We all long to feel deep peace, silence, calmness. I’ve not across even one person who doesn’t want to feel tranquil. All of us share this natural longing. In my many years of meditation practice I’ve come across many different forms of practice, each one claiming to get you into a state of meditation. But truly I’ve found that in order to enter true meditation, not much is needed and as a matter of fact, the simpler the practice is, the better.
To take it even further I’d say that the less practice you make out of your meditation, the deeper and easier it goes. Practicing means I’m trying to get somewhere, I’m trying to change the state I’m at right now and get to a better place, a better state by changing in some way my inner environment through various kinds of manipulations. These manipulations can be for example guided imagination, energy work, using affirmations, positive thinking, focusing on certain chakras etc. Now it is very important to understand that silence is not an achievement, but rather the ground of being, an already existing state of natural being. Why is it important to understand that?
Because if we truly realize that silence is not something we can achieve by creating it, we will realize that different manipulations in meditation actually produce more experience instead of allowing us to naturally relax into the already existing silence.
This is why in some spiritual traditions they say that no practice can take you to your true self, or that one should drop the practice in order to be silent. In zen for example there’s the famous exclamation: “Just sit”. They don’t say – close your eyes, breath deeply, imagine a white light above your head…and then be still…no. They tell you, just sit. So in this direct message zen tries to tell us, don’t try to practice too hard. Don’t make a natural thing something unnatural. Don’t make silence which is your own simple nature something that you need to create or produce through effort. Meditation should be seen not so much as a practice but more like a natural doing that is designed to let us rest back in our natural state of silence. It is not at all a practice of getting somewhere, but finally just being where we are. So the whole context of meditation is designed for should change within our perception. This is really crucial, because the way we perceive things determines how they will affect us. Therefore, realizing that meditation is not a manipulated practice, nor should it lead us to another place, it becomes a natural doing, a natural spot during the day where we truly relax, rest and learn to just be, to just sit.
That’s the reason I called this article – accessing silence is easy. Because in reality it demands almost zero effort. I can literally testify that in working with people I’ve noticed that by guiding them in this way, even those with no previous experience in meditation reach profound states of silence. I remember struggling for years to achieve the same results. Now, this is a big thing to realize. What I struggled for many years, people can achieve in two months of proper training. That’s miraculous. It means that if you learn meditation in the correct way, you can tap into silence much easier and faster and that you don’t need long years of training. Of course I won’t flatten the effort and the depth achieved through many years of refined practice. Yes, one who has practiced meditation in the right way over a period of many years can definitely access a much richer and deeper silence. But that’s exactly because that person became so acquainted with letting go of effort and diving in, that they can dive much deeper.
Accessing inner stillness, inner silence is a very soft art, it is not done by force but rather through a very gentle approach to ourselves and to life in general. What a blessing this is – the thing we want the most, inner peace, is actually not far away from us. So as we sit for meditation, we can start with having the right intention of not getting anywhere else other than here and now. We want to embrace this moment fully as it is, no more no less. We want to agree to be with all the physical sensations, emotions and thoughts that circulate inside us right now. We don’t want them to be different, we don’t want to alter them – that’s manipulation work, it’s forceful, we want it out of the picture. So we stay soft, very soft. We open ourselves to this moment and allow ourselves to be loving towards it. We learn to not look at this moment as an opportunity to achieve something in the future, but rather a moment we want to love, cherish and be intimate with. This is much closer to real meditation. Then, as you close your eyes, let yourself enjoy not doing anything in particular, just close your eyes and enjoy the simplicity of stillness, of not having to do anything to be better.
Let yourself slowly settle into this natural silent sitting. You can feel as if you are really resting in the now, you are embracing this moment with all of its complexity, not trying to change it, accepting its inherent imperfection. This is an act of softness and love. When we love someone we don’t try to change them. We accept them as they are. It’s the same when it comes to meditation and to our relationship with ourselves and the moment. As you relax into this gentle mode you will notice that your body can relax, your mind can relax, everything becomes gradually lighter and easier. That’s really how simple it is. Silence is not something you create, not something you generate, but something you fall into, something you relax into. This is also why it is free of ego, because it is not of our making. It is free and already existent.