Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What Is Meditation?

Meditation teachers Ed and Deb Shapiro say that meditation is not what you think.
However you try to define meditation, it's not that. -- Swami Brahmananda

Through many years of being involved with meditation we have seen how easily people miss the point, mainly because they take the practice and themselves too seriously. Many "try" to meditate but their minds are so busy they get frustrated and quickly believe they are no good at it. Others turn into diehard advocates of a particular method or technique and become like a salesperson trying to sell a product.

Just like yoga, people want to own meditation and to believe that their technique is the best one. They give it a name: TM, Vipassana or Kundalini meditation and sometimes make outrageous claims of what can be achieved, but that is not the point. Meditation is not a technique -- being quiet happens by itself, not because of following the breath in and out, reciting a specific mantra or creating a visualization.

Teachers, through their compassion, have created the many methods and techniques in order to help their students to concentrate and focus their minds, to be one-pointed. No one technique is better than another; they equally give our monkey minds something to do other than drive us bananas. Many of the practices known as meditation are actually concentration; they bring the mental energy together so the mind is less fragmented. But this is not meditation. Read more

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