What is Meditation?

Estimated time to read: 3 minutes

What is Meditation?

Meditation has become one of the most convoluted words in the English language. It inspires thoughts of personal reflection, and for others, experiences of intense pain or pleasure. For us, we’re defining meditation as a careful investigation of one’s moment-to-moment awareness. Without getting too esoteric, meditation is the practice of investigating what’s happening to you. Through this investigation, you’ll uncover truths of how you experience the world and what this means concerning yourself.  

You might be thinking to yourself, “This sounds confusing, overly-mystical, and exhausting.” Although meditation doesn’t need to be that way. To us, and people like us, we view meditation as a series of skills you acquire with daily practice. You don’t need to leave your family or quit your job. Just focus on building the right skills. The beginning of these skills includes mindfulness, concentration, persistence, and courage. In short, you can yield all the benefits of meditation without too much time and effort with proper practice.  

Meditation is similar to climbing a very particular imaginary mountain. This mountain begins very subtly, where you’re just walking step-by-step. Soon enough, you’ll start climbing over small rocks and hurdles and then moving through bushes. Soon after, you’ll begin lifting yourself over larger rocks and small ledges. By the end, you’re drilling pitons into the mountain and climbing upside down. The point being, the mountain begins easy and teaches you how to climb it. So too, with meditation, we’ll teach you the skills necessary upfront and help you navigate the new obstacles as they come. Meditation itself becomes the teacher. Meditation teaches itself through experience.

What to Expect:

People get into meditation for various reasons;. However, nearly everyone secretly gets into meditation because they feel there’s something beyond this physical shell. They sense the truth behind illusion and desire a method to uncover the realities of their world. Before the curtain falls and the illusion shatters, there’s a process of insight one must go through.

At first, a novice is rarely aware of even a small percentage of the sensations occurring to them at any moment. Through mindfulness and concentration, they attune themselves to the true nature of their sensory awareness.  

That sounds somewhat mystical, so here’s an example. When you go to grab a glass of water, you may be unaware of the sensations occurring directly before. In all probability, your most likely felt your lips becoming dry and felt uncomfortable. Desiring to feel comfortable, you lifted your hand to grab the glass. This is not uncommon! Much of what we do is outside of our general perception, causing us to act robotically without understanding. Mindfulness helps you understand what sensations are occurring, and concentration enables you to choose how to react.

The Benefits of Meditation:

These simple realizations of causation of sensations and mindfulness are just the tip of the iceberg. At the end of this path lies incredible benefits for your day-to-day life. Without diving too deep into the process, let me share a few of these experiences with you,e which will forever shift your perspective of the world.

As you begin to become mindful of sensations occurring within your awareness, you’ll start to gravitate and focus on particular ones. At first, you’ll notice these sensations are not long-lasting and forever continual; instead, they merely come and go. What previously appeared to be a continuous flow of sensations becomes momentary blips of singular sensations that come into your awareness and disappear forever. Upon experiencing this at a deep level, you’ll discover there is neither the past nor future, permanently placing you within the present moment. This also helps reduce anxiety and fear, as the non-existing past causes anxiety, and the yet-to-be future causes fear. When living purely in the present moment, both anxiety and fear are nonsensical, and you’ll shed yourself from much of it.  

As you further investigate your sensory reality, you’ll find there’s zero connection between these sensations and yourself. At first, these sensations appear to be a part of your awareness, but further investigation will find even these sensations are not you. In the end, you’ll ultimately discover there’s no such thing as the self, and this too will transform your awareness. This will significantly affect your “ego,” and you’ll begin to find your pride will be less burdensome and get out of your way when you’re trying to accomplish. It will also significantly reduce your ability to get angry or upset. When there’s no such thing as the self, there’s nothing to defend.

Finally, as you continue to investigate, you’ll find these sensations occurring within your moment-to-moment perception are generally unsatisfactory, causing only difficulty and suffering. Think about it: all this time, you were being bombarded by deceitful sensations, intending to trick you into thinking they’re permanent and you! Although, as you continue to investigate this matter, you’ll discover it’s not the sensation’s fault but your own desire for these things to be permanent and you! Upon experiencing the truth of these sensations, you’ll find yourself severely detached from the world of judgment, as judgment exists only within yourself and not the everyday phenomena.

The three effects mentioned above are admirable qualities and worth the effort of attainment. You can remove from yourself a large amount of fear, anxiety, ego, and judgment. Life is much easier on the other side.  

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David Bowman
David's teaching style is direct, clear, and to the point. With over 8 years of experience in the field of meditation, his work is both accessible as well as pragmatic. Having worked in think tanks, financial institutes, rabbinical and graduate schools, David’s personal philosophy is deeply informed by his eclectic past.

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