Ah, the “M” word. You know the one. The thing you think you’re supposed to have in your life so you can turn into a spiritually successful person basically immediately. However, the reality of meditation is much different. They are still a lot of people today that struggle with incorporating meditation into their daily lives. The most common excuse that shows up when I ask my students how their meditation practice is going is: “I just can’t seem to calm my mind.” The second most popular excuse is “I don’t think I’m cut out for it.”
So for them and anyone else that’s interested I’d like to demystify meditation once and for all.
The first thing we need to understand is…. What is meditation exactly?
It depends on who you ask.
This type of meditation is one that seeks experience. Experience is when the knowledge you have about something becomes a truth you know with your whole body. Why? Because you’ve felt it. You’ve experienced it. Love is the perfect example for this. We can learn a lot about love from reading books or watching movies, etc but when you feel it for yourself, that is when love becomes an experience. This meditation requires some research. We need to have information beforehand that we bring into the meditation so it can become an experience. There must be a topic or a subject that I want to understand deeper. For example, I can set an intention for myself and say “I want to experience the love that I am”. For me personally, the best approach to this meditation is a conversation. A one-on-one. A heart to heart between “I”, the human being, the personality, the ego, the story of experiences, the sack of matter, the body and “i”, the soul, the unlimited, the eternal energy, the love, the bliss, the peace, the beauty. It’s a moment where I sit to discover my true self. My true form. My true vibration. I speak to the other “i” in that space as if I was speaking with a great sage and listen intently to any wisdom it wishes to share with me. I have no fear or shame to ask any questions to this sage because I am here to cultivate a relationship. I am here to learn about this being which happens to be me. If my intention is to experience the love that I am, then one of the first questions I’d ask the sage is “What is love?” and wait until I can feel a response come through. The one thing you need for this meditation to be successful is silence and vulnerability. We need to be willing to shed anything that’s false in the light of our true selves.
2. The gifting Meditation
Have you ever heard the saying “everything you’re looking for you can find it within”? These words have never been truer. But how do we find what we seek within? The answer: Meditation. There are two ways to do this. The first is through the expression of gratitude. Too often we take too much for granted. We forget to be thankful for all the blessings we have in our lives. Practicing the art of gratitude can allow you to connect to a source of unlimited blessings. If only we have the eyes to see it and the heart to feel it. There was once a homeless man in Brazil. To the average passerby, he was nothing but an old, dirty man until one day he handed someone a poem he had written. It was a poem of gratitude. In the poem, he thanked the grass for allowing him to lie down, he thanked the sun for offering him warmth and the stars for giving him light and company in the night. He thanked his bones, his muscles, his thoughts, his heart, the animals, the trees, strangers, basically anything and everything he had been in contact with he thanked. Even though he seemingly had nothing, his soul knew how rich he really was. And so are you. You just need to remember it. Gratitude is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
The second method is to focus on others. Bring someone’s face to the center of your mind. Someone you love, someone that needs help or healing or maybe even a stranger and offer them a blessing. Say a kind word. Wish something good for them. Watch how their face changes as you share your kindness with them. This ‘imaginary’ conversation and sharing is actually life-changing. Your energy is being sent to this person and every good wish of yours for them earns them credit in the karmic account. This is a kind of service you can do at any moment. The greatest part about this is that you can actually give someone something you feel like you do not have. For example, say you wish you could feel more peace in your life. Think of someone who could also use it, close your eyes and bring their face to your mind and just sustain the thought of gifting them the energy of peace. The more you give, the more you fill yourself with it. Because we are an endless source. But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself and see.
This is probably the most practical yet deep meditation you could ever do. In my experience, one of the real benefits of meditation is to become aware of our thoughts, to be able to observe ourselves and learn from our actions. It’s like becoming two people again. Only this time, one is doing while the other is watching the one that’s doing. without any judgement or criticism or input, we just observe. What do we observe? Ideally, we start with our thoughts. They’re our first action. When we’re sitting in our cars on our way to work, what are we thinking? Did you know that the human being has an average of 60,000 thoughts per day? And of those thoughts, 80% are negative and 95% are the same that we had yesterday. What does this tell us? That we’re all practically living like zombies. In repetitive cycles because of our thought patterns. The good news? If we can observe what we think, then there’s room for newness. For creativity. For growth. But the most important thing is having that awareness. How do I cultivate awareness? By paying attention and taking a step back. Having you ever seen two people argue right in front of you? If you have, then from your point of view as the observer, you have a vantage point. You can see the situation clearly from both sides and even beyond. Now imagine you are the one in the argument, this meditation practice invites to separate yourself from your physical and observe yourself as if you were a third party in the situation. We can do this at any given moment. When we’re walking or cooking or in a meeting or gossiping with friends. The idea is to bring our awareness inwards, observe what I’m doing, observe the thoughts behind the actions, with deep practice I can even observe the beliefs behind the thoughts guiding my actions and ultimately, I can re-center myself based on the consciousness I have chosen to live from. It’s a wonderful mental “reset” button.
The truth is, no one knows yet just how powerful meditation is. Because you can only know something according to the depth of the practice you’ve been able to reach in yourself. And we are all still experimenting with meditation. Meditation is a living, breathing thing. Like language, it will constantly grow and evolve and so will we with it. There is no such thing as a fixed meditation practice or a particular style that can guarantee you results. The only way to achieve results is through practice. Through discipline. Through doing the work. Getting up every day and choosing to be conscious. To observe your thoughts, to visualize your dreams, to go deeper in the experience of love or peace. Every single human being has a unique perspective to share when it comes to meditation and we each need to find what works for us. What allows us to connect seamlessly with the infinite wisdom and divinity within us. You already know what you want and what you need. You just need to remember. The most important thing we need to remember is that meditation can be whatever we choose it to be, so we need to choose wisely. We can have a healthy daily practice, it can be something we look forward to doing if we allow ourselves to create a relationship with it outside of other people’s experiences or opinions. No one can know the truth or the depth of you as well as you. The ‘you’ that meditation will show you. Find what works for you and continue to explore what it means to be ‘you’.