A student went to his meditation teacher and said, “My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. It’s just horrible!”
“It will pass,” the teacher said matter-of-factly.
A week later, the student came back to his teacher. “My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It’s just wonderful!”
“It will pass,” the teacher replied matter-of-factly.
An ordinary person may consider meditation as a worship or prayer. But it is not so. Meditation means awareness. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. “Watching your breath” is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation. As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation. Meditation is not a technique but a way of life. Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’.
An old saying goes; a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. In fact, awareness is the mental muscle that carries you along and sustains you on your journey, not only at the start but every step of the way. No matter which path or technique you choose the secret of meditation lies in developing, focusing, and directing your awareness.
Meditation is a state of clarity, not a state of mind. Mind is confusion. Mind is never clear. It cannot be. Thoughts create clouds around you – they are subtle clouds. A mist is created by them, and then clarity is lost. When thoughts disappear, when there are no more clouds around you, when you are in your simple beingness, clarity happens. Meditation is clarity, absolutely clarity of vision. You cannot think about it. You have to drop thinking.
As you discover how to meditate, you are likely to gain the following:
– Stronger focus and concentration
– Reduced tension, anxiety, and stress
– Clearer thinking and less emotional turmoil
– Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
– Support in kicking addictions and other self-defeating behaviors
– Greater creativity and enhanced performance in work and play
– Increased self-understanding and self-acceptance
– More joy, love, and spontaneity
– Greater intimacy with friends and family members
– Deeper sense of meaning and purpose
– Glimpses of a spiritual dimension of being