03/27/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Power Of Symbols

The language of the soul is not literal, but symbolic - a creative language that speaks in the form of colors, objects, shapes, art, poetry, riddles, images and metaphor. The soul chooses to convey messages in ambiguous terms; it is not direct in its approach.

For example: the soul may want to alter your perception about the color black. It will not come out and tell you that it wants to do this, but what it will do is send you promptings in the forms of moods, insights, feelings, ideas to help you to decode its message.

We believe the universe does not hear our requests or our pleas for help or guidance, but on the contrary, it contact us via the above mentioned routes, or answers us using symbolic tongues that we do not yet understand. To become acquainted with universal symbols and their meaning is a valuable asset to your life. Symbols are a powerful influence on our psychological and spiritual life. Within our inner world, a symbol can present potential or a calling meant only for your understanding.

Humanity has always used symbols to express its awareness of the Divine - the creative force. Such expressions resulted in symbolic stories such as myths and legends that have been used to express abstract qualities, such as truth, honor, justice, heroism, love, wisdom, forgiveness and courage. These qualities are innate within all of humanity, and it can be brought into consciousness, where they express themselves in the forms of symbols.

On an individual level, it is highly encouraged to identify and focus upon symbols that hold special meaning for you. At first these symbols may appear in dreams, doodles, but over time they become personalized, take on a deeper meaning, and come to represent aspects of our psyche that had previously remained dormant or difficult to put into words.

Through the art of meditation, all the major religions around the world have harnessed the power of symbols in the quest for spiritual transformation. What are the benefits of using symbols during meditation? The use of symbols helps the mind to focus on a single element and to pacify its restless nature. In return, the symbol stimulates thoughts and insights, stirs and awakens the deeper mind. The aim of using symbols in meditation is to move beyond linguistic interpretations and uncover a level of intuitive understanding beyond language, which profoundly transforms the way we experience the world and ourselves.

In practice, most meditative traditions use symbols as a point of departure, because they provide a pathway back to our spiritual roots. For example: in Native American traditions, nature herself is such a symbol. It provides the meditator a point of departure into the deeper, mysterious layers of the mind. So, the meditator might gaze upon the earth and feel her under his/her body, or commune in silence with the trees and flowers.

Symbols are a tool on the spiritual path, one of many. I highly encourage you to identify and focus upon symbols that call to you, that stir your imagination, that resonate with you on a deep level. By identifying what draws your attention, whether it is a particular color, a shape, a religious icon, or even animals, you will find that over time they take on a deeper meaning, and come to represent aspects of your soul that were previously unknown. By becoming conscious of what attracts you and by understanding its significance within your inner world, you help bring about its manifestation. Symbols mirror rich inner resources that must be harnessed for them to become a reality. Be mindful of what captures your essence on a daily basis, because each time you are, you get ever closer of uncovering a piece of your soul's mystery.

Symbols are more than just historical and cultural icons. They can help us move toward a fuller and deeper understanding of our spiritual identities.