My Learning with Meditation so far…
When Arnaud mentioned that it takes him under 10 seconds to know if someone will quit meditation, I felt for people who find this idea of focusing their mind so daunting. I am sharing my learnings to motivate all of us to not give up and try a little harder.
1. It is what it is – as cliché as it sounds this really is the crux. I realize now that it is neither half-full nor half-empty – it is just half-a-glass-of-water. I have understood (not realized) the definition of enlightenment – it is to see everything for what it is without being analytical or judgmental…to take life as it is. Each time I tried to control the outcomes or people it caused me and those around me tremendous pain. Meditation has allowed me to focus on what I can control.
2. Religion is a coping mechanism and perhaps a theory – there is a difference between being religious and spiritual. I grew up as a Hindu, but I was always confused about the idea of religion. Because I was so physically, emotionally and mentally fragile I needed something to hold on to. Over time I began to identify myself with this notion of religion and became one with it. I now understand that meditation elevates us spiritually while religion enslaves us with dogmas and false beliefs.
3. Identifying myself with my thoughts or senses seriously messed me up – I understand now that the main reason of epidemics is that we don’t do a good job with washing our hands…why? Because we are busy watching ourselves in the mirror not focusing on washing our hands! I let my senses feed my mind uncontrollably and I was reacting to every random thought that popped up in my head. As I started meditating, I have become more aware of my thoughts. I can predict and better control my reactions. It feels as though Meditation is putting me in touch with my consciousness. Although Science hasn’t been able to determine how mind generates consciousness…I am just going with the belief.
4. While I cannot erase memories or experiences from my mind, I must find a way to deal with them – The feeling of guilt is probably the worst feeling that I have had to deal with but Meditation has given me the ability to become aware of what my mind is up to and learn to forgive myself.
5. ‘I’ is an interesting but unreal concept – what this entity called ‘I’ really means I have no idea. I continue to struggle with the question that which one of the trillions of cells that make up my physical existence constitutes me? As Nisargadatta Maharaj says you need to rule out what you are not to get to what you really are. This practically takes out everything I see or experience.
Learning and Realization are fundamentally different so I truly believe meditation will eventually help me realize who I really am.