Meditation has many definitions, but is ultimately undefinable. In Osho’s book, Meditation, meditation is defined as, “The art of being aware of what is going on inside and around you.” I love this definition, but I have one of my own, “Meditation is a quality of consciousness that brings a level of awareness or unawareness into our lives or any activity, for the purpose of freedom in our daily lives” Meditation is our natural state of human-being(as a verb); it is a calm, focused(or unfocused), and blissful feeling of being exactly who we are, where we are, and not needing the validation or permission of anyone else. It is the bliss of being yourself. This is true freedom.
Meditation itself is not a technique, nor does it need any special techniques to occur, but having a technique CAN help the process(but oftentimes hinder the process) to come to fruition if done correctly. One of my favorite techniques is the One Breath method. If you find yourself having any trouble coming into meditation, YOU MIGHT BE TRYING TOO HARD!
If your view of meditation is an aged yogi, sitting in uncomfortable postures for hours on end, you’ve probably been turned off a little by the whole idea. This is fine, but something more important must be understood: meditation does not require uncomfortable postures or studying holy books; conversely, uncomfortable postures and the study of holy books is NOT a guarantee of meditation. There are no definite recipes for meditation, it is something you invite into your life by creating the proper conditions for awareness/unawareness. To find out more about unawareness meditation, you can read more about it here soon
Meditation is a technology of the mind for exploring consciousness. Much like taking a flashlight into a dark museum to find beautiful paintings and sculptures, we can turn our mind in on itself to spotlight the essence of who we are. Although it has been said that mediation should be its own purpose, the end as opposed to the means to some end, there are many reasons one might seek meditation, or seek the benefits provided by meditation. To learn more of these benefits, you can read my post about Benefits here soon.
Is Meditation Spiritual?
Depending on how broad your definition of ‘spiritual’ is (some spiritualists could argue EVERYTHING is a reflection of spirit), meditation may or may not be a spiritual activity. It helps in the pursuit of a spiritual life, if that is your aim, but meditation itself is not a strictly ‘spiritual’ practice. I’ve encountered hundreds of people who consider themselves absolutely non-spiritual, yet still enjoy a rich, deeply satisfying quality of meditation. On the other hand, I’ve encountered hundreds of some of the most intense spiritualists I know, and they know nothing about meditation. That’s not to say it doesn’t occur for them, but they never consciously decided to start meditating, and some have no intention of being aware of the practice at all.
Meditation, as I’ve said, is something that connects us to the most innate core of our human-nature. This goes beyond all religious or spiritual practices, and is something that can be felt universally no matter what your ideals or upbringing have involved. It can happen anywhere, to anyone and largely goes unnoticed by many people in the world who have just put their focuses elsewhere. Meditation is the awareness of freedom in our everyday lives
Who is meditation for?
EVERYONE! Meditation can be felt, experienced and benefiting to anyone who decides to bring a level of awareness into their lives. You don’t need to be deeply entrenched in religious pursuits, or standing on your head in the caves of Nepal; you’re never too young, too old, too ‘immoral’ or too ‘pure’ to experience the bliss that is meditation, nor are you ever in a place where meditation cannot bring you peace among the chaos of fire, or a deeper appreciation of the peace we are already experiencing.
Meditation has the paradoxical quality of both letting us see things from an outside perspective, as well as deeply entrenching us in the things we are experiencing. How can both of these seemingly opposite qualities occur at the same time? Meditation is a Non-Dual process, that is, cannot be defined by one side of the coin. If being outside yourself is one side of the coin, and being inside yourself is the other side of the coin, then meditation IS the coin.
Heads, or Tails?
For more on what meditation is, check back soon for more posts!