I started meditating again recently.
There’s no easy way to hack meditation. It’s just sitting, breathing, and being with your body—that’s it.
If there is any kind of technique to meditation, it would be something along the lines of “no-technique.” In my experience, when we try to devise some kind of strategy for meditation, we typically just end up thinking about that strategy and using it to move away from the fundamental purpose of the practice itself.
What is the fundamental purpose of meditation? To be quiet. Not to try to be quiet by thinking about how quiet we are, but simply allowing the crazy activity of the mind to do “its thang” without chasing the need to change anything. That’s true quietude—accepting the noisy brain and letting the power of our consciousness penetrate through the madness.
There’s no failing. Maybe that’s the only “secret,” if there is one. The only way to fail is to stop our meditation practice. Everything else is just progress.
The mind is going to do what its going to do when we engage in any kind of spiritual practice. It will try to attach itself to whatever we are doing, identifying with how spiritual we are; and if we manage by some miracle to be aware enough to stop it—it will attach itself to the idea of how unattached we are. The ego is a mother f*cker, I’m telling you.
Instead of trying to transcend the ego, maybe we should just let it do its thing and see what happens. Otherwise, the ego will just attach itself to the concept of transcendence, and it will just get in the way of our practice even more. Am I painting a picture here? The ego clings to, identifies with, and attaches to whatever idea or concept that momentarily carries out its own chaos and pettiness—which only makes it more chaotic and petty.
This is all mind stuff. The ego likes ideas. That is why the body is the true source of our spiritual power.
The mind very rarely lives in the present moment, but the body only lives in the present moment. The heart beats in the present. The breath moves in the present. All bodily sensation occurs in the here and now. When we connect with the body, we step fully into the present moment. This is the essence of meditation practice.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re forming an idea of what it would be like to connect with the body right this minute—thinking about how that would look and what that would feel like based on past experiences. There’s nothing wrong with having an idea about this, but don’t let the idea itself stop you from actually putting this into practice. This is reality that I’m talking about, not the endless projections of the imagination.
Don’t be satisfied by the idea. Let’s be satisfied with the real thing, eh?
Set aside some time. Sit. Breathe. Be with the body. Let the ego do its dance while we sit there and smile, knowing that it’s only a very small part of what we truly are in the depths of our being. Create a meditation schedule. Don’t slip up at all. If we skip it one day, let’s do twice as much the next day. Stay ahead of the curve, y’all.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Unsplash/Afonso Coutinho
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman