Many ancient traditions speak of the “kingdom within” as a way to describe heaven, or a state of nirvana, inner peace and bliss.
This inner space has many names: in Taoism, Tao; in Judaism, Ein Sof; southern African tribes call it Ubuntu and the Aborigines of Australia call it the dreamtime.
In every culture, it is said that this alternate reality can be experienced and the experience itself has many names which may be familiar to you: Nirvana, Yoga, Fana and Spiritual Marriage.
Since we are in this physical experience, we like to give physical attributes to unfathomable things like the inner kingdom. Many people talk about this inner kingdom as being located in the heart. Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is within you” – but putting a physical location on heaven… well, in a way, that limits its scope.
The kingdom within is not only in your heart. At the same time, it is not a place that can be seen, felt or otherwise perceived with the senses. It is not only within you, but around you.
I know that sounds a little “out there” so let me explain…
When you go within, you tend to shut out the external world. There’s only you, and it’s a very interior, personal experience. But when you develop the ability to see the best, peaceful, loving, generous, kind, compassionate, helpful, beautiful, truthful and joyful in everyone and everything around you… that’s when you’ve truly entered the kingdom.
So the ultimate treasure is within you, yes – but it’s also all around you.
How can this be?
Well, you can’t separate yourself from your environment any more than a drop of water can separate from an ocean that has no surface, no shores and no bottom. You are part of everything, and everything is part of you. Infinity and eternity are incomprehensible concepts to a mind that is conditioned to see physical limitations.
A better way to describe the kingdom within is as a state of being – simply being and observing, and not doing.
And so, the best way to have this experience that transcends the physical and makes us feel oneness is to go within. We have to find the source, or the seed, of this indescribable inner peace and bliss, before we can radiate it outward into our world and see it with new eyes.
For best results, I recommend doing this meditation first thing in the morning, when your mind and body are still relaxed and before your mind has reached full-speed-ahead mode.
If you get up 30 minutes early and immediately start the meditation (without doing anything else) you will still be so relaxed that you’ll find it easy and quick to get into extremely deep meditation.
You can set the intention to release all of your worldly cares and experience true bliss by visualizing a pond, and using your breath to slow the chaos of your mind.
In the beginning, the mind is very busy. The pond water is full of motion: your own thoughts, emotions, and the winds of outside influences will cause ripples and waves both on the surface of the pond, and turbulent movement beneath the surface. The water is agitated and murky and you can’t see the bottom. On that chaotic surface, you can’t see reflections.
After a while, your mental activity will settle down; like the water in a pond, the ripples of thought will relax and the surface of the water will become still. You can see reflections now, but you still can’t see the bottom of the pond.
As you relax even deeper, the sediment settles, and gradually the water becomes clear. This is when you enter the kingdom within. You “enter” by doing nothing – simply by “being”! Now, the mind is silent and serene, and you may experience a temporary loss of your sense of time and awareness of physical self but a very strong awareness of oneness with everything.
You can do this meditation anytime. It’s a special retreat from the world that you can access whenever you need to. As you practice, you will find it easier and easier to get into this state.
You will come out of these meditations feeling blissful – this bliss will carry over into your regular activities.
At this stage, still feeling blissful and peaceful, it’s easier to see the world through a happier and more peaceful lens. You may experience greater patience and understanding, feelings of kindness and unconditional love toward all beings, unshakeable inner peace and joy that are independent of what is going on around you, and a sense of deeply ‘knowing’ your true nature as a spiritual being: infinite, and eternal.
Loving-kindness meditation is another way to “enter the kingdom within” – because at the core, we are pure Love. Tap into that never-ending source of Love, let it permeate you, and let it radiate outward toward others!