Two honest people posted the following two messages in our Group on Google :
(1) “I have spent years trying to meditate but I can’t! I have been to classes, I have bought tapes. Nothing works. My mind is too busy. No matter what I try I end up thinking of other things instead. Meditation classes reduced me to tears as I saw everyone else doing well and myself being a total failure. My mind does not want to be quiet. I want it to but it just won’t shut up. I live a very stressful life and desperately want the peace that meditation can bring. So why can’t I do it? What is wrong with me?”
2) “I don’t know…but if you find out, please let me know. I have the same problem. I have tried everything. blindfolds, earplugs, total silence. Nothing works. My mind just wanders everywhere. I can be sitting there, trying to concentrate on my breathing, and before I know it I am shopping a tjmaxx, or thinking about what I am going to cook for dinner.”
The question has been raised by two very honest persons. They have tried meditating for years but to no avail. Nothing seems to work for them, neither any technique nor any relaxation session. They really wanted to meditate but find it really tough. And they think that there must be something wrong with them. Other seems to be meditating quite easily but they.. ! Meditation is a tough thing !!
You are not alone. Millions of people world over find meditation difficult. They appears to have tried every meditation technique available. They have spend thousand of dollars in joining various meditation course but nothing happened ! There is no revelation ! There is no perspective. Just plain old life and it is frustrating !
I consider both persons very honest. They have the courage to accept their inability to meditate. They are far-far better than those who just pretend -for the sake of their prestige, reputation and ego – that they can meditate even if they don’t experience any peace within.
First of all please keep in mind that meditation is NOT:
A serious religious practice
A state of mind.
If you think of meditation in any of the above context then you’ll find that it (meditation) is not easy. Unfortunately, there are many places where the above mentioned topics are considered as meditation. That’s
why often we can’t understand what exactly is meditation.
- Meditation is a process to know who we really are.
- In reality you are just consciousness (which is also known as ‘self’)
- And all meditation techniques are means through which we realize our true self.
Once you realize (and I mean it that once you realize) that your true identity is ‘self’- you will be at home. There is no need for any technique, no need for keep repeating any mantra, no need for joining any meditation school. You have understood.
Once you identify the witness in you, the purpose of a meditation technique ends.
This excerpt from Osho will help you understand the futility of all techniques in the long run :
Osho speaks :
Methods we use, because there are people just like you who need methods, who cannot go easily simply into reality, who can go only the hard way. If you tell them to sit silently, they can’t understand it. They say,” Then, just by sitting silently ? Is something going to happen just by sitting silently?” They cannot sit silently– and all happens only when you sit silently.
“Sitting silently, doing nothing,
The spring comes
And the grass grows by itself;”
This is the ultimate truth. But you cannot let it grow. You say, “I cannot just sit and let the grass grow–I have to pull the grass upwards !” So I say,” Okay, then follow any Guru, then do something. Then jump, do Kundalini. Or if that is not feel enough then do Dynamic, Chaotic. Or if you have some other karmas to suffer, then go to
These methods are used here just because of your stupidities. Their whole function is to make you so tired of doing that one day you come to me and say,” Osho, can’t I sit silently?” That’s all. I go on sending you into groups and meditations and tortures and go on waiting. some day you will come crying and weeping and crawling and you
will say “Enough is enough ! Can’t I sit silently?” And I will say,”I have been waiting for this moment.
Sitting silently, doing nothing,
The spring comes
And the grass grows by itself
No method ever helps. How can a method helps ? A method can help to create something unnatural. Nature has not to be created-it is already there. It has to be lived, enjoyed, danced, sung. It is already there ! You need not do anything. The grass is already growing. The spring has come ! But you cannot sit silently. You have so much restlessness–that restlessness needs methods.
I give you methods, not because through methods you will become enlightened, but through methods you will come to know how stupid you are–and that is great enlightenment !
I have heard about a politician :He went to a master, a Sufi master, and asked, “You had told me to meditate, to pray, this and that, and I do, but no revelation ever happens,”
The master looked at him and said, “Go outside and stand in the street for ten minutes.” It was raining hard.
The politician said, “Stand in the street when it is raining so much ?
The master said, “Just go and a revelation is going to come.”
And the politician thought, :When the revelation is going to come then it is worth trying. Ten minutes just standing in the falling rain is not such a big problem.”
He stood there. He looked stupid, because people were passing and they thought, “What is our Prime Minister doing ?” But he kept his eyes closed, and he looked again and again at his watch–ten minutes was a long time because a crowd gathered and people started laughing. They were puzzled, “What has happened to the Prime Minister?”
And then he rushed into the house and told the master,” Nothing happened ! You deceived me.”
The master said, “But just tell me how you felt?’
He said, “I felt like a very stupid person standing there, absolutely stupid !”
Master said, “This is a great revelation ! What do you think ?In just ten minutes’ time to come to know that you are a very stupid person– don’t you think it a great revelation?”
This is what happens in meditations, in yoga, in therapy groups–slowly slowly this understanding penetrates your heart: “What am I dong ?Shouting, screaming, fighting–what am I doing?” Just that very revelation and you can see the point and then you can sit silently. And all that you need is already available. That’s why I said no method
Well if no technique ever works, why we use it in the first place ?
Read this second excerpt from Osho.
“What exactly is meditation ? Facing boredom is meditation. What does a meditator go on doing? Sitting silently looking at his own navel or watching the breathing, do you think he is being entertained by these things? He is utterly bored ! That’s why the Zen master moves with a stick in his hand– because those bored people are bound to fall asleep. There is no other escape, so only one escape is left: al least they can fall asleep. They cannot escape. They have themselves, of their own accord, become part of the Zen training, and the discipline–they cannot escape. But one escape is always available: you can fall sleep, then you forget all about it. That’s why in meditation one feels sleepy.
The whole effort in meditation is this: be bored but don’t escape from it; and keep alert, because if you fall asleep you have escaped. Keep alert ! watch it, witness it. If it is there, then it is there. It has to be looked in to, to the very core of it.
If you go on looking into boredom without escaping the explosion comes. One day, suddenly, looking deep into boredom you penetrate your own nothingness. Boredom is just the cover, the container in which is contained your inner nothingness. If you escape from boredom, you are escaping from your own nothingness.
Buddha left the world out of boredom; utterly bored, he ran away from the world. And what was he doing for six years sitting in those forests ? He was getting more and more bored. What can you do, sitting in a forest ?–Watching your breath, looking at your navel, day in day out, year in, year out. He created boredom to its ultimate peak, and one night it disappeared. It disappears of it’s own accord.
If you reach the peak…the turn comes. It comes ! And with that turn of the tide, light enters into your being– you disappear, only light remains. And with light comes delight. You are full of joy–you are not, but full of joy for no reasons at all. Joy simply bubbles up in your being.
Osho speaks such a poetic language. Isn’t he ? I hope you enjoyed the above two excerpts and have gained some deep insight from them. No technique is meditation by itself. It helps us in increasing our awareness about ourselves. It deepens our sense of witnessing our own identity. That’s why the technique is important.
When you say :
“I CAN BE SITTING THERE, TRYING TO CONCENTRATE ON MY BREATHING, AND BEFORE I KNOW IT I AM SHOPPING A TJMAXX, OR THINKING ABOUT WHAT I AM GOING TO COOK FOR DINNER.”
please think for a moment:
Who is there in you which tells that your mind has gone to TJMAXX for shopping instead of concentrating on breath ?
How do you know that instead of concentrating on breathing, you started thinking about the dinner tonight ? Who gave you this info ?
Don’t you think that you are witnessing the wandering of your mind ? A witness of the variations in your thoughts ? Who is witnessing the mad dance of thoughts in the mind.
It’s your ‘self’. Your true identity !
And you say you can’t meditate.
Forget about thoughts. Forget about breathing. Understand this witness in you. The one who watches everything. Who experiences everything- joy, sorrow, victory, defeats, ups and down. The one who remains as it is – in every time – in every circumstances. The unchangeable aspect of your existence.
Meditation is easy – When you try to understand this witness in you.
Meditation is tough- When you think of it as concentration, breathing, chanting, yoga or hypnosis.
And please don’t attach any expectations from meditation. It’s not a business or any monetary investment whose fruit should come in a time-bound manner. In fact when you meditate, a deeper understanding will arise in you that meditation – just meditation alone- is enough.
Now spend some time in meditation corner. Read all the articles carefully. Take the help of three aids in meditation, choose any technique and give it a try for at least 15 days. Then come and share your experience.
Back to : Learn to Meditate