Will matters and your will is free.
What exactly is meditation? There are many definitions. Meditation isn’t an action. That is the tricky thing. Meditation is a settling. A disengagement from action. The techniques are for stilling the mind. We seek to meditate not so much to find a new level of awareness. It isn’t a special state. It’s a primal state. It’s the foundation of the mind, not the outer reaches. People get very confused about that.
Spirituality isn’t an add on to life and not all meditation techniques work equally well for all people. For some Zen is perfect. For others pranayama is a necessary first stage. For some an object of contemplation is a way back to center. For others it’s a way to get very badly lost. The popular candle flame meditation… I have seen so many people struggle with it and it’s poorly explained.
I practice elemental meditations myself. Our minds are very naturally attuned to the rhythms of the elements. The rush of the wind. The rumble of a water fall. But we learn to tune them out. They are formless, but the memory of them is a deep undercurrent. Very much imprinted in our memories. If you sit and still yourself and listen to the rhythms of the water, you set yourself very close to that first awareness.
People say it is hard to not allow the nonelemental thoughts to interfere when still, and that is actually one of the big confusions about meditation. You don’t resist thought, you let it pass. As you center on the flicker of the flame, letting that light dance in your awareness, or the flow of the water, you will have thoughts arise. You let them pass. You don’t think them. You let them be like the experience of the element. They are an element. Chi. Prana. They are as sound, if you let them merge with the sound of the wind or the flicker of the flame, they order themselves. Often times after a meditation I find that I didn’t “think”, but insights emerge all of their own.
The mind is not your life. The brain is an organ. A vital organ but an organ. By returning to the source within you can reclaim that root energy and permit it to flow once again. Even the most powerfully “distracting” state can be a focus of meditation. This is a basis for tantric practice, even reflection on your past actions. Karma yoga. Action and reaction as a dynamic flow. Learning not to attach to the exchange can be a meditation.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.