Not too long ago, I found myself at a crossroads, pondering existential questions such as “Who am I?”, “Is there more to life than what I know and see?”, and the most important question “What is my purpose?”. I’ve always been driven to seek greater knowledge and to better understand myself, but over time these thoughts took on a more serious tone. There was always one answer that I found myself searching for again and again – I needed to know if there was a connection between the physical world and the spiritual world. This thirst for knowledge led me on a search to discover my true purpose and meaning.
At this time in my life, I wasn’t satisfied and found very little joy in my career. I could have continued walking down the path of unhappiness, but I knew that though passivity is the easier route, I would reap the least amount of benefits. Deep down, I knew I had yet to realize my potential and encouraged myself to take action to uncover it.
My path to self-discovery was both circuitous and satisfying. What helped the most was meditation. A good friend of mine suggested I try it (he also told me about his belief in reincarnation, which I found crazy at the time). With his guidance, I tentatively tried meditation. Fortunately, it became relatively easy after a few tries. I figured I had nothing to lose, and at least it was relaxing.
On a very basic, yet profound, level I began to feel more at peace with myself. It was nothing specific, just a sense of inner peace and quiet that was immensely satisfying and welcoming. With time, meditation opened up many new levels of metaphysical understanding, including the understanding of my Higher Self.
For the first time, I started to really see and understand myself, I started to feel a sense of purpose, and new possibilities began to crystalize. It felt as if I was embarking on a new adventure, one which I was in control. I was very excited because it was unchartered territory for me, and there seem to be no limits to what I could discover. I found that the process of meditation and working with my Higher Self awakened my desire to combine my creativity and intellectual curiosity into a new venture, ultimately leading me to pursue a doctorate degree in biomedical sciences and HIV research that I still practice today. Finally, I found and understood my purpose and meaning, which was and continues to be immensely satisfying.
Through it all, I learned that the Higher Self is exactly what its name implies; it is the sum of the positive characteristics of each of our own individuality. The Higher Self contains the accumulation of the positive knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of each of us. It is also a bridge to the Higher Selves of those that surround us and to the Universe. Science has demonstrated that we are made up of the same physical matters of the stars. This does not take away from our individuality, but rather empowers each of us with a greater understanding of who we are in the context of our collective environment.
The glue that holds it all together is meditation, which is the practice of spirituality and the gateway to our Higher Selves. The act of meditation simply involves sitting quietly, turning your attention inwards, and beginning to unlock, acknowledge, and welcome the hidden positive qualities that make up your Higher Self.
The process of meditation can enlighten you to who you are and what it is that you are meant to do. With practice, the purpose and context of your individual existence will start to become crystal clear, and a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds will begin to manifest itself.
For men in particular, beginning this process can be difficult, as it was for me. Men have been taught a false sense of masculinity, one that ideates remaining stoic and refraining from sharing our feelings. But contrary to common perception, meditation and spirituality in general is a private practice, one that does not need to be shared with anyone. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about; rather, beginning a meditation practice should be celebrated. The ability to take action — to look at and understand yourself and make changes to pursue your potential — is a strong, positive, and masculine quality that requires courage and action.