A friend of mine recently asked me if I could teach him how to meditate. Having completed two ten day courses of Vipasanna meditation, it is fair to assume I should have some idea on the subject. It is true that I personally know how to meditate, but for two clear reasons I don’t feel comfortable in teaching what I have learnt.
The first is to do with the meditation itself. It is a very personal process, with simple principles. Basically it aims to purify the mind and body by providing a path towards liberation from suffering. In the course I did, they provide an organic vegetarian diet and don’t allow for drugs to ensure that the body is cleansed. They also ask that you abstain from talking to keep the mind focused and avoid the temptation of lying or speaking ill of yourself or others. Meditation is then performed for over 10 hours a day for the duration of the course. The process is revealed bit by bit to the students. Because such an intense environment like this is impossible to achieve in everyday life, I can’t do the technique justice by teaching it to someone.
Now I know this sounds like a horribly strict and unenjoyable process, but it is like a detox from the clutter of the world and the benefits are amazing. These include:
- A more settled mind that doesn’t get lost in its own thoughts constantly
- The ability to prevent yourself from entering negativity
- The ability to choose to exit self imposed suffering (and the realisation that all suffering is self imposed).
- An appreciation of what we already have, and the ability to detach yourself from craving, i.e. Letting go of the pointless obsession we have with money and possessions
- A stronger will power and increased proactivity through the ability to make personal determinations and stick with them.
- Living in the moment more often
- Appreciating heightened senses to enjoy music, movies, exercise, food and all the sensations of life, even pain, to much higher levels
- Increased creativity
- A new level of spirituality and connectivity with the world
- A new level of respect for every part of the world
- A new perspective on the bullshit of mindless activities like artless media and advertising
- The ability to do fun things like this
But things are gonna change my friends! This blog is a product of the improved proactivity I achieved from meditating, so in return I am going to use this blog to reignite my practice. Starting this week I am making the determination to meditate at least once a week and hope to increase it from there.
To get started I have to go back to the simplest form of meditation, and this I actually do feel comfortable describing the process to anyone willing to try it. Basically find a quiet place to sit, preferably inside. Close your eyes and without consciously changing the pattern of your breath, try to focus all your attention on it. Just try to observe the manner in which your breath enters and exits your nose. Only focus on the nasal area. Each time your mind drifts away, just accept that as a reality and again focus on your breath. Try this for 10 minutes (or more if you like).
It’s a tough process to get your mind focused, but stick with it and hopefully I will too. Happy meditating
- Eden (while listening to SMiLE – Brian Wilson)