Sunday, December 8, 2013

Meditation, so simple, yet so difficult to do..

Who am I?
Picture 'Who am I?' kindly provided by Hartwig HKD
A lot of friends ask me about meditation, I always wonder, meditation techniques are often very simple, yet they are incredibly difficult to do.  This is because meditation is just not the act of meditating itself, its also what happens before the very act of  meditation.

Meditation should be a simple and natural process, much like going to sleep. Yet, like going to sleep, and staying a sleep for 6-8 hours, it is surprising that so many people cannot sleep deeply and wake up refreshed.  Meditation happens, just like good sleep happens, but we cannot force it, we can only make the conditions or environment for it to happen naturally.

Good sleep does not happen without a sound conscious, a good daily routine in place, and this leads automatically to a natural ability to relax,  meditation also does not happen without these pillars in place.

This is somewhat like preparing the ground in order to plant the seed of the meditation, for without a fertile well prepared ground, even the best meditation technique will not germinate and blossom.  The opposite is true as well, with a fertile garden of a healthy mind, but without a meditation technique, one cannot penetrate beyond the realms of normal daily consciousness.

You can deceive others but you can never deceive yourself...
To meditate, you must have a sound conscious first.  Everyone has got an inner independent golden moral compass. Yet, if we are walking away from the direction we are supposed to, our subconscious knows it, it is acts like an invisible rubber band stretching us, further and further from where we should be.

We somehow feel it in the emptiness, and the shallowness in our lives, and we try to fill this hole with anything we can throw at it, usually material, sensual or egoistical pleasures.  Is it not easier to align yourself with universal principles in the first place? Universal principles like compassion, love, and truth are our fundamental nature, walk away from this, and you build an internal conflict, even if you don't realize it, and your mind knows it!

Self-discipline leads to growth...
Look at any successful person in the world, in any field, and you will find that they all are very self disciplined, they have daily routines, they have daily rituals. Talk is cheap, knowledge is only theory, until it is applied, again, and again, and again. Only then can knowledge become understanding, only then it becomes a rock to build your life on.

Everyone grows faith from success, a little at a time, the trick is to stay with a discipline long enough, practice it long enough, so that you realize its benefits, and only then those benefits start changing you.

Self discipline often sets limits on yourself.  Setting limits on yourself is liberating, because you are freeing yourself from the attachment, scattering of attention, and the worry that come with so many different pursuits.  It is liberating, because a good routine clears your minds, and helps you focus on the things that need your focus.  It is liberating because it frees you from addictions that give a moments worth of pleasure at a very high physical, mental and social cost.

To center your mind, learn how to relax first...
Most people have forgotten how to relax these days, the source of relaxation for most is TV, games, alcohol and so on. The truth is most of these things we do, does little to make us relax and keep us relaxed.

Real relaxation is an active process, not a passive one, it involves reigning your mind back in on your body, your breath, visualization or verbalization.  It involves pro-actively reducing the causes of stress, by gathering your attention on one thing only using repetition.  It is like a magnifying glass which is able to concentrate the sun rays into a single spot, resulting in putting the object of focus on flames.  What happens next in meditation, is no different, the mind disappears in the flames of concentration and enters the zen or flow mode. There is no trace of the mind left, there is no trace of time, there is no trace of ego. Yet you are not asleep, you feel a sense of expansion, and an awareness which is really quite unexplainable, and it leaves you in very good mood, even after meditation is complete.

What people need to realize is that, successful meditation is really not possible without a strong foundation of a sound conscious and rigorous self discipline.  Once you have this and a good meditation technique, you will be able to relax, and if you don't fall asleep while the technique kicks in and relaxes you, this will naturally lift your level of awareness, it sounds so simple, yet it is so difficult to do…