The essence of meditation can be simplified down into a rather short description although it's a logic-breaker.
Meditation is when you, an object(read as any sense experience including thought experiences) and the process of attention towards that object....are indistinguishable.
This is interesting because if there is no difference between you, the object, and your attention...who, or what, are you? When you ask someone who they are they answer with a list of identifications defined by their previous sense experiences, yet countless wisdom traditions point us towards a state of being which is NOT defined by any sense experience or identification. Perhaps the best answer to the question "Who are you?" would be "The one who is here now."
This is also interesting because that means no one is "doing" the meditation. It happens... So...
How does meditation happen?
Meditation happens when the processes of the mind become tranquil and the consciousness does not move to identify with any object. This is the definition of Yoga given by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. This is a lofty, but attainable goal. The typical state of the mind is a constant string of identifications illicited by the external reality. The first step towards the meditation state is to slow down this parade of identifications and move the identifications closer to yourself. This is meditative concentration. When concentrating on the more internal we also stop feeding the fire of our outwardly identifying habits. Tranquility arrives. As concentration is developed, we internalise it further and the technique of concentration becomes more subtle. The more subtle the method of concentration, less & less sense objects are available to which the consciousness can attach itself.
External to Internal Steps for subtle Concentration
1. A flowing body art awareness practice. You must pay attention and perform each move in sequence with the breath.
2. Holding a static position. Micro management of joints and stabilisation.
3. Sitting and breathing in a rhythmic pattern.
4. Sitting and observing the natural breath pattern.
5. Observe your own state.
This same kind of interlization of can be applied to points of concentration, vocalisation, or even other less structured or basically indescribably subtle processes.
Point of Concentration
1. Focus on a movement pattern for the eyes of looking up and down.
2. Focus on a point outside of the body such as the rising sun or a mandala for example.
3. Focus on a movement pattern for a point of concentration within the body, up and down the central channel in sequence with the breath.
4. Focus on a point within the body.
1. Speak an affirmation, mantra, or prayer outloud.
2. Whisper the words.
3. Mentally repeat the words.
4. Mentally listen to the "space" in which the words were spoken.
The highest form of meditation happens when the technique disappears and there is just....
Why you should be practicing meditative concentration
Life is overflowing with experiences. The ability of humans to "keep up" and stay present, which is where we experience peace, well-ness, etc is directly related to a few factors..
1. How much we identify into the experiences we have
2. How quickly we "process" our experiences and move on and hopefully inwards to the subtle
Practicing meditation takes care of it all then. We practice taking a break from identifying with the outside. We give our minds time to "catch up" on all the backlogged experiences we didn't finish with... Do you have lots of crazy random or maybe NOT so random thoughts pop up when you practice meditation? This is normal and just the result of the experiences of our lives. It's not bad to have this experience in meditation. It either means a lot of things have been going on, you started accessing older more subtler impressions, or you started touching some impressions you maybe didn't need to and it stirred them up again. Some old impressions need to be processed consciously, but actually a lot of them can just be left behind and they will fall apart from disuse or become incompatible to our "current version" as we upgrade our mental-psychic structure. Sometimes we need to upgrade until we can bear to consciously process some impressions. This is the process of freedom from impressions, freedom from the past and future, freedom from regret, anxiety, inadequacy, and superiority. All is one in the state of meditation.
With Focused Love,
George is the founder of Sajeeva Yoga School, and a practitioner and teacher on the journey of exploring life, truth, purpose, and
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