These are some thoughts for those of you thinking about preparing to meditate. How we prepare, is important in our success. Learning to meditate is a lot about learning how to live.
These words are taken from my yoga book by Sue Lilly. I thought they took the 'unattainability' out of meditation quite well:
"All of us fall into meditative states when our thought processes switch off from our normal conscious behaviour. Sitting beside a river, watching a sunset, or being immersed in a task we enjoy are all occasions when our focus shifts and we reach a point where our experience spontaneously changes."
"Meditation is NOT a guided visualisation, a forced or strained process or an escape (by shutting off) from the world. It is a`natural process that, when allowed to happen in a time and place set aside for the practice, gives our bodies the opportunity to heal and relax, for our mind to quieten and for our true self to percieve it's place in the scheme of things."
Thankyou Miss Lilly :)
I have undergone much practice in quietening my mind, and used many methods. Because of the above extract, I'd like to explain about immersion into the senses as a tool to quietening the mind.
When we were babies, we were pure perception. We didn't judge what we perceive, we were simply perception. Vision is probably the easiest way to grasp this concept. Most of us were probably at some point left in some kind of pram or seat near a tree. We would be content to immerse our selves in the sensory exeprience of wind, leaves, scent and heat.
This is the exercise I practice. I have an old garden chair in my garden, opposite a close, old, oak tree. In a relaxed state, I gaze at the tree fluttering it's leaves in the breeze. In time, just letting the visual experinece flood in, I find I can see without knowing. That is to say, I stop saying to myself "this is a tree", and revert to the infant state of seeing without knowledge, which is pure perception. In my view, this is a meditation.
The exercise can of course be used with sound, aroma, and sensuality (doesn't have to be sexual). If you keep trying, and relaxing, you will find that state. The leaves cease to be leaves, they become an array of moving colour and light which is truly beautiful and joyful. We just need to peel back our layers, it is all already there :)