For those of us journeying along the truth-seeking path, we often find ourselves searching for answers – exploring the whys and what’s of life. If we’re walking this transformative road of self-evolution, we want to be able to find the answers to ongoing questions within ourselves, rather than without.
“Am I on the right track?” “Should I go left or right?” “Are my choices coming from a place of love and wisdom?” Maybe we want a very specific answer to a very specific question.
The Sage Within Us
Sure, we can talk to friends and family, read books, and maybe even seek advice from a wise mentor, but one resource of inspiration and guidance that’s with us at all times, is our own inner wisdom - our inner-teacher or what yogis often call – the higher self.
But how do we nurture this relationship, between the part of ourselves that looks for answers, and the deep-seated part of our spirits that holds innate love and wisdom? How do we cultivate a relationship with our inner guide, the sage within, who’s just waiting to offer us answers — if only we’d just ask and listen?
One way to develop this relationship, is through meditation and visualization, where we begin to experience a dialogue with our higher self, lovingly receiving support and blessings along the way.
1. Get Calm and Centered
To do this, simply find your meditation seat and close your eyes. Begin to deepen the breath, and let go of any tension you might be holding. Feel into your being, and if your energy feels wild or erratic, sit and breathe for as long as you need to – until you feel centered and calm.
You can do this by focusing on your breath or doing a body scan where you consciously scan each part of your physical body, releasing tension as you go.
2. Imagine a Sacred Place of Natural Beauty
Once you feel centered, begin to visualize a beautiful, sacred place somewhere in nature. It’s a place that feels safe and secure, and filled with loving, sacred energy.
Perhaps it’s a beautiful beach you once basked upon. Maybe it’s a meandering trail in your neighborhood, or an ancient garden you once traveled to. Perhaps it’s your own backyard. Take as long as you need to really see this sacred space in your mind’s eye, and once you have it, place yourself into that space.
You’re now sitting on that beach or in the beautiful garden (wherever your safe place is), and imagine that you’re fully there, deeply relaxed and open to answers.
3. Meet Your Higher Self
Now you realize there’s another being in the sacred space with you. Welcome its presence. This being is familiar to you and unconditionally loving. It’s totally benevolent and completely approving of you and your entire life’s journey.
In fact, you may have the feeling that this he or she is a guardian, and has been guiding you throughout your entire life. Allow yourself to be present with this sage-like presence.
4. Ask Your Question
Now bring to the surface a burning question about your life, something you’d really like to ask. Quietly ask this being what wisdom he or she has for you in this moment. Sit and allow the answer or answers to unfold spontaneously.
You might receive a concrete answer, an abstract vision, or something that seems totally random. It may be a hint, a symbol, or a riddle. If it’s a feeling you’re getting, see if the feeling is expansive or contracted in nature.
If it’s contracted, then you probably don’t want to go in that direction. A 'yes' typically feels open and freeing. Whatever it is, take a moment to sit with it. Now, thank this being for his or her answers, and bow in gratitude, letting this sage-like presence know that you’ll see him or her again soon.
5. Write It Down
Come back to your breath, focusing upon the gentle rise and fall of your belly. Bring your awareness back into the body and slowly open your eyes. You may wish to take note or write about what you’ve learned in your journal - the answer or insight that has come to the surface.
Practice this meditation often, to continually cultivate a relationship with your higher self. With time, you’ll begin to feel its presence more and more — not only when you turn inward to ask for answers, but also as you go about your daily life.
And remember, the answers always lie within. You just have to listen.