The ‘How To’ of Meditation
Meditation is the act of ‘doing nothing’ and is in itself a paradox, how can we ‘do’ nothing? The answer, of course, is we can’t. The mind cannot comprehend actually doing nothing, if it was successful, as in true meditation, it ceases. And in that ceasing, the truth is revealed. The veil drops, and you can suddenly see what has always been in front of you. In order for this to happen, you have to be truly present.
To practice and become more available to this process, guided meditation and chanting can be useful, movement in meditation such as yoga and tai chi also can help. It gives the mind something to do, and in this distraction, the truth can gently arise in the background. The difficulty is we get attached to the tool and so forget that it is just meant as a distraction, until we can relax enough and be still enough to notice what is behind or underneath all the thinking.
So how exactly do we ‘do’ meditation?
Take a process, any process will do….yoga, chanting, Reiki, tai chi, breath awareness, guided meditation audios. It’s not the technique that matters so choose anyone that resonates with you. As you follow the technique become aware of the underlying peace and sense of watching that pervades the process. Who is it that is watching? If you are chanting, who is it that is listening, vibrating, sounding? If you are self-Reiking, who is it that feels the sensations? Become present to the sensations, vibrations, sounds and just be with it all. Don’t try to change anything, don’t try to move it in any direction or improvement. Simply watch it.
Can you feel that you are simply existing? A presence? It’s still you, you are still totally recognizable to yourself (of course!), nothing has changed apart from the lack of movement in the mind. The mind is still producing thoughts, but unless you actually follow it, and create movement, there is a deep sense of peace and ‘OKness’
This is meditation. The ‘OKness’ with everything and the ceasing of movement. Movement is not physical, you can still be doing yoga and moving the body, but it is for the sheer pleasure of the movement and the sensation it creates in your body, and not to ‘strike the perfect pose’ or to stretch deeper, hold longer or any other verb. If you are not verbing anything, you are meditating 😉
The total ability to be present is what drops the veil, it does not take years of practice or years of progression or expertness in any one or other technique. It does not require that you are vegan, wearing white, or doing any other ritual or practice. You could wake up walking across a room, you could wake up striking the perfect warrior pose, you could wake up biting into a Big Mac. There is no virtue you can collect, badge of attainment you can certify yourself, no timeline. It can happen right now, reading this. It requires only that you stop the internal mental movement of more, faster, better, less, slower, tomorrow, yesterday.
Just stop. Here. Now.