Last week I wrote about an experience I had during meditation, and of course this produced a couple of messages asking about meditation. What technique I practiced? How does one get the same experience I described? Is there one meditation better than the other? We human beings are such funny animals, often confused with the concept of simplicity and have this funny little way of creating complexity out of it.
When I first started my quest for meditation, I had many of the same questions and spent so much time analyzing the different practices, different sitting positions, different sitting areas, you name it…I analyzed it! Of course, I eventually realized that this is my nature, but that discussion is for another day! Well, finallly after going through all of the analization process, I picked a particular discipline and dove in! (I’m not going to get into specifics, as to not lay influence, one must find their own path. If you truly would like to know, send me a message and I will happily go into it further.) I will say, it was one of the most difficult things that I have done in my life, but of course one of , if not the most important as well! As I have mentioned before, it is the most important tool that I have, as I meander through this river of life!
So you wanna know about meditation…eh??? It is very simple, in fact its the backbone of this experiement I have been talking about! It is the objective observation of your point of focus, moment to moment. No, really, its that simple, but as I mentioned above, we are very complex animals, whose minds, well, just don’t like simplicity…or atleast fight it, tooth and nail!! You see, meditation is the retraining of the ole noggin. Well, the ole noggin, its kinda fond of those old habits of the mind (some refer to that as the ego) and isn’t real interested in this retraining! So, well, its a gonna fight ya! But rest assured, persistance and patience will prevail! Just like a child, persistance and patience will always give better long term results!
So, the objective observation of your point of focus, moment to moment. Hmm, what exactly does that mean? There are many forms of meditation, in fact I am pretty sure most reading this post have engaged in some sort of meditation at one point or another. There are those that do mantra (chants), those that focus on an object, those that focus on bodily sensations, those that focus on breath, those that focus on sound. So, what do all of these have in common? Well, there is a point of focus. So, how about prayer? How about physically working out? How about playing a video game? How about a crossword? How about doing a painting? How about working on a physics problem? These are all things that one often becomes completely absorbed, completely focused in the moment, and in my opinion are all forms of meditation.
Now, the real tricky part, the objective observation, becoming third person, really…just being. Where one is able to allow things (feelings, thoughts, fears, desires) beyond that point of focus, to materialize, quikly observe them as they materialize, and be completely objective towards them, accept them for what they are and really allow them to eventually pass, all the time keeping the attention on that point of focus!
Yes, your mind will wander! Yes, you will give more attention to those thoughts rushing through your head! Yes you will react to that funny feeling in your leg, or that itch on your arm! That is where the objectivity is most critical! That is where going, okay, I lost focus on my point of focus for a bit, no big deal (get used to saying no big deal to yourself), and reset and begin your meditation again! Little by little, with great patience and persistence, you will start to experience the beauty in retraining that ole noggin of yours! For this is the immediate goal, retrain the mind to be focused, moment to moment! Eventually you will observe your true nature, and it will be easier and easier to accept it for what it is, and when this happens you will see the retraining process become easier and easier.
So, why is it that I am retraining? Do an experiment on yourself and I promise you will understand why! Although our greatest asset in the creation of our masterpiece, the mind, it is also our primary source of misery, really our only source, our greatest enemy! Throwing anchors of fear in the past and shooting arrows of desire to the future (or vise verse), not allowing us to experience the only true reality of what is going on moment to moment! So picture each one of those anchors and arrows with a big rope attached and the other end hooked to you! Yow-ch, sounds pretty painful! The beauty of retraining the ole noggin, is that it gives us the opportunity to let go of those ropes, pop those hooks, accept those arrows and anchors for what they are, and just let go of those ropes that are attached to them with the power of objectivity, the power of…well…”no big deal”! Understand, you will throw those anchors and shoot those arrows again! But, now you have gathered this beautiful tool of meditation, of awareness, of retraining the ole noggin and maybe you won’t throw or shoot them as often, or maybe you will not hold onto the ropes as long as you once did!
This has been my observation of meditation. I hope it helps in some way. I wish you all strength, patience and persistence on your journey through this beautiful river of life, but most of all I wish you much peace and much happiness!