not enough to establish a rhythm. Nor do sporadic, irregular beats create a rhythm you can move in time to. But a regular rhythm repeated over time provides a structure you can dance within. Rhythm over time gathers power and momentum. Something repeated often enough gains a life of its own - for a time, at least.

Now the mind works by habit. Negative habits are destructive, but positive habits which enhance your life can be consciously cultivated. By making efforts in the right direction, over time, and within a structure of rhythmic repetition you can evolve. Once you get in time, once you get in a groove, you can work it. This is why regular practices are so important, and so powerful.

What future are you moving towards with your habits? Are you building a future of chronic disease with a little bit of regular neglect or self-abuse each day or week? Or perhaps you are becoming a little more loving, a little more centred, a little wiser, a little stronger each time the wheel of time turns?

This is the greatest power we have as human beings – the power to evolve and change through the cycles of time via the subtle choices we repeatedly make.

Meditation is one of the most beneficial things you can incorporate into your daily life. Even 2% of your day spent in meditation (28 minutes) will positively transform the other 98% of your day and night. When you practice each day your meditation process gathers momentum and starts to penetrate deeper and deeper into your being. You may or may not be aware of how much good it is doing you at the time, but rest assured the results are continuing to multiply deep inside you, and before long they start to manifest in your life. (Sometimes students report that they didn't think the meditation was doing anything until those around them start asking what they are doing because it is so obvious to everyone around them that they are more peaceful, happier and more patient than ever before.)

That’s why daily meditation works and can literally change your life.


    © 2010 The School of Life