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Meditation is something that is greatly misunderstood in our society nowadays. It is considered to be a tool for certain purposes or goals such as relaxation, reducing anxiety or stress, feeling recharged, fresh and so on. We use meditation as a means to an end. We categorized it as another thing to do. And there is nothing inherently bad about using meditation as an instrument for a certain achievement, but we are missing the broader perspective on what this kind of practice has to offer . We overlook the potential it has to transform our lives and offer us insight into different perspectives which are closer to truth of how reality really functions than our current, distorted projections.
Even more, it brings us closer to the truth of ourselves because meditation is fundamentally a practice of peeling off layers of illusory states we live in. So instead of considering meditation as a tool for reaching something – even self realization – we should rather give up on the idea that we should use it for achieving really anything and rather consider it to be a process of gradual disintegration of self. Because what we came to know as a self is essentially our ego enclosed within our skin. So in other words, we are peeling the layers of our ego and with it all the illusory perspectives we projected upon the universe. Most efficient meditators are those who do not label meditation as a form of doing and do not try to gain something from it. There is nothing really to be gained because that would mean you are adding something to yourself, improving yourself.
Meditation is not about self improvement. It is about self realization, but only when you do not think of it in terms of achieving self realization because truth is to be reconciled through your recognition of it, not through achieving and striving. The real truth is something that is already stored within and without, it is only up to us to discover it. Discovery of some kind of new animal doesn’t mean that animal didn’t exist before, so really it isn’t even a new kind of animal because it has been around for some time, its just that we weren’t aware of it.
Same goes for self realization. It is not to be reached, it is to be found. One of the biggest misconceptions is that the truth of who we really are is buried deep down beneath layers and layers of social conditioning, and so it is hard to find. But on the contrary – the truth is staring us right in the face all the time, waiting to be discovered. What’s more, the truth of your own nature is THE simplest thing you can discover, but to be simple is one of the hardest things, isn’t it? Because the most simplistic state is an effortless state of being which is devoid of all doing, but we are used to doing too much and so it is difficult for us to see things clearly.
You can try to do nothing for a moment and what you will find out is that you are striving not to do. There is still a sense of effort involved which also implies that there is a desire not to do. Pure state of being can only be touched by letting all our emotions, bodily sensations, mental imagery, commentary, and perceptions of the external continue by their own without our interference. You are there as an observer who is witnessing this happening. Not mentally searching for anything, not striving towards anything. Simply being. That is one of the most fundamental practices of meditation and it is used to help us detach from our thinking mind, our ego.
Only by being truly present – by simply being, can we come to a better understanding of how our minds function. What we find soon enough when we have committed ourselves to this practice of meditation is what an awful mess filled with randomness our mind really is. How unnecessarily overactive it is. We think that we are quite sane, but if you could actually listen to an audible recording of your inner dialogue for just a few hours it would be clear that it is not so. And our minds are dysfunctional because we confused words, which are just representations of reality, with reality itself.
There is no success except in the mind. There is no judgement except in the mind.
There is no expectation except in the mind. Likewise, there is no self, except in the mind.
You cannot actually find these things, you cannot drink them, touch them, feel them. Simply because they are concepts. But then you say
“Yes, but I can really feel this sense of I, because I know I exist”
But this sense of I is curious because of the fact that there is an all pervasive feeling of discomfort and unease about oneself constantly running in the background. There is a feeling that I am somehow and in some way not enough. A deep yearning for freedom and experiencing something greater than oneself is present in every human. And these two things are really the same because to truly be free one indeed has to experience something greater than oneself. That experience is the self-realization. So we can begin to see that finding out who you are has nothing to do with yourself, and it has everything to do with something greater than yourself. Therein lies the recognition that you are both the inside and the outside because really there is no true separation. We are dependent on the outside just as the outside is dependent on us. We could not exist without the outside because outside implies experience in a form of existence.
We are not capable of conceiving life without needing the outside, the background, because we are not capable of truly conceiving non-experience. And in the same way that we need the outside, outside also needs us. Because if there weren’t a form of life which is an observing one, universe would really have no meaning. Nobody would be there to watch the universe and be enchanted by its stars at night and the sun at day. So feeling and knowing internally that the separation is false because the inside and the outside are mutually interdependent – represents the realization of your true nature. So you stop seeing yourself as limited and bounded by your body. And it is important to point out that it has nothing to do with your rational mind because self realization is purely experiential. So it is of the highest importance that we observe the mind, it is the only way we can disidentify from it. And we certainly shouldn’t try to stop our thinking purposefully because we would engage in a battle which we cannot win.
You cannot fight a thought with a thought, non-existential with non-existential.
But if we take the time to meditate and observe our thinking, our mind will gradually become more silent by itself because there will be no conscious or subconscious investment in thought. Only then can we start to use our minds appropriately. Meditation doesn’t necessarily imply sitting meditation. It is in broader sense, a way of life. Practicing being present in every moment by not labeling and not judging what is happening on the outside, because you are the outside. So when you push against the outside, you inevitably push against yourself on some level.
Don’t make it hard on yourself, simplify by holding your attention on the now. Meditation is holding space for the now, being the now. A deeper dimension in you already knows all this, you just have to let it shine forth by getting out of the way.
Getting out of your own way.