What Meditation Is and What It Is Not – Getting Started

There are many different, even contradictory ideas, about what meditation is. Primary to the Osho approach is the need for the meditator to understand the nature of the mind, rather than fight with it.

Most of us most of the time are run by, dominated by our thoughts or feelings. It follows that we tend to think we are those thoughts and feeling. Meditation is the state of simply being, just pure experiencing, with no interference from the body or mind. It’s a natural state but one which we have forgotten how to access.

The word meditation is also used for what is, more accurately, a meditation method. Meditative methods, techniques or devices are means by which to create an inner ambience that facilitates disconnecting from the bodymind so one can simply be. While initially it is helpful to put time aside to practice a structured meditation method, there are many techniques that are practiced within the context of one’s everyday life – at work, at leisure, alone and with others.

Methods are needed only until the state of meditation – of relaxed awareness, of consciousness and centering – has become not just a passing experience but as intrinsic to one as, say, breathing.

 

Some Common Misconceptions

 

Meditation is…

1) Only for people who are on a spiritual search.

The benefits of meditation are manifold. Chief among them are the ability to relax and to be aware without effort. Useful tools for just about everyone!

 

2) A practice to gain “peace of mind.”

Peace of mind is a contradiction in terms. By its very nature the mind is a chronic commentator. What you can discover through meditation is the knack of finding the distance between yourself and the commentary, so that the mind, with its constant circus of thoughts and emotions, no longer intrudes on your inherent state of silence.

 

3) A mental discipline or effort to control or “tame” the mind, to become more mindful.

Meditation is neither a mental effort nor an attempt to control the mind. Effort and control involve tension, and tension is antithetical to the state of meditation. Besides, there is no need to control the mind, only to understand it and how it works. The meditator does not need to tame his mind, to become more mindful, but to grow more in consciousness.

 

4) Focusing, concentrating or contemplating.

Focusing, like concentrating is a narrowing of awareness. You concentrate on one object to the exclusion of everything else. By contrast, meditation is all-inclusive, your consciousness is expanded. The contemplator is focused on an object – perhaps a religious object, a photograph or on an inspiring aphorism. The meditator is simply aware, but not of anything in particular.

 

5) A new experience.

Not necessarily – sportsmen know this space, which they refer to as “the zone.” Artists know it – through singing, painting, playing music. We can know it through gardening, playing with the kids, walking on the beach or making love. Even as children we may have had experiences of it. Meditation is a natural state and one that you have almost certainly tasted, although perhaps without knowing the name of the flavor.

 

Getting Started

Are there set times and places to meditate? Any prerequisites? How to choose the right method? Here are some tips that you might find helpful.

 

What is the Best Time to Meditate?

It is important to understand that “meditation” is simply being aware of what is happening both within and around us. So ultimately, this is just a natural part of everything we do, twenty-four hours a day. Learning the “knack” or “watching” what is going on rather than being immersed in it can take awhile. And meditation methods are designed to help you first learn that knack, and then allow the watcher to become strong enough to become part of your everyday life. So the comments below refer to the methods that can help you with this process.

Some methods are designed to be most effective when done at a certain time of the day. For example, Osho Dynamic Meditation is an energy-activating method best first thing in the morning. Similarly, Osho Kundalini is designed for the end of the day, to shake off accumulated tensions. Osho Nataraj and Osho Nadabrahma can be done at any time.

If you choose to use the Art of Listening approach using the recorded Osho Talks, then the recommended time is 7 p.m. each evening.

What’s important is that you find what method works best for you, given your particular lifestyle. If you are doing a method that requires you set aside a certain time of your day, try to keep that time only for your meditation. Then it becomes as much a part of your natural rhythm as cleaning your teeth or having your breakfast.

 

Where…

Many meditative techniques, such as watching the breath, can be practiced anywhere at any time. For the Osho active methods you need a room where you will be undisturbed and can move freely. For Dynamic meditation, having the option to make as much noise as you want is helpful but not absolutely needed.

 

What to Wear

You’ll feel more comfortable in loose clothing that does not restrict the flowing of your energy in any way.

 

Minimizing Disturbances

Make sure you’re not disturbed. It might be valuable to distinguish between noise outside the door, which is only to be watched, and cannot be a disturbance, and say, the phone going, or people coming in the room, which is different. There is a thought form that meditation has to take place in “quiet place” which is not what Osho is saying, which is to watch everything, inside and out.

 

Posture

You can read about particular postures needed for a specific technique in its individual description. In a sitting method, such as Osho Nadabrahma, or for methods that have a sitting stage, as does Osho Kundalini, you’ll find it easier to be alert and aware if your spine is erect, because then you are assisted by gravitation. You can sit on a chair if that is better for you than sitting on the floor. In any lying-down stage, such as the last stage of Osho Kundalini, if you lie on your back rather than your side, there is less chance of falling asleep!

Over all, what’s important is that you are comfortable, so that the body is relaxed.

 

Psychological Preparation

It is important that you don’t meditate with some goal or desire or any expectation. The whole secret is to allow the process to unfold. Wanting something to happen is the surest way to prevent it happening. Just be content to enjoy the time of meditation in itself, for itself. Results will come, but only if you’re not demanding that they do. Create a climate of receptivity, openness and relaxation.

 

How To Choose a Method?

Experiment with whatever technique appeals to you. And remember, not all techniques suit everyone; what suits you may not suit your friend. And having practiced a method for some months, you may find you have outgrown it. There is nothing sacrosanct about meditative methods: they are practical means to access a natural, inherent quality. Feel free to playfully experiment with them.

Having selected the method, try it for at least seven days consecutively. And when you are trying it out, give it all you have got. By then either the initial attraction has been confirmed or not. If you feel that this is your method, make a commitment to continue it for a minimum of three months. After three months you can continue with it or choose another.

It is suggested that you start out by trying out one or more of the Osho Active Meditations, if possible Dynamic and Kundalini. Or Kundalini and Nadabrahma if you find Dynamic too active! Then do them regularly for a while. And whenever possible use the Art of Listening approach mentioned above. In addition, find any small technique that you can add to your daily life to help remind you to stay aware as much of your day as possible. All the methods are designed scientifically, with each step consciously worked out. To experience the maximum from them, do them as the guidelines indicate, and as whole-heartedly as possible.

Continuity is important. It’s like heating water: up to ninety-nine degrees it is still water and if you stop there it will cool down and you will have to re-heat it. But if you persevere to one hundred degrees, then the water takes a quantum leap and is transformed into vapor.

 

Source: Facebook  OSHO Afroz Meditation Center

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