Meditation seems to be a trendy thing at the moment. Just Google “meditation” and you'll find thousands of videos guiding you through meditations that can supposedly help you achieve greater intuition, manifest your soul mate and even have straighter teeth!
While some of the claims and methods may be a little odd we can agree that lots of people are interested in meditation and there is a huge amount of content out there if you want to learn.
Why is this so?
Well, obviously people feel that meditation is a good thing. That it might improve their quality and experience of life somehow. Otherwise why the hell would anyone be doing it?
Also, many people tend to believe that if EVERYONE meditated the world would be a better place and many of our health and social problems would improve. So, lots of people are creating content and encouraging others to begin meditating.
In my opinion, there are two primary reasons people are meditating.
1. For temporary relief from the stresses of life. A chance to relax for a while.
2. For growth and spiritual or personal development. To understand the nature of themselves and reality itself.
Personally, I recommend a combined focus.
Meditation is a little bit like using anti-virus software. It can help you identify the problems with your current programming
Meditation done right is a powerful tool and something I have been doing myself for around a decade now. However in my opinion meditation is only half of the solution. It practices mindfulness and creates temporary relief from stress, but unless the core issues are dealt with and your view of life changes any benefits will be lost in time and stressful patterns will repeat themselves. To be truly effective meditation needs to be coupled with deep reflection and education.
Meditation is a little bit like using anti-virus software. It can help you identify the problems with your current programming. But you still need to remove the problematic programs or viruses and update your current software for everything to run smoothly. In other words through the practice of mindfulness you become aware of your underlying concerns and issues, but you may not be able to overcome them immediately. You may still need further lessons in wisdom before you can see things clearly. This can sometimes happen through meditation itself, but often requires focused attention and the help of others or outside resources
Meditation for the modern human
- Sit quietly and practice your preferred style of meditation.
- Allow your minds attention to become more focused on you internal and external environment.
- Become a focussed observer of the thoughts, sounds, sensations that arise in your experience.
- Practice acceptance of whatever comes up both internally and externally.
- Take note of which things are bothering you during the meditation both internally and externally.
Then after the mediation reflect on your experience.
What was bothering you?
What felt uncomfortable for you?
Was your mind playing movies and chattering about a certain topic or incidences?
Is that a common concern for you?
If so why?
Was your resistance warranted? Think long and hard about this one!
I would suggest either making notes in a journal or better still discussing your issue with one or more people and hearing their thoughts. This is especially powerful when done with a group of wise individuals. Then not only will you gain temporary relief from meditation but lasting peace of mind as your perception of reality becomes clearer as you learn from contemplation and the help of others.