Let me tell you a little story. An aspirant, someone who wanted to make the discoveries that you and I are interested in, went to the master that she was working with, and wanted to know why it was that her transformation machine -- which was designed to turn lead into gold -- wasn't working the way it was when she saw her master use it. She says to him, "Look. I know it's built the same way. It's got the same parts. What's wrong? I don't understand why it won't do what it's created to do."
And with that the master examined it and then looked at her and said, "Well, it's pretty evident. You're missing one very special element in the process, something without which all you have here is a pile of parts incapable of transforming anything." With that, she became a little indignant, and said, "What do you mean? What part have I left out? What element am I missing that I have to have before this machine can perform its highest function? Please, tell me."
He said, "You've left out the one thing that has the power to combine these elements and transform them into gold, and that is the awareness of your own existence -- a living and timeless sense of yourself that is much like the hub of a wheel, a center point aware of all that's moving around it but that itself remains unmoving. That level of yourself is what you're missing, and without it, you cannot transform anything into the gold that hides within it."
That is meditation. It is to have and be able to practice within ourselves, in our relationship with life, the presence of a completely different order of mind, to be in a conscious relationship with a quiet, compassionate intelligence that's aware of all that's going on and in, all through you at the same time. It is a unified state of being that sees and knows all things as an expression of itself, and yet without being identified with any one of these expressions.
Which brings us to a question that most of us don't want to ask, but for those who want to know the next level of meditation, must be asked... because who is it that has time to sit quietly at peace within oneself, let alone when everything is calling to have so much to do and get done before we can begin to realize that peace that passes understanding? And yet, and this is the kicker: Where is all of one's time spent? What is the point of all our activity -- the planning, the almost endless rush to arrive? But where? You see, that's the question.
Please take the moment needed, right now, to allow the following answer to sink in, and hopefully at least get you started on the next level of meditation.
We all struggle to arrive at some kind of peace that will, at long last, be our own... when finally we arrive at whatever moment we've imagined we must become or obtain in order to finally be at peace with ourselves and with our own life... to see that such a day never really comes, and that even when seemingly achieved, must disappear along with the momentary conditions that brought about its temporary appearance to begin with.
All of that understanding and more is what it means to go into the next level of meditation. We cannot create peace in a time to come. We either do the inner work, the meditation required, to realize and enter into it right now, or never.