Musings from the Mat: Meditation or Mind Games
Updated: Sep 2, 2020
There is a story about Buddha and his disciples. One day, they were meditating in a quiet garden when one of the disciples, deep in a meditative state, began to levitate. Feeling his body lifting itself up from the ground, he became very excited, and very proud of his accomplishment. He stirred himself from his meditation and felt himself back on the ground. He stood up and walked over to Buddha. "I have mastered levitation," the disciple announced. "That's nice," Buddha responded, "but don't let it distract you from your meditation."
So, is meditation really important? To put it simply, YES. However, I’m going to ask you to lose the word meditation and replace it with…sit and relax. Trying to meditate sets up a struggle in the mind. It’s just like trying to go to sleep. Trying to go to sleep prevents sleep. You cannot make yourself go to sleep, it just magically happens. Meditation is a gift, just like sleep. And if you just so happen to fall asleep during “meditation”, it just means you’re tired! Relax.
The ability to quiet, calm and center oneself is important. But many of you have complained that it is "impossible" for you to shut off your brain, be still and relax. Let’s face it, that’s the brain’s job….to think. So let’s forget about trying to silent the mind.
Instead, I want you to consider WHY you are meditating. What is the reason for your meditation? All too frequently, you have been told by the social power structure that they have the solution; that solution is meditation which leads to enlightenment. However, the solutions create the problems that don’t exist. For example, searching for God/Goddess (or whatever you choose to call this extreme intelligence that prevails all of life) presumes it doesn’t exist. Looking for health, assumes you are sick. Wanting to find enlightenment assumes you are not the perfect expression of the divine, nurturing source of life.
Your practice (body poses, breathing or meditation) can be tainted by the way you think it should be. I often say “Do your sadhana. Do what you CAN do” (both poses and breathing). When you do YOUR yoga, the gift is meditation! Samadhi or “bliss” is NOT the point. You are ALREADY there….trying to get somewhere as if you are not already somewhere. It doesn’t matter if something happened or nothing happened. Life IS still happening. You are a walking wonder. You are already wonder-FULL.
There is nothing to attain. There is no such thing as enlightenment, only Life in you as you. No need to realize God, or Divine Consciousness, when God has realized you. It is the search that is the problem. Looking for something presumes its absence. As long as we strive for a higher reality, the looking implies you are a lower reality. We are not here to realize God. God is realized as you. We just need to let the mind realize it!
A master thief waited his whole life to acquire the most beautiful diamond in the world. He spent 3 days trying to steal the rare jewel from its owner. In exasperation, he finally walked right up to the owner and asked, “How did you hide the precious jewel from me?” The owner replied, “I placed it where I knew you would never look – in your own pocket.” As long as you are searching for it, it cannot be found.
We’d rather go on a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat to the mountainside then participate in our own breath. Just inhale…then exhale. Sit, relax and breeeeeeeathe.
Just move through your practice and use the breath to stay completely aware, moment to moment. Find the stillness between your yoga poses. Find the pauses between your breaths. Find the space between your thoughts. Settle into the silence within the noise. To really understand this, you have to do your practice and keep doing it! Stop looking, start living. It’s a huge paradox. There is nothing to be done. You are already complete. This is not a process, it’s an understanding.
U.G. Krishnamurti once said: “You don’t have a hope in hell of getting enlightened!” What a relief no longer having to seek; now you ARE enlightened!
“Meditate on your own Self. Worship your Self. Respect your Self.
God dwells within you as you.”
– Swami Muktananda