If someone were to offer me 300 million dollars to stop meditating for a year–I wouldn’t.
I wouldn’t even think twice about it; I would just say, “not happening.” Now, I can’t say that about a lot of other things.
There are a lot of things that I would stop doing for a year for that price. Meditation is a practice I truly adore; I think it is the single greatest tool on the planet for a happy and resilient mind.
I was talking to another long term meditator, and he said, “when a long term meditator walks by you it’s like a dove whoosh!” I started laughing and said, “that’s about right.” If you do authentic, exceptionally long meditation, you get to develop one of the most beautiful feelings of all.
The ability to detach from extremely powerful emotions, which lead us astray, this feeling is immensely gratifying.
They say, a baby is real, its mind is not blocked.
Here are three principles on meditation for happiness:
1. No occupy, no block.
From this observation, they came up with a teaching when meditating called “No block, no occupy.”
A thought, emotion, any kind of feeling you have is going to block you. So if you fixate on an emotion, you are occupying your mind, therefore blocking it.
2. No self, no opponent.
The biggest opponent is always to recognize the self and be able to separate from it.This will lead you to a pure happy mind.
These two principles can have a massive impact on your practice, and both of them are several thousand year old principles.
3. Focusing on the stomach region.
Another vital component I see for happiness and meditation is nailing your focus on breathing from the stomach. This is hard because your mind tends to stay focused in your brain region. In Taoist and Traditional Chinese medical theory, the energy that drives your body “Qi” goes to the brain as you age and began to “think.”
It’s believed that excessive ruminative thinking burns up and exhausts your life energy; some Taoist monks will appear “stupid” later in their life. It’s believed that they are trying to control the amount of energy they are burning up so they can achieve a longer life span.
Taoist were like scientists, they recognized that the umbilical cord connects to the mother in birth. They made several observations and developed the technique of meditating from the stomach. Then, they brought their attention to the central channel or chest area and also throughout the entire body.
In Tummo meditation, you see Buddhist monks meditating from the central channel or chest area. Dr. Herbert Benson, from Harvard Medical School, witnessed Tummo meditators and their ability to heat their bodies up to 17 degrees Fahrenheit. In Taoist culture, it’s believed they use this central channel for martial arts. Both would point to one thing—self-preservation of the species.
So I suggest, as hard as it is, try to focus on your stomach region. It’s no accident that scientist are revealing more and more information about a second brain in the abdomen and the positive emotions that are associated with it.
Meditation is not easy. If you want authentic happiness from meditation, it takes consistent training. I’m all for people doing five to ten minutes a day of meditation, I think it’s a wonderful thing; but, the real diamond comes from putting the effort in to develop and cultivate the positive qualities of mind that the practice can bring you.
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Ed: Sara Crolick