Despite its popularity, very few of us truly know what meditation is. I admit, I didn’t, when I first started to learn to meditate (even though I thought I did).
Some people think of meditation as a mind control or concentration technique, while others regard meditation as visualising or focussing on something that gives us peace or satisfaction. And then there’s guided meditation, where someone talks you through various scenarios to help you relax. All these techniques involve being with one goal or vision to slow down, and eventually stop the continuous loop of activity in our minds. These techniques have their place, but they are not really meditation. In a sense, they are substitutes for meditation, because meditation recognises that it is not possible to stop our minds from thinking thoughts, and does not attempt to stop this natural process.
What meditation is really about – is a state of awareness or consciousness. It is not an act of doing – it does not require concentration or focus or training. It is an act of being. It is a state of awareness. We can be in this state, regardless of what we are doing in life. A person can be in a state of meditation while working her day job, just as another can be far away from meditation while sitting cross legged on top of a mountain in the Himalayas.
In its simplest form, meditation involves taking some time out of the day to sit quietly or to contemplate. When instructed properly and practised consistently, meditation becomes much more than this. Meditation enables us to find, within ourselves, a state of deep and profound peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely alert. You may have heard this being referred to as bliss consciousness. It is not bliss as we typically understand it, rather it is bliss experienced as a supreme inner contentedness. This is the beginning of an inner transformation that takes us to a higher level of awareness. This enables us to tap into greater levels of love, creativity, joy and understanding. Meditation will give you the ability to enjoy life on a level you have yet to experience.
The meditation technique I teach is simple and easy to incorporate into your life. Using a mantra – a refined primordial sound – which is intrinsically charming or engaging to the mind, the mind is able to move from active, thought filled states into deeper, more peaceful and subtler states, until it reaches the subtlest point, where transcendence is reached. And bliss is experienced.
Regardless of whether you meditate or not, take some time out this weekend to sit for 5 minutes, with your eyes closed and simply follow your breath. When thoughts come (and they will), ever so gently guide yourself back to your breath. If you would like a mantra to help you have an even deeper experience of this reality within, let me know and I can help you with that.
Have a cracking weekend!