When I wake up in the morning I prefer just lingering on in my dreamy state. However, when I sit up to meditate and slip into my sleepy, foggy inner world, believe it or not, it is like starting the day with an internal shower followed by a board meeting with all my projects, the universe and myself. Couldn’t start the day better!
“Love your internal world and the external world will be better” Byron Katie
For me, meditation is like stepping inside to take a good look, peer into all the corners of my body, mind and soul, for good and for bad. It’s a holistic experience because now I can feel all of my body-parts at the same time. Not just the head or a finger separately – the whole package of cells at once. Trillion of particles co-exist in there, vibrating in synch together, housing my spirit, keeping me alive, 24h/24h. I touch base, connect, listen and observe. Meditation is like cleaning up my computer – or defragmenting the hard disc. All the different thoughts and impressions get filtered and sorted. I can see clearer. I get new ideas. Solutions for problems fall down like from a clear sky.
Less is more.
It is a rather poor excuse to think that you don’t have time to meditate. Many mornings and evenings that’s exactly what I do. No time… tomorrow…etc. However, in the subtle realm of the altered state of consciousness that meditation creates, the fact that less is more is a law, however weird it might seem. The amount of time I “lose” to get into synch through meditation compared to the time I gain is incomparable. I gain time! More time in meditation means less time going around in circles, getting into futile trouble, forgetting important things. Also, during meditation, problems that at first sight seem unsolvable find solutions.
Meditation is not about controlling your thoughts.
As a beginner, you might be eager to try to be in control of the activity in your mind. However, as Deepak Chopra explains, meditation isn’t about “stopping our thoughts or trying (with effort) to empty our minds”. Rather, it is about deciding how much attention we choose to give them. Like turning pages in a book we can decide to let go of recurring disturbing thoughts. First, though, I would suggest taking a decent look at them. With an allowing, receptive attitude, feel the negative thoughts, inhale them, and recognize them for what they are without judging. As we say in therapy: it is essential to “say ‘hello’ before we can say ‘goodbye’”. When we do embrace these internal pains instead of avoiding them, we decrease their emotional charge, and start to heal. After this initial encounter, we can choose where to put our attention. Whether we use a mantra, an object or focus on our breath, the trick remains the same: we learn to develop the habit and discipline of observing anything that occurs in our minds and without effort return our attention to our breath (mantra or object).
Looking at myself in the mirror.
With time, I have learnt just through my regular practice, to become the observer of myself. With time you create, millimeter by millimeter, a space between your sense of self and what is going on inside. With practice, it is possible to place your awareness beyond the daily 30.000 stress inducing thoughts and access a space of tranquil peace inside my chest, even if it is only a flash, and get a hint of what pure awareness can be. Moment is beyond priceless – and I guess Buddha would agree…