In my 7Q7M (7 Questions/7 Mantras) method of meditation, I ask myself the 7 questions, each reflecting on various aspects of my awareness, knowing that I exist at many levels though I may be centred on one or two at a time.
What am I feeling? Feel your breath.
What am I thinking? Think on peace.
What am I doing? Walk in grace.
What am I saying? Speak the truth.
How am I relating? Express love.
What do I see? See beauty.
Who am I? Experience wonder.
Habit or routine, crisis or tunnel vision, obsession or distraction may lead me to neglect the totality of my being and who – at my core – I really am.
Each question prompts me to shift attention to an aspect of my existence at this moment and to reflect on my current state. The corresponding mantra serves as a guidepost by which I reset my bearings, a compass with which I compare my current state to my ideal.
I may refocus and recenter my perspective and my awareness in this way in an attempt to align my worldly physical self to my transcendent spiritual self.
Though at times it may appear that the two are at odds and it may seem easier to find peace away from the triggers of overpowering emotions, deep conflict and challenging relationships, it is in the living of this life – with the limitations of our bodies; our exposure to chance, luck and misfortune; life’s gifts and challenges; our evolving, everchanging and transient relationships; and the dynamic drama of our lives – that we may grow and learn to love – to love others . . . deeply, freely and unselfishly; to love our lives . . . in all its poignant ephemeral beauty; and our selves . . . our limitations and potentials, our human frailty and greatness; our darkness and our beauty with compassion and patience.
We may seek outward success for our selves as if this is necessary to be loved.
We may seek the perfect love in another . . . or from another, and we are often disappointed when we cannot find it, when it doesn’t last or when we lose it.
But the true love that we may need may lie within us – that capacity to love unconditionally, unselfishly and selflessly without reservation or judgment.
It is the spiritual answer to each of the 7 questions.
It is the answer to life.