Meditation: Why, What, and How?
Life pulls us in every direction but one: inward. As we go about our walk through this world, we not only have our own desires and needs to contend with but also those of the people with which we come into contact. In meditation, you come back to your Self as you truly are.
From birth onward, we are told what we are and what we are not. Meditation is the way to discover what it really means to exist; and the way to rest peacefully in that awareness.
Until you come to know the silence and stillness of your Being, you will remain a victim of your human body/mind. Your body/mind’s problems will be Your problems. Once you realize through experience that your body/mind is in You but You are not your body/mind, everything changes.
The world becomes a benevolent place without fear and without selfishness. Only then can you love all beings unconditionally and be of real service to the world.
What is Meditation?
In meditation, there is nowhere to go and nothing to do. In that way meditation is unlike every other activity in which we have been forced to engage.
To quote Eckhart Tolle: “Doing is never enough if you neglect Being.”
There is nothing this world can give you that you do not already have within you. The pleasure that you think you get from experiences and people are really only your own reaction to those things. If you kick your dependency on the outer to give you permission to experience the inner, then you will know permanent joy.
When you sit for meditation, you observe and experience your human body and mind without judgement or analysis. In doing so, you will slowly come to a place of stillness and silence that bears witness to the body-mind without identifying with it. Far from creating a sense of depressed detachment, this experience brings with it a tremendous sense of relief.
You are like space itself, uncuttable and untouchable. And yet through the form of your human existence you may interact with this world as you please, with utter love and compassion.
How do I meditate?
Meditation is most effective when it is a daily practice. Otherwise it is very easy to forget your Self in the bustle of human living. 15-20 minutes a day would be a good starting point, but feel free to do less or more so long as you can continue that practice every day.
Sit somewhere reasonably quiet where you will not be disturbed. Set a timer or alarm so that you wont be thinking about the clock while you are sitting.
You can sit in any position so long as the back and neck are straight and the mind is alert.
Gently rest your gaze and attention on the spot between your eyebrows, known to some as the third eye chakra. This gives you a place to focus so that you may remain still without your eyes and thoughts wandering. Do not try to venture anywhere else in your mind, for it is only the body that can travel here or there. All places exist like imaginary bubbles floating in the vastness of Awareness. And the entry-point to Awareness is always Here.
So be exactly where you are. Relax. Thoughts and feelings will come. Let them. Do not judge or analyze them. Do not try to push them away. Do not follow any particular thought on a train of thinking.
If you do, simply let it go and bring your attention back to your third eye.
After a while, the gap between your thoughts will increase and you will find yourself in intensely wakeful silence. What happens from there cannot be described in words. But it will change you in many ways.
There is no perfect meditation or bad meditation. Every meditation is the meditation you needed. It is a process and it can take some time for certain mental karmas (the impressions and judgements of the mind) to fall away.
As my guru Sri ShivaRudraBalayogi insists, the three qualities of dedication, determination, and discipline are necessary for anyone who truly wishes to discover the nature of existence. It’s worth it.
Namaste, sangha. 🙂