Sunday, 25 January 2015

Why Meditation is So Important


Leunig

Isn't it true, that we experience almost all of our lives as a series of ups and downs?

We are like surf board riders on a vast ocean of experience. Sometimes we can ride the waves, while at others we are buffeted and bullied about by the endless ebb and flow. We get so caught up in the 'drama' that we seldom, if ever, take note of the screen upon which it is all being played out.

No screen, no drama. Yet who notices the 'screen'?

If only we knew how near and how unspeakably simple the greatest truths of life really are. How much more peaceful and joyful our lives would be. How quickly we would un complicate things to give ourselves and others ease.

Meditation, in its truest form, helps us to re connect with who and what we really are. It helps us to become aware of the 'screen.' 

In its purest form, meditation is effortless, formless and completely un-contrived.


However, in this day and age when form is greatly emphasized, it is often turned into a 'practice' which is entrenched in ideas, expectations, and a sense of doership. It has become something marketable and brand worthy. There are so many different kinds of meditation in the marketplace now that it has become more difficult and tiresome than ever just to figure out how to get started with it.

In our age of super, super markets, where one can enter a department store and find fifty varieties of one item and feel quite overwhelmed by the number of choices, so too can it be with the beginnings of our spiritual journey into meditation.

Therefore, it is really vital to clarify our understanding of the meaning of the word 'Meditation,' we can thereby save ourselves a lot of expense, extra stress, time, discomfort and also, sadly as can be the case for many, eventual disappointment.

Most people who take up a practice of meditation believe they will get something out of it and there are many different techniques available to bring about the supposed and desired results. These might include relaxation or an enhanced concentration or a sense of calmness and well being etc. While all of these are valid in and of themselves they are nevertheless not the true goal of meditation.

In order to avoid probable disillusionment down the road, it is important to recognize that the benefits of all of the above are both temporary and impermanent and that the true significance of meditation by far surpasses any and all of it's transient advantages.

True meditation is an exercise in un-compromised humility

How else can one bypass the veils of mind and the illusion of 'doership' to recognize the magnificent silence in which, all of that, arises?

Meditation should lead to a profound and permanent shift in our awareness of awarenessIf we approach it in the right way, it will take us right to the portal of liberation which is not something based within time and space. It can happen right here and right now.

It has nothing to do with postures and positions, how long one is able to sit, how focused and so on. That is all the dance of mind made projections.

True Meditation allows us simply to be as we are. As we really are...

Naturally this 'view' flies in the face of how we normally hear about or think of meditation.  Many so called meditation teachers have led us to believe that, to achieve the ultimate results, we must sit in a certain way, behave in a certain manner, breath differently, stop our thoughts, etc, etc... 

Yet, despite the positive aspect of these various techniques and their effects of relaxation, enhanced concentration, bliss and so on, none of them has any thing whatsoever to do with the real purpose meditation. It is not about controlling the mind, or sitting for a certain period of time in a particular posture, or reciting a mantra. Relaxation and greater peace are useful, bliss is addictive and enjoyable but one must be careful that they do not become the goal of meditation itself. Greater peace, clarity and increased concentration are all worthy signposts along the way, however we must bare in mind the subtle distinction that true meditation is beyond a 'meditator.'

In the maelstrom of 'busyness' that engulfs our day to day lives it is more essential than ever that we give ourselves the chance to reconnect with who and what we really are. The beauty of true meditation is that it does not require that anything in our outer life be changed. This means that where ever we may be, what ever we may be doing, we can always take a moment to turn our gaze inward. 

To be inwardly silent...

We do not need to make any elaborate preparations to do this, we do not need a special room, a special time, a special place, a special frame of mind... 
We just need to stop for a moment and let be... even if it is just for a few minutes on the bus or during the office lunch break, or even in the bathroom!

Normally our focus and attention is completely engaged outwardly in the world around us and in our thoughts, moods and sensations. When we take time to just 'be' we let all of this go, even if it is just for the briefest moment. 

This moment has the potential to be utterly refreshing. Try it and see.

The fact is that real meditation is about undoing, unlearning, un-contriving...

In the stillness of just being as we are there arises the possibility of recognizing what really is.


"Be still and know that I am God."
Psalm 49:10

Nothing is more vital to do in this world. In its true form, meditation provides a natural and ever present portal into our true and unimaginable inheritance...

From such a 'view,' the world that we create, in our own minds and around us, realigns itself with something much, much grander than the little dramas that usually engulf all of our attention for most of our lives...

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