Now that you have learned the ABCs of Meditation, don’t simply sit back and relax thinking that it is the end of the race. Actually, the game has merely just begun now. Many people meditate just for the heck of it, without understanding the real essence of Meditation. This is why it is of paramount importance to clear the desk and actually understand what it really means.
At some point in our times, we all must have gone through the question that whatever “I am doing is temporary which may or may not exist tomorrow so why are we doing what we are doing and how to enjoy the ride.”
See, it’s not the things that are temporary which is the problem, it’s not even the pleasures that don’t last long; it’s the attachment with those pleasures that becomes the actual problem. If you are eating a mango just to enjoy its taste, it’s all well and good. But if you start fantasizing about the saccharinity of mango, or anything for that matter, and expect that it will remain all day long is the real problem here.
The Real Meaning of Meditation
Pay close attention to the moment any desires take over your mind and observe that these short-term pleasures can make you do whatever they want you to do, and you at times have absolutely no control over it whatsoever. Observing and acknowledging things like these is the real meditation. Seeing something is not the problem, it’s the stories related to what we see, that are conditioned by the society in our mind which ultimately becomes the problem.
Our eyes are actually not just seeing things, they also at times project a whole another film that is superimposed on what we actually see, ultimately changing the complete dynamics of the situation. The good or the bad is all in the mind. Things that we perceive to be ‘good’ might not be necessarily “good” for us. Similarly, things that we perceive to be ‘bad’ might not be necessarily “bad” for us. We all hate shit and ‘the shit’ (the real poop), but it is loved by pigs.
So, the good things and the bad things keep on changing, depending on our conditioning. (Now I don’t anticipate that you guys will start loving your shit and ‘shit’. God, I hope not!)
To ESCAPE is not the real meaning of Meditation
We all need to understand that whenever we are in a state of pleasure, we forget everything and attain short-term peace. It can be going on a drink with your friends on a Saturday night or watching your favorite star’s movie.
And when things go upside down, then we become all blue and morose. We ask questions like “why me!” and start questioning God’s plan or even worse, we play the destination and fate card. Why don’t we ask such questions when we are in a state of joy? Why do we never acknowledge all the infinite things that went right?
Even in our dreams, when something pleasurable is going on then we sleep like a baby; but as soon as the ghost kills us from nowhere or your best friend steals away the love of your life, that’s when we actually wake up. When we are in a state of bliss then we are completely asleep in its pleasure. Our conscience wakes up only when something offbeat or something totally unanticipated happens.
That’s our basic tendency. We don’t think this way normally.
The guy who’s in a state of bliss doesn’t want to understand this because he’s distracted and mesmerized by the pleasure and wanna elongate this feeling for as long as possible. And the guy in misery can’t understand this even if he wants to. If you are in unbearable pain, you won’t so much as read any of this stuff let alone think about it.
Pain and Pleasure
There is actually no difference between pain and pleasure. Yes! You read that right. They just keep on chasing each other all their life. It’s exactly like a dog running after its tail in circles. The best time to understand this philosophy is of course when you are happy. People say, ‘oh I just turned 30, I don’t have to understand spirituality just yet, I would think about it when I retire and blah blah blah’. Not cool!
This is your moment guys. To increase your understanding right now, not when you are 70, struggling to manage the daily chores of life. If you indulge in pleasures only till you retire, your mind is gonna become super dull. The pleasures that you are running after will become your biggest pain in the ass and by the time you will understand this, it will be too late.
Have you ever noticed yourself whenever you are at the peak of your desire(of pleasure) or the peak of your fear? Your very own conscience is out of your control during those particular moments. It overpowers you in such a way that you become mentally dead for some time and these desires make you do whatever they want.
Indulging in those pleasures may give you a temporary positive sensation, but you won’t even realize it when it becomes your worst habit and then you won’t be able to leave it all of a sudden because you are addicted to it so badly.
All the bad habits like smoking, drinking, drugs, social media—provide instant gratification which is slowly eating you up from the inside, and before you notice it, it would be too late. Understanding this is enlightenment. You might have heard people opting for engineering in a whole bunch of subjects. Well, this is also a kind of engineering, namely ‘the human engineering,’ which should be enrolled by everyone.
Even while meditation, people do all kinds of crazy stuff. Some keep on imagining all kinds of sounds and pictures; I mean they completely go into la-la land. That’s again an illusion. That’s not the real meaning of meditation.
The thing that makes you happy while you are experiencing it, the very same thing will make you sullen when you stop doing those particular things. The same is the case with how most people meditate, where they feel good when they are experiencing it and then go back to normal when they stop doing it.
Your Happiness Becomes the Cause of your Sadness
Some uneducated guy told you that meditation is when you see a ray of light in the middle of your mind, now after 5-6 months of practice, you finally see the beam and become elated. And then it stops appearing after 3 days, so what will happen?
The light (which is actually just an imagination of your mind) that became your source of happiness for 3 days, will make you miserable for the rest of your life. I will say it again, understanding things like this is real intelligence. When we understand this, then we won’t be attracted to temporary things anymore.
This is actually common sense, nothing rocket science.
It is really easy to comprehend.
Spirituality is actually common sense. Seeing things as it is. So now which meditation to do? What I will do is, I will tell you the formula. In my previous articles, I gave you an equation, that 2+2=4. People keep repeating this then. Now if someone comes and says 3+1=4, then you get confused as to which one is the right step to get to 4. Hence, I will go into the fundamentals of how to make this 4. It doesn’t matter how you make your 4; 0+4, 3+1, or 2+2. It’s your wish. The 4 will remain at 4.
The Real Meaning of Meditation involves Developing the Grounds for a Deeper Understanding of Life
To increase our understanding, we do need peace of mind. If it keeps on wandering here and there, then one can’t develop a higher understanding of anything.
Meditation is also not the end goal, the end goal is to increase your knowledge about your true self. People consider meditation is a way to escape reality, which is a really toxic trap. Once you calm yourself from meditation then you need to search for how to make this possible in every aspect of your life; health, happiness, and prosperity.
If you want to earn money, then how you can start making it using meditation. If you want to make your relationships better, then how to make them more loveable. To make yourself more positive, to control your urges, to be happier—meditation is a mere detour to reach the end of your desired destination. Seeing reality as it is and knowing what exists is the real meaning of meditation. To look at both sides of a coin is meditation.
The Two Ways of Meditating
Now there are two ways of doing meditation. One is ACTIVE, the other is PASSIVE.
Active is when you are doing something (anything), then you should be paying your utmost attention towards it. If you are doing something and thinking about something else, then you are not in real meditation. Now tell me what kind of work is there which can not be labeled as ‘meditation’?
Any work that you do with your blood, sweat, and tear without any distractions of any kind is actually the real meaning of meditation. Active meditation can solve your day-to-day life problems. If you are a student, then paying attention to studies will make it easier. To fulfill the basic needs of your life, you can use this type of meditation.
Passive meditation, on the other hand, is attentively observing—not thinking or being lost in a whirlpool of thoughts—what actually exists for real. You don’t have to do anything physically or mentally. One is ‘doing’, the other is ‘knowing’. Knowing what’s happening around and to you is, yeah you guessed it, meditation.
Being conscious while doing anything is the real meaning of MEDITATION.
Now you must be thinking if we can solve all our problems using active meditation then why do we need passive meditation at all? Isn’t just paying attention to your work enough?
The thing is when you actively do your work using active meditation, you may get tired after a certain point (which is different for everyone). This is where passive meditation comes into the picture. Here you don’t have to do anything. Just noticing and perceiving you encompass. Observing your surroundings as a newborn baby would. Try seeing things without your memory, as if you are seeing them for the first time.
Calmly and serenely sitting at a corner of the room and paying attention to each and every single detail of what’s happening is called passive meditation.
Peacefully watching the flow of your thoughts. This will energize you to the core if you start doing this even for just 5 min a day, which is not a big ask. If thoughts are coming, then let them come. You just have to watch how they come. You can focus on your breath and thoughts will automatically stop coming.
Both kinds of Meditation have their own Importance
PASSIVE, so that you can become active (another irony!), and ACTIVE so that you can; well, you know, GROW. Now to focus on the important stuff, first get done with the urgent things. If you are entangled financially then you can’t understand all the self-inquiry stuff we are talking about.
What if you get all the 3? Let’s assume that you are in perfect shape, are financially stable and your relationships are also looking good for some time. Now, chances are that will get attached to that state and will forget you ever read anything like this.
You will feel on top of the world, just like him. Once you get bored of them or face any substantial challenge then again you will get attached to meditation only.
If not meditation, then we may try to over-extract from one of those 3 pillars to fill that void in us, which will ultimately disbalance all the 3, and then you will keep on fixing one pillar or the other. You should avoid that, but then this begs the question of where to put our attention once all those 3 pillars look balanced. (it can never be perfect)
Self-Inquiry: The Essense of Meditation
Asking the ultimate question, “Who am I?”.
The biggest myth we all believe so dearly is that we are this body. So let’s start from here only. What is there in our body that we can actually call ours? The body is made up of nature. If nature stops supporting our bodies then we are done. So stop calling yourself that you are your body. You are not.
This inquiry also involves understanding that without our senses our body is nothing more than a piece of flesh and bones. In order to observe all this, you need to have a lot of energy and a ton of patience. You need to have dedication, and a curiosity to know all this.
What are the senses? How does one see things? What does one see? What happens when you see? How is all this transition happening? When you hear someone’s voice, a name pops up based upon your memories, and as soon as the name appears, a whole story of that particular object/person frames in your mind.
Now we don’t see that particular object/person as who that really is but based upon the story stored in our minds. Seeing things as it is, without any filter and without any bias, is called control over your senses.
An Endless Hustle
This process is endless, there isn’t a point where you can say you finally understood everything there is to know about all the senses. The discoveries are INFINITE. Because everything is interconnected. The body and the senses are not separate entities. Once you rise above the senses, then come feelings and emotions.
What are emotions? What are the feelings that control you?
You want to do something else, but these feelings and emotions sometimes have absolute control over you, why? Are you a servant of these feelings and emotions? They make you do all kinds of wrong things. And when you do something, which you know is wrong, it further pushes you down because now the guilt engulfs you, which in turn further deteriorates your control over these feelings and emotions.
And the cycle keeps on repeating itself. Emotions are nothing but energy in motion. You are energy yourself. You get into motion because of feelings, caused by a thought, which ultimately makes you do whatever they want you to do automatically. Just imagine how peaceful of a mind you need to observe all this. And where will the kind of intelligence you need to solve this puzzle come from?
The Work you did by achieving Health, Happiness, and Prosperity will make you INTELLIGENT.
If a man can intelligently make his body healthy, then he can also start his own business or prosper in his company. He can then intelligently manage his relationships too. He can also handle his thinking, his point of view, his decision making, once he develops his understanding.
The person who can’t even handle his health; chances are pretty low that he can handle his emotions and feelings.
This is not the end but actually just the beginning. Besides, when you do this out of curiosity, you would want to go and dig deeper and deeper. What can be more interesting than knowing the thing that actually controls us all? Which is more fascinating, knowing about our real self or running in the same race 7 billion people are running in? Chose wisely.