The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Meditation and the Lack of Lacking

I realize that for most people meditation is not a part of their life. Yes, they know what meditation is supposed to be, but they do not make it a daily practice as they are far more concerned with the other, more pressing, aspects of their life. I believe this very essential focus of mindset is what sets the meditator apart from those who do not meditate. It is that desire to obtain what meditation is promised to provide. In saying this, however, this is also where one may find the illusion of meditation as it is here where one may lose the true focus of the practice.
 
As we all understand, meditation is a place where the practitioner quiets their mind to the degree where a deeper state of understanding may be experienced. Certainly, the calming of the mind is arguably the hardest part to meditation as it is not easy to silence the mind.
 
In the modern era, and I imagine from the early days of the development of meditation forward, it has been spoken and written about how one may calm their mind, as it is the essential element in meditation, but it is so hard to do. Simply sit down and close your eyes right now, attempt to enter into a state of meditation, and you can almost count the moments until the first thought enters your mind. Thus, the proof of the difficulty of meditation become instantly self-evident.
 
I know in my early years of walking the spiritual path, I was taught to rise early, do a few hatha yogic stretches, a few basic pranayamic exercises, and then immediately enter into meditation. Brahmamuhurtha which occurs about an hour and half before sunrise is taught, in the yogic traditions, as the ideal time to meditate. But, if you think about this, try setting an alarm clock or developing your circadian rhythms to the degree that you wake up at this time, get out of bed, and go directly into meditation. This is not easy, nor is it ideal.
 
The other side of the issue is, say you spend your days doing what you do, and then you sit down in the afternoon or the evening hoping to meditate. By this point, your mind has encountered all of the life things that it has encountered during your day, and once you sit down, you are confronted with all of the emotions developed during that day. Thus, thought(s), based in that day, race through your mind. It becomes very hard to truly realize meditation.
 
As time has gone on, the various spiritual traditions have developed ways for their practitioners to supposedly find a doorway to meditation via differing methods. For example, in the twentieth center, the Sufi Dances, later known as the Dances of Universal Peace, were developed. I was highly involved with these from the early 1970s until the early 1980s. From the moment I entered my first session, I was enthralled. It was great! All of these people dancing hand-in-hand, singing spiritual songs, doing these choreographed dance moves. Exceptional! But, was this meditation or was this fun?
 
This is the same with the Dynamic Meditation developed by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, which I practiced in India. Yes, it was this grand cathartic release, supposedly leading the practitioner to meditation. But, did it? Or, was it simply a way for the practitioner to take the internal drug of screaming away all their childhood traumas? Blame and release rather than focus and meditation?
 
Certainly, the Zen Buddhist traditions were one of the first to truly formalize new and unique ways to find a pathway to meditation. From the martial arts, to walking meditation, onto tea making, and other highly focused physical activities. But, are these true techniques of meditation or are they simply a means to distract the mind, causing it to focus on something else rather than the Self?
 
Here lies the problem with all aberrant forms of meditation and with meditation in general. A person is taught that they are not enough. That they must become something more. And, to do that, they must meditate. Once they enter the path of meditation, they come to believe that they have not meditated long enough or that they cannot do it at all. Thus, the paradox of meditation is born. …That you are not good enough or you are not doing it good enough. Yes, as stated, most people do not care about meditation at all, but for those who do, there are all of these supposed techniques and defined ideologies that tells someone they are not enough. That they must become something more than they already are through a specific style of meditation. And, if they lose their mediative mind too soon then they are somehow lacking. But, if meditation is a THING, then isn’t the entire point of meditations lost?  Hasn’t it become something that it is
not supposed to be? A thing rather than a no-thing.
 
Many of the people who do focus their mind upon meditation become lost in the aberrant mindset that they are not enough in the meditation practices. …That they should be able to meditate longer. …That they should do it better and find that ultimate meditative goal—whatever they defined that ultimate goal to be. But, in simply believing this, one can never experience true meditation because then it becomes a thing.
 
A thing is not meditation. True meditation is simply you releasing all of the stuff that is within you and experiencing the freedom of no thought.
 
So, next time you meditate, by whatever method you define that meditation, just let go, feel the nothing. If that last for a second or longer, that is great! Meditation should never become a competition about what you are not or what you cannot do, it should only be allowed to be a moment of what you truly are in the silence of all that you can release.
 
Try it. Let go. Be who you are in the what you are as isn’t that the essence of true meditation.