(Part I of IV)
Meditation is good for everyone!
Learning the best way to meditate is essential to getting its benefits.
There’s no single way to meditate.
Selecting the right style and meditation modality can be essential to making it work.
As a trained, initiated mystic I have dabbled, practiced and committed to dozens of meditation styles. While I got something positive from each and every one of them (well most of them!), it took a long time to find the style and practices that work best for me and that I can do well.
Let’s get to know the two main foundations of meditation styles, active and passive meditation.
The most common and accessible styles are what are known as passive meditations.
The reason for this is because as we consider the goal of meditating, passive seems to align with it. The goal of meditation is to become more peaceful, calm and stable in our thinking and feeling.
Our minds never seem to stop; thinking, feeling, analyzing, ruminating, worrying… And this is a fact! If we are conscious, i.e. awake, our mind does what it is designed to do: be active!
It seems that only when we are asleep is our mind truly at rest.
Passive meditation styles are designed to condition your mind to a more steady, less turbulent, calmer state. If we can condition our mind to become more familiar with being calm and stable, then it will have easier access to calm stability.
Makes sense right?!
Practice makes perfect and if we spend time practicing calm states of mind they become more natural to us.
At the end of this series, I’m going to give you totally authentic instructions of meditation. These instructions can be applied and even modified to your own personality, circumstances (life-style, home environment…) and experience.
The common goal of passive meditations is to clear the mind; to remove or reduce, the amount, volume and magnitude of concerns, issues and stressors rambling about in our consciousness.
But we don’t want to forget them!
We don’t want to forget or neglect our bills, duties, chores and responsibilities!
This would just cause WAY MORE stress and fear in our lives.
So we don’t want our meditations to actually remove the things that cause us stress! The things that cause us stress our ultimately there to cause us happiness!
- We work to have a paycheck.
- We have a paycheck to pay for things
- We pay for things to meet survival and comfort needs
- When our needs are met, we feel more peaceful and relaxed!
Therefore, passive meditation is an exercise that brings us proper perspective!
It is not done to truly remove or even reduce our concerns or stressors.
Meditation is done to bring focus and perspective to them. To expand our ability to arrange, categorize, prioritize and bring proper, proportionate perspective to them!
When you are more calm, you are more rational. When you are more rational, you are more effective. When you are more effective, you take smart, economical actions to address your concerns and responsibilities.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
(I would soooo hang out with Benjamin Franklin if I could! That guy was brilliant! That axiom is one of hundreds of Franklin’s that explains so much with so little!)
So, you see, the calmer, more rational mind will need to take fewer actions to solve a problem. When we can take a fewer actions to solve problems, “a stitch in time saves nine”!
(Yes, that’s also BF!)
I advise and instruct my meditation clients and students to first make an intimate relationship with their meditation goal.
We all want to feel calmer and more peaceful; that’s evident!
Just because it feels good? Just because it feels better feeling restless?
Those are good reasons, but they are far too abstract and when our goal is abstract, our efforts will also be abstract!
When you crave and desire something, your efforts to attain it are equal and proportionate to how much you want it.
So, I’m taking the abstractness of the goal and making it have a personal, intimate, knowable outcome!
Therefore, know your meditation intent before you begin your practice. And then practice!
“Practice makes perfect” another profound axiom, not by BF this time, but his good buddy John Adams.
To summarize the point of passive meditation:
- To clear, reduce or remove thoughts and feelings of worry and concern