Monday, September 14, 2009
Introduction to Meditation
What meditation is:
• Meditation/relaxation is simply being.
• Meditation is surrendering to your present experience, letting your experience simply be, in a very deep way.
• Meditation is letting go of trying to control your experience so you can feel better, letting go of manipulation.
• Meditation is accepting and being aware of whatever is happening in the now moment - thoughts, feelings, sensations, perceptions.
• Meditation is a process of allowing even the deepest pain to be okay.
• When you allow everything to be as it is in the present moment, your experience of being the controller starts to relax.
• You start identifying less with being me and identifying more with simply being.
• Real meditation is not about mastering a technique; it’s about letting go of control.
• The practice is to let go of the meditator, the controller, the ego, the manipulator, the seeker, the small separated sense of self.
• The meditator is the one who is trying to control experience, the escape artist who is trying to avoid pain and grasp at pleasure, the one who is trying to make something happen, the seeker, the one exerting effort.
• Awakening is going beyond the meditator, beyond the controller, beyond the manipulator, beyond the seeker.
• We cannot move beyond the false identity, the egoic identity, by trying to change. We move beyond it by accepting what is.
• When you start to let go of the meditator, the controller, the seeker, when you simply allow everything to be as it is, what you start to realize more and more deeply, is that the peace and stillness you are trying to attain, is already there.
• You can stop trying to attain bliss and simply relax into it, simply by allowing your experience to be as it is.
• Peace and stillness are totally natural states. Find out what happens when you give yourself to the peace that already is, to the stillness that already is.
• Meditation means being present. The more present you are, the more pleasure you feel. The more pleasure you feel, the more you automatically stay present to enjoy the pleasure. This is how meditation deepens, presence deepens.
What meditation can lead to:
• Spiritual awakening and enlightenment
• Waking up from the dream of separation to the truth of Oneness
• Profound self-acceptance and trust in the process of life
• The erosion of the ego
• Deep inner transformation
• Making peace with the past
• Unconditional joy
• Flowering of the heart
• Healed relationships
Why we meditate:
• To face and transform personal suffering
• To awaken to one’s true nature
• To experience oneness with the divine
• To have more ease, openness and relaxation in one’s life
• To live daily life in the same allowing way we meditate
Attitude and Posture:
• The two keys to deep relaxation and meditation are awareness and acceptance.
• It is preferable not to lie down for obvious reasons.
• Sitting in a particular position or on a meditation cushion is not the most important thing.
• Posture is meant to foster an inner sense of openness.
• Certain postures and hand positions actually open us emotionally and physically.
• The best position is an open posture with an erect spine and relaxed arms.
• What is most important is that you approach meditation with an underlying attitude of ease & openness & relaxation & simplicity.
• If you want to meditate with your eyes open, keep your eyes open. If you prefer them closed, close them.
• Effortless effort is needed to meditate. You need just enough effort to be present and aware, to be here now.
• Often just sitting in silence is enough- allowing what is, to be.
• Techniques and disciplines have been taught for hundreds and thousands of years, and certainly have some value and merit. However, they are various forms of control and eventually need to be let go of in order to be able to rest in simple being or presence.
• Some people follow their breath, some people say a mantra, some people do deep breathing, some people use visualization.
• These techniques are portals into presence , a means to an end, not an end in themselves.
• To engage these techniques at the beginning of a meditation session is fine. They are perfectly appropriate ways of bringing the mind into the present.
• Once your attention is in the present, then the invitation is to let go of these techniques and to start to relax into your natural state of being.
• The main focus of your attention should not be a technique but watching what happens when you allow everything to be as it is, when you allow yourself to let go of control.
When you let go of control and allow everything to be as it is – your natural tendency is to awaken. You are biologically, psychologically, spiritually designed to move toward awakening. When you let go of the control the ego has, the nature of your being is to awaken.
When you really start to let go, what needs to rise to the surface rises to the surface. What arises is, for the most part, unresolved conflict within you: emotions, sensations, and pains that you have never allowed yourself to fully feel. All of this arises in meditation. This unresolved material within you yearns to be experienced fully and will keep coming back until you do fully experience it.
You wake up to the reality of your being by relating with your human nature, embracing it fully, not by avoiding it. There is a strong tendency to constantly seek a way out of what you are feeling, to constantly resist pain and seek pleasure, to not accept yourself as you are. You try to control and manipulate anything that you think could cause you to feel things you do not wish to feel.
Until you can allow everything to be as it is, in the deepest possible way, in the most profound way, you are still involved in control. Awakening to oneness comes from letting go of control, from surrender.
You will not be able to get out of experiencing energetic or emotional pain. Personal suffering needs to be embraced. The process of embracing it dissolves the ego. At the root of all pain is the feeling that you are separate from everything else. It is what everyone feels at the core, yet everyone tries to avoid this feeling, this separateness, this aloneness, this emptiness, this longing. But it is in feeling this deep pain, or feeling whatever is there, that your heart opens and you experience your oneness with all that is.
Meditation is a practice that allows the awakening that wants to occur to occur. Three things are required: intention, effort and grace. Awakening is ultimately a gift of grace. The Oneness Blessing is a gift of grace, a spiritual energy that can greatly accelerate your process of awakening.