Meditation – Going Beyond the Mind
Meditation will take you into the depths of who you are. The most beautiful thing about it is that it requires no one but YOU and it is impossible to do it incorrectly. It’s you sitting with your mind, observing your thoughts without judgment as you allow them to pass. It’s like being a passenger on a train where you’re looking out the window and everything you see is a thought passing by. You don’t attempt to reach out and grab what you see. Nor do you attempt to stop the train, you just simply enjoy the moment and observe. This is the same with meditation. We simply observe, acknowledge and release our thoughts as though we are watching them from a higher place. In time and with practice, we find ourselves dropping into stillness deep within ourselves.
Notice what happens within you as you embrace the presence of your being. Observe – release – surrender.
Often I get asked about the importance of techniques or postures. Postures are irrelevant for self-discovery. A good alignment allows for proper blood flow, which is something to be mindful of. Aside from that there is no one posture or technique that is better than the other. There are so many different beliefs that are passed down unquestioned. Question everything and test it for yourself. Some of the greatest teachers and mystics; meditated sitting in a chair or laying down, while suggesting to shed the limiting beliefs from yourself and others. So find is what most comfortable for you and play with it. Choose something that allows for you to remain alert and awake during your practice. Then focus on your breath with slow and relaxed breathing and just let go. Your inner guidance knows best and will take you beyond the collective beliefs and associated limitations, at the level that you trust it.
Meditation is like learning how to play a musical instrument. You don’t always get it down after just one attempt. It requires daily practice and even as little as a few minutes a day will bring you results. You can learn how to play an instrument in a short time by simply practicing a few minutes every day. Meditation is very similar. If you wait until times of struggle; you will find it difficult to center and ground yourself in silence. It’s the daily repetition that builds up over time that perfects meditation and your ability to have power over your thoughts. One of the greatest benefits is how it improves your self-esteem. It takes you deep within to a place of infinite expansion of warmth and love. The unconscious desire to run from the self with endless distractions, as an attempt to avoid a part of the self that is unaccepted or disapproved of, becomes a thing of the past. You become one with you.
Enlightenment, the beginning…
Another common goal with meditation is to experience enlightenment or “bliss” as many define it. Enlightenment, like truth, is infinite and always expanding. Many look at it as reaching the end, sort of like a graduation to life. Enlightenment is really just the beginning. The first experience is more of an opening to many more expansive experiences. This expansion is infinite, with each experience being more vast than the previous. So it’s important to release attachment to previous experiences so that you remain open to greater expansion. As we go deep into the self we gain a deeper understanding on the inner workings of life. We become more grounded and balanced within. The mind finds freedom and love throughout. This is not something that reveals itself intellectually, and in many cases will defy logic. So let go of thought, get playful with it, and notice how it unfolds for you.
Going beyond the intellect…
In the first verse of the Tao De Ching, it states that the Tao cannot be explained and when it is explained it’s no longer the Tao. This is very similar to meditative experiences that are often defined as bliss or enlightenment. It’s a feeling of complete peace and presence that is so vast and expansive it seems larger than this galaxy, but yet it resides within you. The intellect cannot really comprehend what this feels like. It would be like explaining water to someone who has never touched it. Without conscious contact, they can only get a glimpse of an idea of what it feels like. It comes back to the individual to practice daily to experience it for themselves. The presence of another holding that space can help lead you into an experience if you struggle getting into that state. However, even after an experience, it still requires you to practice daily as you continue the inner journey. It will unfold at the level at which you are willing and ready. Repetition and surrendering will greatly aid you in this process.
Until next time,