I’ve been teaching meditation for the last 10 years to individuals and groups of all ages. I practice meditation for almost 20 years. The most recurring challenge I see, is that many practitioners do not know how to meditate deeply. They therefore don’t experience the life altering results meditation has to offer. In this blog post, I’ll share with you the true and mature way to practice meditation. This will enable you to gain the deepest benefits of this timeless wisdom practice.
Why Should You Learn How To Meditate?
Traditionally speaking, meditation has always been a way to access the inner world. The inner world is the part inside of you that lies beyond the physical body, beyond your form. Form in this context means: physical body, emotions and thoughts. These are all forms – whether gross or subtle. Meditation’s original purpose is to take you beyond that which is changing into a dimension within that is absolutely stable. The result is self-knowledge, meaning, knowing yourself beyond any transitory form. That in turn brings about profound peace, joy, love and wisdom.
Today, especially in the west, many people want to learn how to meditate, but their motivation doesn’t usually correspond with the original purpose of meditation. It is often used for gaining a bit of calmness, focus and better health. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
How to Meditate for True Happiness and Peace
In this blog post I’ll explain the deep practice of meditation and how it is done. The first principle to understand about meditation is that it should not be a strenuous act. The whole point of meditation is letting go of tension, of excessive focus and of trying to understand everything with your mind.
So the first principle is: Sit with total ease and total alertness simultaneously.
This inner posture of calmness and alertness blending together is what enables you to enter deep states of consciousness while remaining alert. True peace and happiness can only be recognized when you are both at ease but also fully wakeful. If you’re too much at ease, you’ll become sluggish. This is why many meditators tend to fall asleep when they try to meditate. On the other hand if you’re too alert, you become tense and can’t let go into the depth of calmness. That’s when meditators tend to be too serious about their practice.
Attempt to find the middle point – that’s your point of access into inner peace. It is your fundamental guiding principle as to how to meditate.
Don’t Over Complicate Your Meditation
There are thousands of meditation techniques out there and it can get very confusing. I often get the question: “which meditation technique should I practice?”. I’m not a fan of techniques but of deep understanding. Once you understand meditation it becomes easy and every technique can be used with ease. In essence meditation is about letting go of more and more reference points in your mind that define who and what you are. It is about resting more and more in the natural Silence of your Being. As you learn how to meditate, you should over time be able to feel more and more free or self-definitions, rigid belief systems and stubborn opinions. Meditation means moving from limitation to limitlessness.
Limitation = believing you are a local being in time and space, bound to a specific name and form.
Limitlessness = Being bound to no definition and being open in all directions.
When I teach my students and clients how to meditate, I focus on Simplicity. That means, learning how to simply allow everything inside to be as it is while remaining gently still.
Remaining Still and Free from Your Inner Content
Meditation over time should mature into a way of being and become less of a technique. Thoughts and emotions of all kinds flow in your awareness all the time. They change incessantly, very often within minutes or even seconds. Instead of trying to change, fight or struggle with your inner content, try instead to do absolutely nothing with it.
Doing absolutely nothing is the essence of how to meditate correctly.
Instead of trying to change a negative thought or to prolong a positive emotion, try to do nothing with them. Don’t try to figure them out, don’t try to understand them. When faced with negative emotions, avoid trying to heal them or override them with substitute emotions. Try for once, not to force your inner experience to be different than it is.
Simply do nothing with your inner content, allow it to come and go by itself and see what happens. You will discover a miracle: your thoughts and emotions solve themselves without you trying to figure everything out! This is when true happiness and peace reveal themselves naturally.
Meditation means Being Natural and Simple
If you want to learn how to meditate, make sure to aim at becoming truly simply and natural. Meditation is not about doing something special, it’s not about visualizations or harsh techniques. It is about re-learning how to be natural again. When you sit for meditation, use this time as a precious time to truly rest and be nothing special. Being nothing special is the greatest joy. It resembles in a way being like a child again, being innocent. Children are joyful and happy exactly because they’re not trying to wear a mask all the time.
Here’s a short instruction for how to meditate:
You too should use your meditation time to take off the mask. Take a deep inhale and in the exhale release through your mouth all the tensions. Do this a few times. Then simply sit there and observe joyfully how all emotions and thoughts pass effortlessly through you just like cars on the highway. They come, they go. No need for your intervention. Just relax and watch the show go on. You’ll find a peace and joy you never knew before. That’s my recipe for how to meditate properly.