As I write this a woman from Tucson is meditating for the first time in her life. The red rocks now aglow from the light of the sun as it begins to set. What will she see when she opens her eyes? What will she remember when she thinks back to her first meditation?

When I think back… I remember hearing birds sing so loudly that I wasn’t sure they were real! When we meditate, even once, our senses become enlivened, and the world becomes more alive for us. We feel more connected to the Source of creation, whatever we believe it to be.

As one of my meditation students Deborah from Scottsdale recently told me, “I am more alert, wakeful – I experience things a little differently than I did before…… like seeing through a cleaner glass when you didn’t realize the glass had been so dirty.”

And just yesterday I received an email from another student, Carol from Detroit, who says, “I picture myself in that comfy white chair where I learned to meditate. There is this image in my mind of the swirling pinks and purples of the rocks against that dark and moody sky that day when I opened my eyes after meditating for the first time. It was as if the world had polished itself just for me.”

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is – infinite, said William Blake. How can we cleanse those doors? Meditation is my answer. And it seems to work for those I teach too.

Right now, I think I am sitting pretty still, typing into my computer, but I know the earth is rotating and orbiting the sun, and at the same time our universe is expanding, but I don’t truly know it, my senses keep me believing something else. My senses tell me that, from where I am sitting, the earth is flat. Nobody believes that any more.

“Even when I look at an object like a flower and perceive its color or texture, this is not its essential quality,” says Dr. Deepak Chopra. “The eye cells of a honeybee do not perceive the same wavelengths of light that you and I perceive and so a bee will have a completely different range of experience of the flower, and will ’see’ it in ultraviolet wavelengths. A bat will experience the flower as the echo of ultrasound. A chameleon’s eyeballs swivel on two different axes so we can’t even remotely imagine what a flower looks like to a chameleon!”

We can begin to glimpse that there is another reality, or a more accurate one, with the regular practice of meditation. We sense that we are more than we thought we were too. We become more aware of our own essence. Through transcending the physical world, the world of space and time, we can begin to sense that something other than the known is happening here, something different than our senses would tell us.

The experience isn’t anything we can force, or imagine, it is real: to see form and vibration simultaneously. To feel the awareness of the one looking at the object of our perception. Sound complicated? It is not. Expanding our awareness is one of the many benefits that naturally unfold with a regular meditation practice.

So when Dr. Chopra holds a flower and asks, “So what is the essential nature of this flower?” The answer is that it depends on who is looking at it…..

I was reading Eckhart Tolle’s new book, A New Earth, and on pages 25-26 he describes it perfectly:

“All we can perceive, experience, think about, is the surface layer of reality, less than the tip of an iceberg. Underneath the surface appearance, everything is not only connected with everything else, but also with the Source of all life out of which it came. Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it and let it be without imposing a word or mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.”

I have to go back to my meditation class and see how the world unfolded itself for another new meditator.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah McLean, Director of Sedona Meditation Training & Retreats, is a sought after presenter in the personal growth arena and in in corporate environments. Her presentations throughout Arizona and the U.S include self-awareness training, stress reduction techniques, and mind/body health and lifestyle programs.

Sarah lives in Sedona where she teaches meditation, writes, and offers personal health lifestyle changes. She is a frequent contributor to health and lifestyle publications on mind/body health and the benefits of meditation.