This afternoon I was approached by a friend who is looking for information about meditation, in a format suitable for a practical approach that could be actualized, not just theorized. While I am not prepared to present a serious offering, I include here my notes, in no specific organization.
– Choose something to focus on, and *gently* bring your attention to it with the total acceptance that your focus is fleeting and will wander away to other things at a comically rapid pace. Then bring your attention back. The concentrated mind can be blissful, but the ‘bringing back’ is what you want.
– Let it happen, and pay attention. These are the two cardinal virtues to staying in the present moment.
– Your mind is your friend. Thinking is not the enemy of meditation. The heart beats, the lungs breathe, the mind thinks. It’s silly to think one natural bodily function is somehow more pure or spiritual or enlightened than another.
– Make the intention for a specific concentration practice before you begin. Oscillating between techniques on a whim while in a sit can quickly lead to just switching to the one that gives you the most instant gratification at the time, then back again.
– Meditation is greatly connected with how quickly and deeply you can say ‘YES’ to every incoming sensation, within and without. This is difficult to describe cause one will automatically go to the idea of grasping on to happy thoughts, or mechanically affirming in place of mechanically denying. It’s about keeping ahead of your own mind.
– You can’t force it any more than you can force yourself to sleep.
– There is absolutely a ‘you’ll know it when you see it’ quality within meditation. Words can only go so far, and while that sentiment can seem terse or corny, there will eventually be moments where you learn what concepts like ‘inner silence’, and ‘awakening’ mean. If you could express it fully in a process, enlightenment would be taught at hotdog stands (which would be a great idea were it possible!).