Meditation, The Way In
By Dhara Lemos
This time we’re going to talk about the very core of meditation … awareness. All meditation techniques have the same goal, which is to make us more awakened/alert than we ordinarily are. A few essential things are necessary in every technique: a relaxed state and no fighting with the mind. Just watch with a relaxed awareness, without judgment. Millions of people miss out on meditation because they have gotten the wrong impression from some of its practitioners-those who take it far too seriously and obsessively, those who end up rejecting life rather than embracing it. In reality, a meditative person is playful-life is fun for him or her. Life is Leela, the Hindi word for “the play of life.” Meditative people enjoy life tremendously-they’re not serious, and they are loving and relaxed. So, let’s have fun with meditation and life.
The important question is: What is the core or the spirit of meditation? The essential core is to learn how to be the witness. Meditation is just “being,” like a little child is. Whenever you can find the time for just being, drop all doing and enjoy. But the next question is: How can I enjoy being with no thoughts? The answer is first to learn how to become the watcher.
Watching can be meditation if there is a quality of being aware and alert, without judgment. Meditation is not against action. You don’t need to stop everything to be in meditation; you can bring the quality of being aware and present in the moment to your day-by-day actions such as walking, eating, cooking, or watching a sunset. Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation.
The Four Steps toward Awareness
1. Be watchful of your body. Start with your body because it’s easy. You can touch it and feel it. Become alert to each gesture, tension, pain, or pleasure. Be aware when you eat, take a shower, read a book, or this very article. Just pay attention; don’t try to change anything. It will seem as though a miracle is happening as you become more relaxed and peaceful through awareness.
2. Now that you know how to watch the body, it’s easier to watch the mind. Becoming aware of your thoughts is more difficult because they are more subtle than the body is. We are much more closely identified with our minds than with our bodies. For example, if someone tells you that your body is sick, that you are not looking well, you may be worried and go to the doctor, but if someone says to you that your mind is sick, you immediately feel insulted and angry with the person. That’s because our sense of self, of who we are, is much more closely identified with our minds than with our bodies. And when you become aware of your thoughts you will be surprised at what’s going on inside you. There’s a madness inside us saying all kinds of things such as: I’m a failure, I’m not good looking, and so on. Without awareness, this unconscious dialogue will continue. It affects everything we’re doing. We can change this situation by simply watching the mind. We need only to be willing to see and become aware of our minds. Slowly, slowly, the madness and chaos start to disappear and the mind settles into a peaceful awareness.
3. When your mind and body are relaxed and at peace, you will see that they are attuned to each other. There is a bridge, they are in harmony, and this harmony helps immensely to let you become aware of your feelings, emotions, and moods. Reaching this subtlest layer of awareness is the most difficult step, but if you can become aware of your thoughts, it’s just one step more to reach the state of enlightenment. But you need to work up to that point of more intense awareness.
4. Once you are aware of body, mind, and moods, they become part of one phenomenon. And when those become one and function in harmony, then and only then does the fourth step “happen,” which is the end of conflict and the awakening of the witness. This state of awareness has been given many names: enlightenment, awakening of the Christ consciousness, becoming the Buddha, becoming one with the divine. As Osho said:
The body knows pleasure, the mind knows happiness,
the heart knows joy, and the spirit knows bliss.
So remember, it’s very important that you are watchful, but even if you forget to watch, the moment you see that you forgot to watch, that’s also awareness, so pass no judgment on yourself. There’s no need to feel bad about it and in fact, if you do feel bad, the awareness of feeling bad is also good; just go back to watching-that’s part of the path. As we continue to watch, slowly, our watching becomes stronger and more stable and a transformation begins and we can just be … at peace.
Active meditations (i.e., dance meditation or tai chi, running, or walking as meditation) are excellent ways to begin the process because they are centered on the body.
Using Meditation as the Way In
In every age people have sought to understand themselves, their world, and their universe. They have sought awareness, consciousness, inner knowing, enlightenment, and transformation in the search for themselves.
“Know Yourself” has always been the fundamental teaching of every spiritual tradition. The very word “meditate” literally means “remedy.” Remedy for what? Long ago we started to understand that forces within us shape our destiny. Forces such as our ancestry, karma, biology, and the culture we live in are all very strong energetic patterns that we carry deep within our body, mind, and spirit and they all shape our destiny. The “remedy” for getting past these forces and taking charge of our own destiny is meditation.
In meditation we become aware, and in that very awareness, we begin to transform into a more conscious self rather than reacting to old patterns and conditioning.
What is the difference between meditation and meditation techniques?
Meditation is a stage of being and meditation techniques are the way to get there.
·Being here and now.
·Being in oneself.
·Being in peace.
·Being love, compassion.
To be in meditation is to be in joy … to be calm, centered in the core of one’s heart. Meditation is your birthright. When we are born we are in a state of meditation. As we grow up we lose it; that’s why babies are so beautiful. Meditation techniques were developed to help guide us back to how we were when we were born … in bliss.
Techniques are helpful because they are the result of thousands of years of scientific experiment-they have been created by many diverse teachers/seekers from all over the world. There are many different techniques for the many different types of people.
How do I find the right technique for me?
The first step is to choose a technique that appeals to you. Then you need to do it at least three times. If the method is right for you, something clicks and you know that that may be the right method. Then you need to make a commitment and stay with the same method for at least three months because there may come a point at which it could get difficult. To discover the real self, sometimes you need to pass through some layers of ego and uncomfortable emotions before you can reach peace.
How long and how often should I meditate?
One hour every day is the ideal but not everybody has the time, so do the best you can: 15 minutes in the morning, half an hour at night, 1 or 2 times a week, whatever you can manage. The important thing is consistency and it’s better to do some than none at all.
How long does it take to start noticing results?
When you find the right technique you will notice results immediately. Sometimes change can be very subtle-it slowly creeps up on you and after a month or two you notice some change. It all depends on how ready you are: your life situation and how fast you want to change or how fast you’re able to change. One of the first things you may notice is that you take action when confronted by emotional situations that you used to unconsciously react to.
You can contact Dhara by email at Dhara@usa.com
Meditation is nothing but a device to make you aware of your real self-which is not created by you, which need not be created by you, which you already are. You are born with it. You are it!
It needs to be discovered.
Osho, Puna, India
Osho. Meditation, The First and The Last Freedom
Osho. The Book of Secrets