If you are a novice in meditation, it is by no means a disadvantage. Thus, prior knowledge is not in any way necessary for you to benefit from participating in my meditations.
This essay is available as podcast to listen to also. Click here to play podcast
However, if you do not have any experience with meditation, I would like to encourage you to refrain from trying to guess what meditation should look like, and likewise, refrain from building ideas about it.
If you construct an idea about what mediation is, then chances are that you simply make it more difficult for yourself to benefit from the meditations. Thus, we should not try to picture what meditation is. Simply, it is not anything you could imagine. So my recommendation is to enter meditation in a state of openness.
If you do have experience with meditation, it is not certain that the way, in which I guide meditations resembles the kind of meditation that you have previously practiced. If this is the case, then for the time being, just let go of your previous practice.
Not because there is something wrong with your meditation practice, only that right now and here, it is potentially not the same kind of mediation in which I guide you, and if you hold on to your practice as being the only one, then it will prevent you from benefiting from the insights that I share.
If you have experience with meditation, and the way in which I guide meditations is similar to your practice, then of course it is fine, but be careful not to become inattentive due to this circumstance as it will prevent you from seeing any differences in nuances.
Some people experience that they fall asleep while meditating. This does not mean that you are doing something wrong. It is just the way in which your body tells you that you are tired and that you need to rest.
Therefore, I recommend that you get your priorities in the right order if this happens. If you tend to fall asleep when meditating, then it is simply because you need to sleep. Make sure you get some sleep, and when you are rested, you can meditate.
Another tip I can give you is that you can sit up straight, without any back support. It should be a sitting position in which you do not collapse over yourself. This sitting position ‘forces’ you to become aware of your body, and you are therefore less likely to fall asleep.
So, what exactly is meditation?
To this question, there can be many answers. Let us for a moment ditch any ideas of what meditation should be, and let us instead look at the things that meditation is not.
Meditation is not concentration. Concentration is focusing via thinking on a given area or subject. It is narrow-minded. I am not saying that concentrating is wrong, I am just saying that meditation is not concentration. Concentration is like a firm grip, and meditation is much more like a soft embrace.
Meditation is not control. We humans tend to use unimaginable mental (and sometimes psychical) resources in our efforts to control everything. We often try to control things to a far greater extent than most people are aware of. The desire to be in control of everything actually results in a lot of the stress and restlessness which many people experience.
So to a much greater extent, meditation is the direct opposite of concentration and control. Meditation is the awareness with which you ‘let go’ and become open-minded. Meditation is an exploration of the silence behind your thoughts. An exploration of consciousness.
An exploration which will show you that what you are in your essence is the consciousness that you find ‘behind’ everything you sense and think, so to speak.
If what I am pointing to here does not make sense to you right now, do not worry. Instead I recommend that you remain confident and keep on practicing, and then you will reach a point of understanding it.
And if you remain silent, then the ‘something’ within you that sort of understands will come through, though not in the way that you are used to understanding, but rather, you will understand it on another level.
Humans are typically consumed by the world of their thoughts, and they identify with whatever their thoughts tell them. This is typically a chaotic world because the conceptual illusion which the thoughts create are in many ways, in conflict with reality. Meditation is a way out of this chaos, a way of a deeper understanding and realization.
Ultimately, meditation is not something we do, nor is it a state we are in. On the other hand, meditation is pure and unadulterated being. This is not a state, but rather just you rooted in what you are, in your essence.
In the beginning, you will only periodically experience this anchoring, but through your experiences and your realizations, you will gradually become better at resting in this, which is your innermost essence.
As a result, you will experience a shift in consciousness from being consumed by the universe of your thoughts, by the illusions of your thought, and you will instead become deeply anchored in your true essence.
This is a point of anchorage that will gradually expand, and you will soon notice that you, even in your daily chores, act and live through this essence, which is your quiet but very strong foundation.
Initially, it is a good thing to find a place where you meditate undisturbed, but be careful not to make outer silence a requirement for your meditation and reach in inner silence.
In the beginning, however, I recommend that you try to ensure external silence as it makes the meditation easier. But as the meditation deepens, you will find that you can actually meditate no matter where you are, even if you are around 10,000 people.
Meditation has nothing to do with outer silence, but it has everything to do with an inner silence, and inner silence is not dependent on outer silence.
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