A Way to Meditate
During our normal waking lives we interact with the world through our five senses. Information about the world is continuously pouring in through our senses and we are continuously creating perceptions based on this information.
Light reflected from people and objects around us enters our eyes and it is from the reflected light that we create our visual perception of the world. Sound enters our ears via the movement of air which transmits this energy and we create our aural perception. Smell, taste and touch are also perceptions we create in our brains based on the information that enters through the sense organs of nose,tongue and skin.
Perception is the meaning we attach to the information we receive through our senses and have nothing to do with reality. Because of how we are designed to interact with the world we can do nothing else other than make up the world we live in our brains.
A Very Convincing Illusion
We project the world we create in our heads outwards from us on to the canvas of what is really there and we call this reality. We are completely convinced that everything we see, hear, touch, taste and smell are separate from us and we all share this elaborate illusion.
Our belief in the reality of what we perceive is so strong that it seems very real, so real in fact that anyone suggesting otherwise, like me would most likely be viewed as insane.
Meditation To Still the Monkey Mind
There are, however, people who are intuitively aware that something isn't quite right about the common world view and down through the ages people have shown us a way to cut through the illusion and experience the truth. The process is called meditation.
Meditation seeks to still the mind so that the continuous activity of perception ceases long enough to create a gap through which the truth can be experienced.
How to Meditate
The first step to meditate is to find a place to sit comfortably where you know you won't be disturbed for the length of your meditation and use this place preferably at the same time every day. It is not a requirement that you sit cross legged on the floor in the Yoga posture called The Lotus. You could choose to sit on a chair but with back straight so you don't fall asleep.
The next step would be to visit each part of your body starting with the scalp and ending with the toes checking that all parts are relaxed. This is a mental exercise requiring no movement, eyes closed, palms resting in your lap and feet flat on the floor. Just going from one body part to another has the effect of pulling you out of your head and into your body where you begin to relax.
Once you have done that the next step is to focus on one perception. When I first started to meditate I visualised the flame of a candle and I would hold that image in my inner gaze while at the same time being aware of the gentle movement of the air gently stroking the inside of my nose as it entered and left my nose.
At first, I could only do this for periods of no more than two or three minutes but like learning how to ride a bicycle I persisted and I eventually found myself meditating comfortably for up to an hour at a time. I set aside time every morning and every evening to meditate and now meditation is something I do regularly during my waking day because my life has become a meditation.
There is no substitute for just doing it!
Rather than listening to people tell you what you can or cannot get from meditation I recommend that just do it and experience it the way a child would experience anything new without judgement and in a state of wonderment.
I used a visual image and a body sensation to meditate but there is no reason why you couldn't use a combination of any or all your senses to focus the mind in the way I described.
You could use the image of Jesus, or Buddha, or even your own father or mother instead of the flame of a candle. You could focus on the sensation of the rise and fall of the chest as you breathe in and out. You could choose a sound and focus on that. A famous sound to focus on is the sound “So Ham”. I would imagine the sound “So” as the air entered my nose and “Ham” as it left or vice versa. You could say the name of God or a name you associate with love or simply the words “I am”. The choice is endless and the choice is yours.
Meditation is focusing the mind to such an extent that its normal activity of maintaining the illusion is suspended while you are wide awake. When you do this regularly something happens and that something makes you realise that all is not what it seems.
Enjoy the journey.
The 3 minute video below describes very beautifully the message I have attempted to convey with with this hub. I hope you to take the time to watch it.
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Wake Up through Meditation
Anthony De Mello Video
This video of Anthony De Mello speaking to a group of people explains in another way the illusion I describe in this hub . Meditation is a way of waking up from the illusion that prevents us from experiencing the truth and regaining our freedom.