I have been asked several times about meditation; how it works, why it’s effective, how to do it and so on. In my book, Him & Me I talk about it in some detail, and will outline the basics below.
The key to meditation is to keep it simple. As it happens, I’m a believer that everything should be kept simple, relative to the subject matter obviously.
In the book, and in an effort to stick to the aforementioned simple approach, I don’t even use the word “meditation,” I call the exercise Being in Silence. As an aside, if you are someone who tends complicate things, take a look at that, because, whenever you complicate things you are in fact creating diversions.
Being in Silence:
† Dedicate regular morning and evening Being in Silence times.
† Find a specific place that is comfortable, quiet and private.
† Sit comfortably in a straight back chair. Do not lie down. Keep the back straight and hands resting in your lap. Close the eyes and slowly inhale and exhale several times. Relax.
† Focus on clearing the mind of chatter and letting go of anxiety, fear and random thoughts.
† Become an observer. That is the goal. Watch the mind and how it operates. Chatter and random thoughts will come and go. Do not worry about this. When it happens do not judge or engage, gently return to silence.
† Doing nothing is the goal here. Thinking is doing. Trying to push and force things out of mind is doing. Getting annoyed is doing. Stop doing. Just relax and observe. Look at mind’s subtle, and the not-so-subtle, shifts. Watch it present stuff for you to become distracted by. The idea is to get you distracted. Anger, sadness, fear, lust, planning, love, these are just some of the things mind presents. That’s what mind does. It isn’t anything personal. Mind is not an adversary; it’s not there to fight you. Mind is just doing what mind does. Do you get angry at or frustrated by a bird flying, a fish swimming, a horse galloping or even a dog sniffing unpleasant objects? No, because those things are natural, right? So is what mind does natural for mind to do. Observe it. Get to know it. And once you know what, the how will come. You will observe mind spending its time in two modes, the past mode and the future mode. It will never be in the now. Why? Because in the now the mind doesn’t exist. Keep watching. Like the guitar player learning to play, watching mind will become easier and easier until all you will be hearing are but the sweet sounds of silence.
Another question I’m asked is “How long should I meditate?” If you’ve never done it, start with five minutes at a time. As time passes adjust the duration as feels best to you. And don’t look on meditation as something mystical, something only the special ones can do.
There is nothing special or mystical about meditating. Nor do you need to spend large amounts of money being thought and guided. It has been used by everyone, forever. The only guide you truly need is the one you’ll find in your times of meditative quietness.
The key to it is: 1. Do it. And 2. Don’t get frustrated. Easy does it.