I’ve had people, over time, tell they can’t seem to get meditation to work for them. Or, they’re not sure what they are supposed to do when they meditate.
I want to first define what meditation is and then provide one simple method to help you.
This is taken from one of my favorite teachers, Osho.
Meditation, in its essence, is the art of being aware, aware of what is going on inside you and around you.
I have been meditating, not religiously mind you, for about five years. I have been able to experience the most wonderful things. Some of these things some people would call weird, supernatural, or whatever. But they are experiences that make meditation a very important part of my life and as you take to incorporate it in your life, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Here’s another insight into meditation that will help clarify your thinking on the subject, as well as, provide a different perspective from what we’ve been taught.
Most of us have been taught that in order to be successful in life we need to struggle, to fight, to focus, to concentrate. The trouble with this approach is that the more we struggle, the more tense we become. And the more tense we are, the worse we perform. The meditative approach is to understand that in order to be at our best, in order to give each moment our best – and to receive the best from each moment – we need to be as aware as possible. And to be aware we need to be relaxed.
Usually we think that in order to relax, we have to go out. Meditation offers another possibility: to go in to relax.
Can you relate to the above quote? What do you do you relax, destress, or “calm the nerves”? How would you like to get on the path of a peaceful life?
There are many methods that can be used for meditation, only because each individual is different and may require a different method. But, to keep things simple, only one will be covered in this post.
I think this quote is very on point:
Meditation is based on simple understanding: Rather than fighting with darkness, which is impossible anyway, switch on the light. Rather than fighting with ourselves, trying to improve ourselves, trying to live up to others’ ideas of who or what we should be, we can start by simply accepting ourselves as we are now.
This is not to say that you should not work on yourself. But first, you must learn how to just be. Being is being aware, where your center is undisturbed.
So, the method is a simple one. You only have to focus on the breath – with eyes open or closed, it does not matter. Your goal, if you will, is to focus on the breath – the inhalation and exhalation. Once you start, you’ll experience your mind wandering to the different thoughts you have going on in your head. You are not to fight trying to keep thoughts out of your mind. You are to just bring your attention back to your breath.
Thoughts are like the clouds in the sky. The sky is the real you and the clouds are the thoughts. The real you is covered by the clouds. Eventually, however, the clouds do dissipate to reveal what’s behind. Starting out, you will have lots of clouds, but by and by, they will lessen.
I would not recommend doing this for more than 10 minutes the first time you do it. There are some who will get frustrated by the constant barrage of thoughts that come in to disturb their meditation. However, by and by, you will be able to meditate longer and with less thoughts intruding on your focus.
You should have no other goal in mind when you do it other than bringing your focus back to the breath when it wanders. You might want something to happen while doing this and it may be in the back of your mind while meditating. I would recommend against such goals when meditating and to just focus on the breath.
As you can see, this is a very simple method that anyone can do. I look forward to hearing of your experiences of being on the path to awareness.