Let’s cover the basic benefits of meditation, and how we can utilize it in our life.
There is mystery around meditation, which is a funny thought in itself; because the grand objective of meditation is to think of nothing, yet we keep complicating it with rational mind explanation. We try to understand nothing with something, and nothingness with a bunch of words from the mind.
Language and words are not an accurate way to convey thoughts… but it is what we have, we hung-up on, are slaves to, and so on. We are doing our best to explain invisible complexity… with words! We are multi-sensory Beings, we have more than the rational mind and words to perceive and understand. Meditation is about tuning into the subtleties of all of our senses.
The one common idea is that meditation is about thinking of nothing; not having any thoughts.
But the rational mind needs a container that has nothing in it, to understand that it is empty. Without the container, we cannot understand emptiness. In this instance, we are not limited by words, but by concepts and images.
We can see a jar is empty. Take away the jar and we can no longer see emptiness… yet it is still there. I might be going too Zen here… but the rational mind is constantly trying to create a container in which to observe things. In this case it is nothingness. The scientific approach is the rational mind approach, and it has its limits.
In the first attempts at meditation, it is very difficult to achieve emptiness and nothingness, because in those initial experiences, the well of our subconscious serves up ‘stuff’ that needs to be seen, and most often dealt with. There are thoughts, memories and emotions clamouring to get out.
For some people it might take months to deal with the surfacing thoughts and memories; for others it can take years. Either way meditation is a crucial step in the process of awakening. Most of us feel pretty groggy after waking up. It takes a little time to get the operating system up and firing on all cylinders.
If part of your “awakening” is going to include meditating, then the beginning stages may have a groggy phase. Like when you wake up in the morning, there is a period of time where you might put the peanut butter lid on your coffee cup or put your coffee spoon in the peanut butter jar… it happens! So, sitting in perfect stillness cannot happen upon awakening; in the greater sense of awakening. There is going to be a period of practice necessary, to get the system working.
Then there is the question of what type of meditation to do. There are so many styles and systems in the world. It is interesting that there are so many versions of meditation, when they ultimately seek the same result. But there are also many stages to waking from the slumber, so they all have their place and purpose.
Our stories are all unique, and reaching a state of nothingness can be a long ways off when there are memories, traumas and situations constantly knocking on our doors of perception. We have a fundamental need for understanding what is happening and it often starts with understanding what happened. There is a need for a review of the events that happened in our life, before we can move forward.
Everyone seeks freedom from suffering. No one likes to feel any sort of pain. We are mostly caught up in physical pain and suffering, because that kind of pain gets focused attention. If you have a pain in your neck, you can put your finger on it and say, “the pain is right here.”
However even physical suffering starts in the mind. When there is a lot of mental suffering, it manifests in the physical dimension. It all starts in your head! Mental suffering is not as easy to pin-point as physical pain and suffering.
At Elemental Living, one of the objectives is to establish the ability to ‘Just Be’ while functioning in the world. It’s not about ‘checking-out’ as some people comment. Having family and friends, and work and play is what we are here to experience. We need to be able to keep track of our centre, and not get thrown or tripped by superficial and insignificant comments and events. When we achieve balance in our daily life, we are more solid on our feet. We cannot be shaken so easily!
Started off heavy with deep definitions and thoughts, which is a reflection of how we complicate things that are simple. Understanding meditation is a good thing to do in these troubled times.
Now that we have covered some of the ideas on why we meditate, let’s shed some light on the different types and styles of meditation and the different purposes they can have.
The most common types of meditation…. Coming in a PDF … stay tuned by joining The Elemental Living Group.
Breathe Deep My Friend