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Meditation for the Real World

Chapter 1

Silence is the final destination of any meditation practice. Many of us are surrounded by an infinite number of distractions and have started meditating but have been unable to continue it. We have normally felt much better for having done it but just cannot find the time to progress past the first 5 minutes of silence.

Some people have spent hundreds of dollars on meditation books to achieve the seemingly simple task of silence. Others have attempted to meditate for years and have stopped, fearing they will never reach enlightenment. We have all missed the point.

Meditation is a wonderful experience. It is not necessary to spend money or years to achieve silence. It does require us to change some very simple aspects of our lives. The notions of change and control. The notion of change is very difficult for us.

Personal Anecdote.

My brother has wanted a new couch for years to replace the torn up discoloured one that he uses to watch TV. After months of deliberation my mom finally bought him one that is almost virtually the same and probably more comfortable. Even though he wanted one now he picks out minute imperfections about how unsuitable it is compared to the old one.

This fear of change is integral to our resistance to take up or continue with our meditation practice. So we tend to find all sorts of reasons not to continue meditating. Wanting to change our lives is an important first step to successful meditation. But first we have to embrace change. Step by step we can diminish the barrier and start meditating more regularly and for longer periods. We should not radically change our lives by trying to spend hours sitting, or giving up things we like doing. After all we all have lives to lead, jobs to do.

Change Slowly

Don't rush through the procedure. Its better to do the basics until they feel comfortable and then increase the in and out breaths or lengthen and shorten them.

Meditation will change our lives. It will allow us to lead a life of serenity and satisfaction without having to constantly compete in society. Our calmness and awareness will allow us to achieve goals we never thought possible. Yet we have to allow some things in life to take their course.

This gets us to the second point and that is control. The silence and tranquillity of mediation involves reducing our constant control over our awareness. Through meditation we will develop a path towards silence. Our normal awareness constantly analyses every movement, decision or event in our lives, making contingency plans for events that may never occur.

A developed awareness will just be. It will enjoy every in breath and out breath. We will finally come to terms with the fact that in this vastly interconnected world we are not often completely in control of the path our lives takes. Yet our heightened awareness will allow us to chart a better path for our future.

It may seem strange at first but it is an important part of being able to meditate.  We should try to stop controlling every aspect of our life. Unfortunately some books tell us to wake up at exactly the same time and have rigid meditation routines. Maybe one day we can all sit for 3 or 4 hours on a mountain enjoying the tranquillity of our breath at 6 am.

For now rigid routines only bring in the negative societal aspects that has confused us and hinders the progress of meditation. We should meditate every day but increase it gradually and concentrate on counting the breaths. Attempting complicated visualisation and affirmations just confuse us and remind us of learning our multiplication tables in school.

Keep it Simple

For this week think about the issues of control and change otherwise we are all like the child who wants everything right and cries when things do not seem to be just right

(c)Copyright 2001 Pleasuredrome