There are many ways to end up at the doorway to meditation. You might be questioning the religion in which you were brought up, looking to find your own answers. You might be curious about who you are, what you are, and why you are. You could be looking to quiet the disturbance in your mind, or you may be wanting to meet the third part of your entity, your Self.
No matter how you arrived at the doorstep, there are a couple of basic things you need to understand. Meditation is not something outside of yourself; you’ve got the tools required for meditation with you 24/7. You just need to figure out how to use them!
The absolute beginning point of meditation is to recognize that You are made up of three entities: Your body, your mind, and your spirit or Self. We’re all familiar with the body because it’s the physical part of us that we can feel and see. The body is what we use to experience this world. We’re also familiar with the mind since it’s the background noise that’s going constantly. Mind is the seat of emotions, thoughts, feelings, and dreams; all the stuff you can’t see, taste, hear, touch or smell. Then there’s the Self, and that’s what we’re searching for. When you say, “This is my hand, this is my leg, this is my imagination” – Who is my? Everyone should want to meet their Self, but why is it so difficult to see the real you that’s driving the body and mind?
We have become so attached to our bodies and minds that we think that’s all there is. The Self has become hidden behind all our thoughts and desires so much that we can’t even recognize that there is actually another part of us that’s keeping us alive–it’s that spark of life that we want to meet! Meditation is the means for introducing us to that spark, and when you do finally realize what the spark is, it’s actually a real experience and a life-changing one at that!
Now that we know what we’re searching for, how does one get there? You can’t just walk up to your Self, tap it on the shoulder and say, “Hi.” It takes a lot of undoing to be able to experience that. The good news is that the body is the perfect vehicle for getting there, and the mind can be trained to keep quiet. I’ll explain:
The Self has no form, no emotions, no thoughts, and no desires. The Self is simply aliveness; it’s what makes your body move, and is the same aliveness found in plants and animals. Since it has no form, the closest you can get to it in your body is to be as still as possible–to the point where you don’t notice your body anymore. At the same time you’re sitting still, you need to corral the barrage of thoughts going on in your mind. If you’ll notice, most of the thoughts that pass through your mind are just sheer nonsense. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to quiet the mind and just be absolutely still in both body and mind? That’s the purpose of meditation: To get to that quiet space so you can truly relax and live!
You don’t need to put it off any longer. You don’t need to dress up, you don’t need any special tools, or a special place to go to. Just sit comfortably, close your eyes, and observe what’s going on in your mind. Don’t get involved with any of the thoughts, and never lose touch with your body. Observing the breath is a great way to keep your mind from carrying you away. It will be difficult at first since you’ve not watched your thoughts before. Keep after it though, you’ve got to be tough; it’s taken you a lifetime to get that many thoughts packed into your mind, so it’s not going to clear out overnight–or even in a week.
The good news is that after meditating for a month or so, for at least 30 minutes twice a day, you will feel the results! Thoughts will not be as strong, and you will be able to get to a quieter and quieter space in your mind. The longer you meditate the better it gets, and if you keep at it long enough, you will get to experience that magical moment when you meet that part of you that’s making this life on earth a possibility.
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