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Meditation always conjures up pictures of people, sitting peacefully, chanting om, with smiling faces, or new age mediations on visualisations with gardens and butterflies and your happy place or manifestation methods.
I was taught that meditation was a means to access the truth of you are. It is simple and takes you outside the realm of thought and imagination manipulated by the mind and into another realm, one that is deeply personal to you and then totally impersonal as you gain unity consciousness. Meditation was a life changing tool, it was uncomplicated in its essence and available to everyone at any time. However, the journey to understanding this was not as easy as reading about it.
I remember learning to meditate. I first started by myself in my lounge room once my baby had gone to sleep. I could not quieten my mind for more than a millisecond, I wriggled around, itched, everything became louder and seemed to draw me out of where I was supposed to be.
I remember after a few failed attempts that I decided I couldn't do it, I was just one of those people who didn't have the stillness place that I had read about.
But later after stumbling across a book that lead me to my teacher, (more information on my website, www.ateacherofbeing.com under my journey) I went to a meditation class that he was running. It went for 4 weeks. It wasn't easy to coordinate as I lived nearly 2 hours away and had to engage friends to look after my baby but something told me strongly to go.
I can remember the moment I heard the information on meditation that changed my understanding.
He was talking about the different methods of meditation, the history etc and the problems people encounter. How we always want a different experience to the one we are having. Its not peaceful enough, last week I had visions, why can't I have them again, my back hurts, this is boring, my mind is too busy, I want what she's got, she looks more peaceful than me...it goes on, you get the idea.
It was then that he said, "you can only have the meditation you are having."
Sounds like the "der facter" as we call it in our house, something so simple yet it had a profound effect on me. That statement took me to an understanding of how resistance and non acceptance creep in everywhere. Of course you can only have the experience you are having, because its what you are having!!
Use it, he said, what ever is happening as a tool to learn more about yourself. Watch your mind, don't attach to what it is saying, just listen to it. Take the 'personal' out it. Use it to see what is going on for you in that moment. IF your mind won't be still, see what is doing, isn't it better to know?
That changed my meditation experience completely. Instead of frustration, I would now be eager to sit and see what was happening in my mind. It was a constant surprise and often not a pleasant one. The more I watched my mind, the more it revealed to me. I began to see it was an endless parade of noise, thoughts, judgements, past scenarios, shopping list and to do lists, worry, defence etc. I started to learn how dysfunctional I really was!! Now that may not sound like a good thing to many people but for me, I didn't want to be dysfunctional. " I " couldn't believe some of the thoughts that were under that noise, the self hate, the hate of others etc. Did this go on all the time? Well, I discovered it did, most of the time to varying degrees. It was there, dictating to me how I responded, what I did, said and felt.
This discovery further changed me. I began then to apply other tools to help myself. ( I will talk about those on anther post as this is more about meditation, also see the page on www.ateacherofbeing.com under self enquiry)
Meditation became something I eagerly and regularly did. Morning and evening, it was a time for peace. I started to notice though, that the peace didn't flow throughout the rest of my day. It was not as easy to get lost in the world but I still was easily upset.
So I took some of the meditation tools and started to use them throughout the day and it was then that I struck what I thought was undiscovered spiritual gold!! If I used the tools in my regular life, my expereince changed dramatically.
These tools were,
watching the breath
Removing my attention from my mind,
Focusing solely on what I doing
chanting an uplifting chant
feeling the energy in my feet or hands
Paying attention to whatever was happening within my body, emotions, aches, pains and just being with them, seeing what they did. They usually just dissolved once I placed awareness on them.
None of these tools made me less effecient, infact, I became much more efficient. I became centred, peaceful, able to do more, I had more energy, a better sense of humor, I was able to laugh at "myself" more, nicer, calmer and even when things didn't go according to "plan", I was far more equipped to deal with what needed to be done.
These are just a few of the regular methods of meditation that I brought into my awareness in each moment.
It became a permanent state of waking meditation, varying in depth and degree but the awareness tended to be there more often than not.
So what I gained from that is if you are wanting to be free from your mind, meditation is a fantastic tool to use but not to only use it as an escape from your "life". Use it to educate yourself about who and what you really are at all times of your life. Bring in the art of consciousness to all you do and you will discover a whole new experience of life. The journey is so incredible that you forget about the destination and just be...and there in lies the answer!
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