Ayurvedic Thai Yoga Therapy


Why meditate?

Why Meditate

I initially thought myself to be the least likely candidate for meditation as i always seem to be moving in more than one direction at the same time ~ balance, right? Imagine an opportunity to sit still and take a break from the everyday race of time. Perhaps only 5 minutes, 15 minutes, half an hour, an hour. Very few of us allow ourselves such a gift to do absolutely nothing other than be. Looking inward provides a unique awareness to better understand the things that are important to us. How else can we know why we are here if we don't understand what here is?

"Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. "~
Jean Arp (1888-1966; French surrealist)

Rather than creating and perpetuating individual illusionary realities leading to further separation and alienation, why not begin by undoing and connecting to that which is universal in us all ~ the breath. While in meditation, we witness the qualities and transient nature of that which sustains all life. Rising, falling. Giving, taking. Growing, changing. How simple and profound, yet so challenging to keep our focus and mind concentrated. Single pointedness is the fine tuning of our mind as an instrument or tool for self awareness.

"Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.
~ Voltaire (1694-1778; poet)

The initial stages of meditation require a bit of work as the faculties of our attention and awareness are sharpened and strengthened. Meditation serves us better by developing the mind for insight into our basic nature and greater self rather than living as a slave to our memories, plans, or emotions. Training the mind and body to be still amongst the continued vibration of life and energy is an enduring challenge for many. Yet the subtle transformations begin to reveal themselves as a more conscious, deliberate, purposeful life unfolds.

"We could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment."
~ Alan Watts (1915-1973; writer, philosopher, autodidact)

Why do I think like this?
Why do I feel like this?

When in meditation, we become more aware of our own true nature and defilements as they manifest themselves both in the body and the mind. Throughout the course of our meditation experience, different aspects of ourselves are presented in diverse forms ~ irritation, elation, discomfort, vibrations, swinging thoughts, silent intervals, turbulent emotions and joy. Allowing ourselves to be swayed and controlled by our desire to maintain or eliminate a particular sensation or emotion only further perpetuates unconscious habits or even greater addictions. It is this subtle awareness of our tendencies toward craving and aversion which allows us to respond more objectively to ourselves and our environment rather than reacting. Equanimity is developed and the truth experientially realized by directly witnessing the inherent changing quality of all phenomenonal reality.

"The real glory of meditation lies not in any method but in its continual living experience of presence, in its bliss, clarity, peace, and most important of all, complete absence of grasping. The diminishing of grasping in yourself is a sign that you are becoming freer of yourself. And the more you experience this freedom, the clearer the sign that the ego and the hopes and fears that keep it alive are dissolving, and the closer you will come to the infinitely generous wisdom of egolessness. When you live in the wisdom home, you will no longer find a barrier between I and you, this and that, inside and outside; you'll have come, finally, to your true home, the state of non-duality."
~ Sogyal Rinpoche (Tibetan Buddhist writer & meditation master)

Anyone can meditate, in fact, most of us already do in some informal way, but haven't actually labeled it as such. Living consciously in the present moment whether sitting, walking, moving, or just breathing would seem the most obvious and practical mode if only we had the time or knew how. There are many teachers, methods and techniques available to assist in this process, although it has been my experience that the lessons to be learned are already contained within the self. Meditation provides a space to allow for the presence of our true self and the nature of reality without impinging thoughts, plans, memories, ego, or emotions. Look within for the answers that you seek and discover that which you knew all along, had you only asked the right questions.

buddha sunset

May we each find our light.