By Dhara Lemos
Meditation and meditation techniques are a passion of mine! They transformed my life and also saved it a few times. But now more than ever, with the coronavirus outbreak and quarantine, meditation techniques are helping me cope with my emotions so I can stay in a healthy state of mind and body.
I would like 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, such as a relaxed state and no fighting with the mind. Just watch with a relaxed awareness, without judgment… mindfulness.
Millions of people miss out on meditation because they have had the wrong impression from some of its practitioners—those who take it far too seriously and obsessively, and 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. Whenever you can find time for just being, you drop all doing and enjoy.
The next question is: How can I enjoy just being? The answer is to first learn how to become the watcher. Watching can be meditation if there is a quality of being aware and alert, without judgment, what one could call mindfulness. 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. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. Walking can be meditation if you walk alertly. Listening to the birds, looking at the sunset, dancing, or having a cup of tea or coffee can become a meditation if you are present in the “here and now.” For example, rather than drinking a cup o ea or coffee automatically like a robot, watch yourself. Listen to the sound of the kettle, inhale the aroma, warm your hands on the cup, notice the clink of the cup on the saucer, and revel in the heat and taste of the drink. In other words, enjoy it!
There are four steps toward awareness:
- The Body – Be watchful of your body. Start with your body because it’s easier since 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.The Mind – Now that you know how to watch the body, it’s easier to watch your mind. Becoming aware of your thoughts is more difficult because thoughts are more subtle than the body. 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 enough, so on and so forth. We all know so well about the old tapes running in our subconscious. 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. The Emotions – 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 quantum soup of emotions such as the feelings, sentiment, and moods that make us have reactions/responses. Reaching this subtlest layer of awareness is the most difficult step, and when you become aware of your emotions, it’s just one more step to reach the state of enlightenment. But you do need to work up to that point of more intense awareness.
4.The Being – Once you are aware of body, mind, and emotions, 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, and becoming one with the Divine. So remember, what’s very important is 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; just go back to watching—that’s also part of the path. As we continue to watch, slowly our watching becomes stronger and more stable, a transformation begins, and we can just be.
There are many Meditation techniques that you can use. The one that I love and the one I started early in my 20ths, are the active meditations from my spiritual teacher Osho. Also remember that you can use anything as meditation, like dance, tai chi, running, or walking, as they are excellent ways to begin the process of BEING the WATCHER because they are centered on the body.
The Body knows Pleasure,
the Mind knows Happiness,
The Heart knows Joy,
and the Spirit knows Bliss.
Hope these techniques can help you, like they are helping me.
You can contact me at: Dhara@usa.com
Namaste & Be in the Light! Ma Anand Dhara Lemos
Here’s an example of Step 3 in my Guided Meditations Series
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