Stress reduction, health benefits, mental health management, and better sleep, are some of the reasons people are drawn to meditation.
I get the benefits but they are not why I meditate.
If I meditated solely for those reasons I would have stopped long ago.
For me, it’s not about meditation at all which is a strange thing to say for someone who meditates many times each day.
Many people approach meditation like going to the gym. They leave their life and enter this internal room where they go to calm their mind, for twenty minutes or so, and when they are done they return to their life. The benefits may carry over but there is a definite separation between their life and their meditation.
For me, there is no separation. Meditation is an intensification of a process I am engaged in all the time. It is not separate from my life at all and I suspect it is the same for you.
Let me ask you this.
Are you more conscious today than you were yesterday?
Are you more conscious today than you were last year?
I am confident you said, “Yes,” because, like me, your consciousness is growing all the time.
And . . .
the beautiful thing about growing consciousness is that when you become aware of it you want more of it.
The focus becomes, “How can I speed the process up?”
Quickly it becomes apparent that one of the main dynamics bogging down growth in consciousness is distraction.
We get caught up in the hundred and one things of life. We get to bedtime and realise we didn’t remember to do a fraction of the things we wanted to and where did the day go anyway?
Where was the growth in consciousness?
The momentum of distraction creates the feeling that we are not becoming more conscious at all. We can only see it in the rearview mirror of life and then only just about.
The momentum of distraction is like sitting in front of a big TV screen. The channel keeps changing but it doesn’t matter because we find everything interesting. Directly behind us, there is a second smaller TV but we can’t turn around and look at it.
We can see vague reflections of the little TV in the big TV screen in front of us but we can’t make it out. We know the little TV is always on and in the moments when the big screen goes quiet we can almost make out what is on the little TV screen.
The big TV is your mind.
Meditation is consciously turning off the big TV.
With the darkened screen and without the sound, it is much easier to see the reflection of the little TV screen.
What is on the little TV screen is security camera footage of you watching the big TV screen.
In the experience of seeing this, you get distance from it.
Now you are less identified with the flickering images on the big TV screen. You are conscious of yourself watching the big TV screen.
Once you know what is on the little TV screen it becomes much easier to make it out in the reflection on the big TV whether you are, “meditating,” or not.
Meditation is a heightening of a process that is going on all the time. It answers the question of how to speed up the process.
So for me, I meditate all day long and throughout that day-long meditation, there are times when I sit with my eyes closed and intensify my awareness of the process.