Last week I mentioned that I am going to write about some basic tips for establishing a meditation practice. However before we go into the practicalities of meditation, the first question that we need to ask is: “What is meditation?”
One classical definition that comes from the ancient Indian tradition is: “Meditation is an uninterrupted flow of awareness towards an object.” Okay, if I understand this correctly, it means that I can pretty much meditate on anything. Hmmm, then methinks I will meditate on this perfect café latte that I am just about to drink. But on a slightly more serious note the next question that begs to be asked is: “What is the ‘object’ of meditation?” And here I think we come to the crux of the matter; the object of meditation—what we meditate on. But before I try and attempt to unravel this mystery another question that perhaps to me is even more pertinent is: “Why do I want to meditate?” I can’t see any point to committing time and energy towards something if I am not clear about the reasons why I want to do it.
So, the primary step for me in establishing my meditation practice was to understand why I wanted to meditate in the first place. My enquiry led me to discover that people meditate to relieve stress and calm the mind, connect more with their creative energies, and so on. However as I continued to explore meditation, what intrigued me most of all was the concept of awareness itself. I found that through meditation I could get in touch with a state or presence of awareness inside me filled with peace and tranquillity and that is unaffected by the turbulence of my mind, emotions and sensory activity. For me, this is something I wanted very much to experience, so now I knew why I wanted to meditate and, at the same time, I understood what the object of meditation is—the state of inner awareness.
There are many great tips on how to setup a meditation practice and experience deep meditation and I will look at some of these further down the road, however addressing the three questions that I have just mentioned has been fundamental for me in establishing a strong and very rewarding meditation practice.
Coming back to the definition of meditation I mentioned earlier, I can understand it now as: “An uninterrupted flow of awareness towards awareness.” To be continued...