What is true meditation?
Can the mind, that only knows what is known, reveal the unknown?
Is what we think of as truth, really truth, or is it a projection of the mind with it’s ideas, beliefs and experiences?
Are our minds made up of our conditioning? What we’ve been taught or what we’ve read or what we’ve listened to? Do we read about truth or listen to words that we accept as truth, but are merely other people’s ideas?
So, let’s talk about life as meditation. Most people have an idea of what meditation is and some have even tried it a few times. Lot’s of people, who have tried it, usually give it up because they feel like they’re doing it wrong. I would argue that MOST people, even the expert mediators, can learn a thing or two about meditation. I have learned through the years that there are many ways to meditate but only one True meditation.
I am, by no means, an expert on meditation, let me just get that out there right now. I do practice different forms of meditation on a regular basis and have had some pretty amazing experiences in meditation. This article is not going to be about my experiences, because that would be misleading. I would only be putting ideas & beliefs in your mind of what a meditation experience should be like and that would not be fair, because no two experiences are, or should be, the same. What I would prefer to do is reveal what true meditation, life as meditation, is and how it can reveal Truth.
I’ll start with what true meditation means. True meditation reveals a mind that is flexible, expanded and limitless, a self-revealing process. It breaks down our version of reality, clearing out false ideas and beliefs, helping us transition to a more “open mind”. True meditation shows us that every problem can be dissolved as it arises. Instantaneously, every challenge can be understood. Yes, we can meditate for peace, pray for things to change and practice all kinds of other meditations, looking for results, but that is not true meditation. True meditation is living life as meditation.
Okay, now we need to delve into time for a moment. Usually, in meditation, the biggest complaint is the mind won’t shut up. Most of the time it is our memories that keep running through our mind. Memory-thought is a product of time. Time, cannot reveal the Timeless. We will come to realize that the self, who we think we are, is merely, memory. From the time we are born we are forming ideas and beliefs of who we are through our experiences. It’s from the memory of these experiences that we form “self”. Some people talk about the higher self, this is just an idea, a product of the mind, which is time. Truth is not a matter of time. We convince ourselves that the higher self and the lower self are the truth, but this is merely our idea, something we have read about, something we think about, compare with our experiences, then think it’s real, but it is not Reality.
To know ourselves is to understand our memories, ideas and thoughts. There can be no “self” without thoughts and memories. So, we must understand our memories, not just the memories we acquired within the previous minute or yesterday, but also the memories that have been past down to us through the centuries. Memories that are the result of accumulated experience of time, all the influences of the past. Our memories are not just on the surface, they are also deep within the collective consciousness.
Can you imagine examining every memory, surface or deep, in detail? That would take a lot of time! Time, my dear friends, cannot reveal the Truth, because the Truth is timeless. So to use time would be useless. At this point we have figured out that thought is the result of memory and memory must be dissolved instantaneously. What? How can we do that?
Let’s try a little experiment. Try to quiet your mind. Right now, stop reading, close your eyes and try really hard to quiet your mind. What comes up? To do lists? Anxieties about the future? Thoughts about what else you should be doing? Do you see yourself? Are there a bundle of memories coming up which project themselves in the form of thought? Yes, even your “to do” lists are memories, things you’re trying to remember to do, your anxieties about the future are past memories being projected into the future. Your thoughts and your “self” are not separate, they are one. You recognize yourself through those memories of your experiences. You project these thoughts as truth, but they can never be Truth, nor reveal Truth to us. As long as memory functions there can only be time, and time is not Reality. It is only when we get beyond the mind, beyond memory that we can get beyond time to the Timeless and live life as meditation.
If you can truly grasp that the mind is a product of time, of memories, of ideas, you will see that to be free, the mind must see that it can never reveal Truth. Your mind, you, and the thoughts you project from your mind, will never reveal what is beyond time. It is only when you cease to think about truth, can you experience Truth.
We think of ourselves more as human doings than human beings, always striving to become something. The desire to “become” has been passed down to us from generation to generation. Our minds, continually trying to transform into the Truth or find the Truth. The mind cannot reveal the Truth, our thoughts are just a product of the memories that have been given to us as truth. Once we understand this, desire ceases and stillness comes without force and within that stillness is the Real. The unknown comes into being. It is Creativeness and has no desire for results. We carry with us an inner stillness that allows us to live a life of meditation.
When we see things as they are, then our desire to get caught up in them vanishes. The mind is a product of time, all thought is a product of time, every human problem is a product of time. In true meditation, time and thought stop, revealing that every problem can be solved, not in time, but NOW! For Reality has no problems! We create our own problems and to know this, is the way to solve them.
All our human problems are the result of memory, experience and time. None of these things can solve them, because…
Problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them.
When we cease our memories, all problems are solved, NOW, at once. They do not exist in the Timeless; they only exist in time and time only exist in the mind where the problems exist. All human problems dissolve away in Love and Wisdom.
I know that you may be having a hard time with this. We, humans, are so embedded in time, in what we see, hear, taste, touch, smell that it’s hard to understand the Timeless. We are so indoctrinated into what we think is real, we are missing out on what Reality, really is. To truly understand true meditation, is to go beyond the senses, the mind and our version of reality. It’s almost like remembering who we really are. It’s getting rid of the notion that everything is solid and secure. When we see our thoughts, memories, ideas and beliefs as something that has been made up in the mind, we can finally let go and free ourselves from the illusion.
I would like you take a look at your everyday life. When your sitting in traffic, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, when you become stressed, depressed or anxious, stop thinking! Start examining those thoughts, ideas, beliefs and memories when they come to mind, see where they come from, how did they form? Then, remind yourself these are not Real, this is not the Truth, this is not Creativity! As soon as you, the mind, understands this, everything you do becomes meditation. As soon as the mind, you, realizes that you cannot solve your problems by continually thinking about them, you will realize that the only Real way to solve problems is in the silence, in the Timeless, in the NOW!
We can have peace, we can have love, we can have whatever we want. But, when we seek these things in desperation, they will not be revealed. When we are constantly fighting for what we don’t want or thinking our way of life is the better way or thinking that our experiences are more valid than other people’s experiences, we will not solve our problems. It is in the stillness, it is in the not striving that Truth is revealed and Creativity is exposed.
I hear so many “spiritual” people talk about trusting their higher self or Allah or God or the Universe, but I rarely see it. I rarely see people putting total trust into the belief they claim to trust. People getting outraged because their beliefs are being challenged, when they don’t even live by them, themselves. In true meditation, there is no time, memory, experience, ideas or beliefs. There is only NOW, the Timeless, Creativity and Truth. This is where God lives, there are no problems, only Reality, where we live our life as meditation.