The question, what do I do when I meditate? The response, not an answer, because seriously I’m not the one qualified to tell you what to do or what not to do. That, my dear reader, is your life’s exploration. There’s nothing to do when you meditate. Simply be. Be curious about the thoughts that wander into your mind, the ones that cause you to jump on a thought train on a wild goose chase. Thoughts come and thoughts go. In meditation, I observe them. Greet them. Then bid them farewell.
I sit still quietly in meditation and listen closely with inner ear, gaze softly inward with inner eye, compassionately with open heart watch feelings and emotions arrive and leave. Something will always arise. Without judgement, without categorizing, simplifying or complicating, clinging to or pushing away, I try to be with what is with effortless effort using the simple tool of breath.
This from Thich Nhat Hanh on The Practice of Mindfulness.
“The first exercise is very simple, but the power, the result, can be very great. The exercise is simply to identify the in-breath as in-breath and the out-breath as the out-breath. When you breathe in, you know that this is your in-breath. When you breathe out, you are mindful that this is your out-breath.”
I love Eckhart Tolle’s observation that as “when you realize you’re not present, you are.” This is very true for seated meditation. The moment you notice that your mind has been writing shopping lists and making plans, congratulate yourself. You noticed. Then bring awareness back to the present moment and breath. Over and over again, find solace, stillness and presence in breath.
Yes, meditation may, theoretically, be easier to describe then to practice. My friend, only and always remember it is just practice. Invite curiosity into your practice. I believe this helps dispel the notion of perfection. With curiosity you never know what will arise. In sitting meditation it is useful to make a daily date and set an amount of time you will sit. In walking, there are more happenings arising but again the suggestion is simple, just be with. Be mindful of all that fills the senses. There comes a point when we may realize that this great adventure of living is a meditation.
Why meditate is a different question, a different blog entry, see the Pigasus Project, November 12, 2012 for “To Meditate Or Not.” I believe, if you are seeking something more then the trappings of a noisy external life of wants and disappointments, the direction is inward. The path of meditation may be your guide on the way. As always, don’t believe me. If you’re curious try it. Sit and see. You may experience what you’ve always been seeking.