“The term meditation is used in such a variety of ways that it may mean anything from daydreaming or musing, to deliberating about a topic, to a specific discipline of working with the mind that can be so exact that every act of body and thought is prescribed. The way in which the term meditation is used in yoga is the more formal and disciplined sense. As such it is distinguished from reflection or contemplation. It includes two processes: making the mind concentrated or one-pointed, and bringing to total cessation the turning of the mind.”
This paragraph isn’t just in reference to yoga by the way, this is an all encompassing definition of everything that is meditation from every religious text, life coach, or average joe in between. To break it down into bite sized chunks for easier consumption, meditation can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Some would consider daydreaming or drifting in and out of focus as a form of meditation. Some may consider it when they are deeply contemplating a topic amongst a group of people. However the way that I will address meditation and the way you should approach it if you want to better yourself is in the formal yogic sense. We will use discipline to focus our mind and make it one-pointed or one-focused and bring to cessation the turning of the mind, in other words, focus so intently that all thoughts stop arising in the mind.
This may seem daunting but in reality, life is daunting until one can master this skill. To explain further what one-focusedness is it will be easiest for me to explain a parallel of it to get your mindset in the ballpark. Imagine yourself as a small child dead set on having an ice cream cone, call it ‘tunnel vision.’ Nothing exists in the child’s mind beyond an ice cream cone. Every action, every whine, cry, scream, and whimper exists only due to the thought that they are entitled to receive an ice cream cone NOW. What the child forgets to think about is the commotion caused, the disturbance, the reaction in the parents, those around, maybe the child is running and stumbles but gets back up because pain can wait when ice cream is to be had. This is an egotistical form of one-focusedness that will help you tune yourself to the true definition. Being one-focused is simply being in the moment. In every sound, every breath, every action. Pure harmony with no interference, no control. Meditation is a means of achieving this but is not the only way, rather a more disciplined way and one that provides instant gratification due to the fact that meditation is trying to exist in the moment, in every breath, every action, without control.
Meditation in turn is synchronization of the breath and mind with the environment that surrounds it. I don’t want to delve too deep in this video, but everything that you see, hear, taste, feel, or think is an illusion. It is not real, it is only perceived through senses that are limited and analyzed by a mind that is limited to habitual learning through these senses. By practicing meditation, we can begin to recognize what is mind, what is environment, what is a trigger and what is a response. We can remain centered and calm with further practice because we are practicing being calm when we practice meditation.
The last thing I want to touch on in this video is the differences and similarities between meditation and prayer. The similarities are easy to distinguish. Meditation is calming the mind down and prayer helps to calm the mind because one feels accomplished, that their end of the deal has been fulfilled. I have asked for this and done all that I can do to receive it, now it is out of my hands and I can feel good about that. The differences are even easier to distinguish. Whereas prayer is demanding and telling the universe what you want, meditation is listening to what the universe is telling you. One is sending a message, the other is receiving a message.
More on meditation to come, but let me know your thoughts on this. Should I break this video down even further? Is it too much to handle or just perfect?