posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 06:58 PM
I did a meditation tips thread not long ago, but didn't feel it was enough. So I then decided to take the 12 things I hold in mind that help me with
meditation and write about each one. It's not in depth, but in the future I might expand on it. After this though I'm done for the time being! Hope
it helps a few people anyway.
So the 12 are : Egolessness, Equanimity, Non-Duality, Effort, Awareness, Body, Feelings, Mind, Unattachment, Metta, Serenity, Concentration.
- Egolessness -
Meditating on egolessness, or at least a lack of ego to start with, can help break down a lot of illusions about who we are. It can help us realise
that what we think of as ours, our personalities and so on, are often not so fixed at all. That in fact many of the aspects that make up our “ego”
are often just habits, likes and dislikes, and that as we change a lot of those parts change too, and no longer act as obstacles stopping us from
being who we can be.
It’s not easy to understand at first, but after some time meditating it becomes clear that our ego can often cause all types of problems in our
lives, even to the point where it can often stop us from meditating altogether. The worst part is when it tells us that we’re ok to leave it for
now, we’ll do it a bit later, then that repeats until we’ve spent so long doing other things that we don’t feel like we’ve got the energy to
meditate properly. So it’s put off until the next day, then it starts up again and the cycle repeats. But as time passes it becomes clear that what
we thought of as our ego is often something we need to move past in a big way, and with more meditation it becomes a lot easier to work out how to do
- Equanimity -
Equanimity helps us remain calm and stable in the face of all types of situations that would normally have thrown us out of balance. By having this we
don’t get wound up so easily, we don’t fear things so much, we kind of remove our awareness from our old way of reacting to things, and with the
calmness and stability a deeper concentration is developed that makes us better people to those around us and also to ourselves. We don’t have to
waste so much energy on stress because things don’t get to us like they used to, and often we can wonder in this state what all the fuss was about
in the first place. It’s a great way of detaching from our often conditioned set of reactions, so that we can experience things more fully.
People often think that being detached in this way would leave you a cold and robotic, unfeeling type of person, but the opposite is the case when
it’s done properly. This is because we’re not spending so much energy reacting in habitual ways, and are instead calmer and more focused, so our
awareness and experience of things is actually a lot more enhanced, and we’re then able to understand the nature of ourselves, others, and reality,
on a more truthful level.
- Non-Duality -
Meditating on the illusion of duality helps to overcome many of the problems most of us currently have. The idea that we’re separate from our
surroundings, from eachother, and so on. One way of seeing through this is to realise that nothing can exist on its own. Every one of us depends on
several factors to survive, and every “thing” also depends on several factors to be brought into what we call existence. So in reality nothing is
truly separate, everything that we know of only exists relative to other beings or things, and the idea that things are dual in nature is based on
various delusions, or mis-perceptions that we hold in our minds for various reasons.
This idea can be researched into much further via Buddhism, Taoism, and several other teachings from around the world. Personally I’ve approached
this from Buddhism and Taoism, and would suggest Taoism for easier methods to begin with, or finding mindsets easier to grasp at first, then Buddhism
if you want to go into more detail. (and Buddhist ideas here can go into a ‘lot’ of detail in several ways.)
- Effort -
Effort, especially when it comes to meditating, can be a strange thing. One way of showing this easily is if you try meditating for a while, then have
a think about how long you can meditate for. Then think of something you often spend quite a bit of time on. One example could be playing computer
games for instance. Often you can meditate for 10, 20, or even 30 minutes if you’re doing well, but if you’re a gamer, have think about how long
you can be playing an addictive game. You can be there for hours! Then have a short break and spend more hours at it again. But you don’t get so
wound up, it’s not that hard, your attention is fixed on the game properly, and so on. If you’re not a gamer just think of whatever else you can
spend hours doing, then realise that you can do it with meditation too, if you take breaks inbetween of course. Know that you do have effort and that
you show that regularly, but it’s often just mis-directed.
So the problem with effort can be deceptive, and can come down to simple things like fear of the raised awareness from meditating, anxiety when sat
with just yourself for so long, being without an outer attachment when meditating, and so on. So the ability is there, you just need to be patient
with yourself, and if you can be consistent enough and meditate regularly, you can go back to thinking of it like exercise. Maybe when you jog at
first you can only last 5 minutes before you’re struggling for breath and out of it, but with practise you can run for a lot longer.
So being aware of restlessness, anxiety, fear, being with yourself and no other habit while sitting, and facing those problems one step at a time,
with each meditation, can help solve issues here. And try to remember not to be too slack, but equally not to push yourself too much. Don’t freak
yourself out by sitting too long too quickly. Take it gradually, at the pace that you think and feel is right for you, and the correct amount of
effort will hopefully come naturally over time.