Meet Emma, my meditation buddy. Okay, she’s not my meditation buddy, she’s a knitted soft toy I have had for umpty years. Don’t split hairs!
So, what are we going to learn from Emma today? Why, how to meditate, of course.
Phew! I hear you say. At last! Because I know it’s been bugging you, this whole meditation malarkey. It’s all so damn mystical twistical.
Blissed out as she is, Emma descended from the tranquility of her hermitage to share us some sooth. Well, she didn’t, but lets pretend. After all, I have gone to the trouble of creating these beautiful images for you. Alright, I didn’t do it for you, I was checking settings on my camera, but LETS PRETEND DAMMIT!
First of all, Emma, how do you meditate?
Simple! Just abide in pure awareness!
Yes! That’s it! You can stop reading now. (Not really.)
And there’s the catch. What isn’t particularly simple is knowing what pure awareness is and what to do with it once you’ve got it. Some people believe wholeheartedly that they are VERY GOOD at meditating (they’re not) and some people don’t even know what it is and they are ALREADY DOING IT, YO!
Best way I can put a tag on it is to say that if you do something like cycling, sewing, painting, mending things, doing the dishes, walking, or whatever and you are not just busy thinking about other things but are aware of thoughts passing through, aware of your physical body and your actions, and have a sense of spaciousness as well as focus, then you have a reference point.
Now all you have to do is be like that ALL THE TIME and apply what you learn in meditation to everyday life. You didn’t know it was going to be quite that simple, did you? Well it is. What? It’s not easy? Well easy and simple are not synonyms. Sorry, my friend.
On the up side, you can learn meditation the same way you learned to ride a bike. And then you practice it. You can’t get simpler than that, really. And you don’t need any special tools. Seriously, NONE.
Not only can you practice ‘on the cushion’ as they say, but you can also use simple activities as meditations. And when you are a very special ninja indeed you can keep the mojo going while you are talking to someone else! Super Sensei! I bow to you!
Now remember, mes petits oeufs, that when you read books or go sit with a teacher they may tell you a lot of stuff. A LOT of stuff. Some of it will be useful, some not. And just like in real life it helps if you don’t check your brain at the door. If you are a total beginner you will have to suspend disbelief long enough to try out the instructions. But remember, no matter how good your teacher is at meditating teaching is a whole other skill. Some people are better at it than others and some students will find the tools offered in a given session a better fit than others in the class do. The rest is gravy. Or meditation. Whatever. What’s for sure is that the only way you are going to know for sure is to keep at it for a bit and see.
A good place to start with meditation is something known as a body scan. Thanks to the wonders of the internet; VOILA!
Here’s one I made earlier. (Not because it is THE BEST but just cos it’s mine to share.) So have a listen if you like, and here’s to good meditating.
Hey hey hey – Namaste!