Updated: Jan 13, 2020
There are few words that can be misunderstood as easily as meditation.
Meditation is not stilling the mind, although that can happen as result of practice. Meditation is not a cutting off of the senses ( dissociation of sensibility, a subject of a later blog ). It is not disconnecting oneself from everyday life.
Meditation is best understood as a practice that goes beyond the mind. This cannot be described by words, only experienced.
The experience is best described by poetic simile and metaphor as a space where one can find our deepest potential, a wellspring of creativity and humanity. This wellspring of creativity and humanity can be found by contacting the depths of our human potential to connect with Being itself. This is why this website is listed as meditationinbeing.com
With commitment and over time, a regular meditation practice can lead to life changing benefits - an increase in ability to concentrate on creative tasks as well as a sense of purposeful direction in life. Modern technology has accelerated a trend towards bitesize knowledge which lacks depth. Meditation can help correct this general decline in the ability to concentrate that blights the modern world. That which matters can then be taken to the heart - the mind becomes clearer and the heart more open and joyful, providing lasting nourishment. One finds that it is not possible to go back to the darkness of not practicing. This is best developed, organically, as the benefits unfold and reveal themselves in everyday life. Meditation becomes an inseparable part of one's life.
How can a practice that defeats simple explanation be learnt? Experience has shown that Meditation Apps are not useful in the long term and practitioners should avoid making up their own techniques. Meditation techniques have been tried and tested over many thousands of years so that they're advantages and disadvantages are well known. This is where an experienced guide can help. A meditation guide is a person who has walked on the path him/her self and lives in the presence of meditation. Usually this path has taken many decades, where most of the pitfalls and difficulties of the practice can be learnt and then passed on. The practice should be taught in a gentle and open way, allowing the practitioner to progress at their own pace.
In the East meditation techniques were imbedded in practical philosophy with clear teaching methods. The techniques, practical philosophy and the teaching are called the Three Pillars of the practice.
What are the simple steps to start practicing? That is the subject of the next blog.