Often I get asked “what style of meditation” I practice and so I thought I’d elaborate on what meditation is to me along with my thoughts on meditation styles. It seems when we create a ‘style’ in many ways it becomes a fossilized system. A system where we attempt to create levels to measure growth. This causes us to incorporate judgment such as right or wrong based on the style and its associated beliefs. Whats interesting to me about this, is that the very moment we try to measure a ‘level’ or ‘status’ in meditation we immediately move back into the level of thought. When we are in thought it becomes all about satisfying the ego and meditation is going beyond the egoic limitations.
Then you have the supposed masters with the notion of “I’m more enlightened” and that is when you know to go in a different direction. When we obtain satori or enlightenment, there is no desire to boast about it because we shift beyond that egoic attachment. We no longer feed into the limitations of the ego, for we see how that limits our experiences. It’s about going beyond thought, into that infinitely expanding presence within. Each experience becomes greater than the previous experience as long as we remain open and free from the limitations of mind. This itself is an “experience” which far exceeds any intellectual concept.
“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”
Meditation is self-discovery…
As we look at what meditation is, we realize there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ approach that we could possibly take. For Meditation is an endless process of inner discovery for self-realization. How could you possibly go wrong with discovering yourself? You are the only one that can discover and know yourself. The only thing you could possibly do is limit your experience by incorporating beliefs (and limitations) from others.
When I was introduced to meditation around 15 years ago, my Kung Fu teacher at the time didn’t even mention styles. It was more of a notion to sit with myself until my thoughts are no longer a part of my attention. Since then, I’ve crafted up my own practice which consists of stillness, reflection, mantra, prayer, visualization, tarot and whatever else I like to add to the mix. I loved coming across this post “How I start my Day” by Danielle Laporte to see another with similar methods.
Chunyi Lin founder of Spring Forest Qigong, suggests moving away from right or wrong by focusing on “good”, “better” and “best”. By learning under this concept his students start off with greater confidence from the very beginning (without doubt) and end up achieving more immediate results. This leads people to an immediate experience beyond any idea or conception. This is similar to what I’m suggesting here as well, which is to experience it for yourself without any limitations of others.
Meditation is as simple (or complex) as you wish to make it. You can sit in any comfortable position or even lay down, the key is to maintain awareness so you can drift into that state of ‘no thought’ without falling a sleep. This is what allows us to experience the depths of our being. Once you’ve developed your ability to quiet your mind you can move to retraining your mind for eradicating any self-defeating thoughts, if you so desire.
Group meditations can also be great for enhancing your experience. Some of the group meditations are style based so its good to maintain your own awareness (with questioning) so you can avoid taking on any beliefs or limitations. As you will find… there are a plethora of limiting beliefs within each system. As we question we avoid limitations and remain fully open to experiencing it all for ourselves.
Until next time,