Why is Meditation a good thing?
For most people it’s a great time to reset and get a holiday from the mind and its constant chatter. Meditation works wonders for this purpose and one absolutely should practice it regardless of the reasons one is called to meditate.
It’s the universal spiritual practice all humans can agree upon. I am a strong proponent of meditation and the world would be completely transformed in a matter of weeks if everybody did this.
One aspect about meditation that seems to be easily overlooked and never talked about is how we bring the meditation WITH us into our daily lives. Most meditators end their meditation when they open their eyes and start interacting with the world, but there is an underlying hidden secret in Meditation that very few seem to catch.
Just as when you sit in meditation and the mind can be busy with itself, and your just in the seat of pure awareness watching this playing itself out without getting caught up in its story, you can likewise practice this form of meditation while your interacting with the world. It’s entirely possible to be in a meditative state while having a conversation with another person. You will be surprised how the body/mind complex actually is doing its “thing” without “you” in there. Just pure awareness.
Do be too hasty after the meditation to instantly reinstall the sense of self in there. There really is no need you will see. In fact, life it seems, goes into a much greater flow when you stay in the state of pure awareness. It plays itself out without “you” behind the steering wheel.
It reminds me of a story I’m must likely butchering as I read it a long time ago while I was very young man many years ago:
Somewhere in India this man later on to be known as Papaji was going to sit to meditate as he has done for decades already. Only this time, he couldn’t meditate. It simply didn’t happen when he sat down.
He went to the local guru’s and teachers asking for help. They gave him mantras, techniques and other tools. Nothing helped! He decided to go a see his own Guru living quite far away in another city up the mountains. His name was Ramana, a very enlightened being who people came to visit from many places all over the world.
Papaji took the train to the city. After that, he rode a donkey up the mountain to Ramana’s place and entered his cave. Papaji explained to Ramana how he couldn’t sit for meditation anymore asking what he should do? Ramana looked at him for some time after which time asked him:
How did you get here?
A bit puzzled Papaji answered; I took the train here. Why?
Ramana asked where is the train?
Well I left it at the station Papaji said.
Then Ramana said; A wise man knows when it’s time to leave the vehicle of transportation.
What he meant was, Papaji already WAS in a state of meditation at all times. This is why when he sat down to meditate he couldn’t “do it” as it was already happening within him. He was in such a deep space of peace abiding in the pure state of awareness that there was no difference between him sitting and meditating, or going about his “business” in his daily life.
Papaji went on to just call meditation “to sit”. Just to simply sit.
When one “does” something, there is the Do’er. I meditate. I talk. I write. I read. I I I I all the time this I is busy “doing”.
It’s the identity that stands in the way of true meditation. This reminds me of yet another story;
Once this regular person came to a monastery asking to become a Monk. He met the headmaster of the monastery by the gate saying he wanted to become a monk. The Headmaster said there wasn’t any Monks in this monastery.
A bit puzzled he left feeling confused. Later, he looked over the fence and saw some Monks walking around the courtyard.
He again decided to approach the headmaster by the gate.
Again he was told there was no Monks. He then insisted, saying he is not stupid and he knows there are monks in there as he saw them walking around just a few hours ago.
The Headmaster said ok if you don’t believe me come with me and I will show you. He agreed so they walked over the courtyard towards the meditation hall.
The Headmaster swung open the door and the room was full of monks meditating.
He said in a loud voice: MONKS…… and all of them turned their heads looking at the Headmaster.
The Headmaster then said to the guy who wanted to become a monk: See I told you. There are no Monks.
What is the point of this story? The Headmaster felt that a REAL monk has no identification. No sense of the little self. A true monk has dropped all notions of identity, of the personhood.
So by calling them and having them all react to the word Monk, it told him they where all identified with BEING a Monk. Even in deep meditation. Which is why they are not really monks.
The same is true as we walk through life thinking we are husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, employees, bosses, single or married.
We also think “I’m meditating” now. I am eating. I’m talking. I’m doing this or that. As long as you are the Do’er, meditation isn’t happening.
With this in mind, think about how many new age guru’s guide meditations where you need to fix your attention on your spine, chakras, breath and what not?
How many times have you heard them tell you to imagine this color or this scene of nature. Some kind of mental image of something, always trying to DO something. Busy busy busy are our little occupied minds. Even while trying to relax, it becomes an exercise to master.
Meditation is Surrender. It is to just let go, Be nothing and Do nothing.
Or as Carlos Castaneda said: Stopping the world.
So next time your “sitting” just sit. Let awareness take over and you simply step aside for once. It’s the time for God’s presence to be in the foreground.
In daytime we are all busy with DOING things. Thinking like a racehorse. At night we go to bed and we are just as busy in our dreams. The mind never rests. It never stops. 24/7 – 365 days a year.
Meditation is this in between place where you’re neither dreaming nor “awake” as in regular awake consciousness. It’s a place where the mind finally gets to shut completely off. In that silence your own inner true being gets revealed so gracefully and so easily. It’s always been there, but you just never got still enough for it to register.
This is how it starts. You create these “gaps” of silence. Then they increase in size, depth, frequency and time.
Until as in Papaji’s case, it took him completely over and he started what is called “abiding in the big SELF”.
It starts with a small step. 20 min a day.
And then one day, Meditation happens when you open your eyes!