|Meditation in a Nutshell.
||[Apr. 28th, 2008|10:29 pm]
internal cultivation through motion and presence
OK, Maybe Not Exactly a Nutshell.|
There are many definitions to be found on the Internet with explanations ranging from the scientific to the macabre. Some organizations even teach that meditation is a relative term, when nothing could be further from the truth.
Meditation is all about the absolute. It's the purest form of communion. No intermediary of any sort. While there are numerous meditative techniques to you can employ, those techniques are not a part of actual meditation, but rather they are devices you can use to train yourself for actual meditation. Counting, mantra, visualization, posture, etc., are all means of preparing the body and the mind for that purest of communions.
Meditation can be best understood not as an action, but as a disposition. the intention to meditate is more accurately the action, meditation is not. All technical practice is but preparation for awakening to the meditative state which perhaps can be best described as listening and witnessing with one's entire being.
Imagine for a moment, if you will, seeing a beautiful sunset for the very first time. What do you do in order to drink in its beauty? Nothing! You simply bring your attention to it and receive it. To do anything else would most likely get in the way of the experience. It's the same with a beautiful song you're hearing for the very first time. Any additional effort on your part and you just might miss a part of it. Well, when it comes to meditation, any unnecessary effort and you could miss the whole of it.
In every moment of your life, in every experience you've ever had, there is a part of you that has witnessed everything, yet remains untouched by any of it. It's a pure as the day you were born, and it was there even before you were born. In every experiential state you've ever been in, there has always been a witness to that state, and that witness is the one part that is NOT an experience. It is the witness, that bornless, formless, ever-present awareness, that is the object of meditation. And as I said earlier, everything else is but preparation.
The wonderful experiences that will come from meditation are not the goal, but rather the side-effects of consistent practice. Your experience of everything will deepen dramatically. Your perception of everything will become richer and richer. You will find that many of your bad habits will fall away because you are more aware of each moment and will therefore have less tolerance for behaviors that are inconsistent with your ideals.
Now consequently, you will also have many not-so-wonderful experiences as a result of meditation as well. Again, these experiences are NOT the goal, so neither should they be the measure of whether your practice is working for you or not. Negative emotions and resistance are very normal reactions and should be no cause for alarm. Any practice of cultivating stillness will stir up some of our emotional baggage and psychological scars. Most “normal” people spend their entire lives running from these emotions, only to find that those very same issues keep popping up in the form of circumstances or in the people around them. No matter how fast or how far we run, we cannot help but be influenced by our past. Meditation practice will get us in touch with all of our life's baggage.
So why would anyone willingly stir up all the traumas of their past by meditating? Simple. Because it's the only way to truly heal. We can never heal our wounds if we do not first own them. Furthermore, we can never relate to the people or events in our lives in a skillful manner until we first understand all the ways in which our perceptions are tainted by our own baggage.
more to come.
any feedback, questions, or corrections would be appreciated.