My first experience of meditation was when I was 17. I tried focusing intensely on the tip of my nose, after the first 2 minutes I began to doubt if I was going squint. (for such of you who may not know, it is an age old meditation practice). The first time I tried focusing on my breath, all I managed to do was obsess about a mosquito droning around my head in the semi-darkness of the meditation hall.
Nevertheless meditation crept into my life big time when I experienced a timeless space of consciousness few years later. In those few moments every experience of seeing, smelling, touching was an explosion of bliss. I would say that was like having watched soap opera all my life on a black and white television to suddenly watching interstellar on Imax!
I would like to say that my life changed forever after that! But that would be a lie. It certainly awakened me to something colossal. I had peeped into what magnificence lay in the human consciousness in that first glimpse. Nevertheless it has taken meditation, wisdom and truth to reach this beautiful space of consciousness in which I live now.
So what is it about meditation?
Walking Meditation, Smiling Meditation, Dancing Meditation, Moving Meditation, Breathing Meditation, Eating Meditation, Sitting Meditation and so on and so forth… I don’t want to go into further details.
So, What exactly is meditation?
All meditation certainly is de-clutching from unconscious habitual thinking and experiencing a beautiful state of being.
However every one of world’s meditations can be classified in to 3 categories.
The first form of meditation is Concentration based meditations. Where the meditator focuses on one single point, a form or a mantra and obliterates the rest from his/her focus. The purpose of concentration based practices ranges from a desire to prevent brain degenerative disease to enhancing memory to ultimately going beyond thought to a thought-less state of being.
Concentration based meditations are more like an Archer’s perspective- the mind gradually withdraws focus from all the surroundings to the object of attention alone.
The 2nd kind of meditation is Flow based or Observation based meditations. The mediator here does not control thought but moves into a space of non-resistance and non-judgment. There is no exclusion of any particular thought or the surroundings. This is not a focus on a point but the observation of a movement – movement of thought, movement of breath, movement of body or movement in nature.
The purpose of these meditations is to experience states of well-being, calm, peace and serenity.
This is more like being Boatman crossing different banks of the river passively observing a couple lost in romance on one bank, children playing on another, a giant tree some where, a heron eating a fish some where. It is observation of the entire movement without interfering with it.
The 3rd kind of meditation is Meditation as a happening. Meditation here is not a conscious practice; it is a happening. Meditative states can happen spontaneously when individuals go through an intense crisis or have experiences of breath-taking beauty like when you are sky diving or holding a new-born baby and looking into her eyes or having a panoramic view of nature. Meditative states can also be induced through intense solitude, fasting, prayer, meditation, breath work, rigorous movement or certain drugs. The meditator experiences transcendental state of consciousness ranging from trance to expansive states of connection and bliss to states where you feel one with the universe.
This is a mystic’s perspective of the universe – no understanding, only sacredness and awe. Words born of 26 alphabets become poor substitutes for capturing the immeasurable.
Here is a flow-based meditation that would lead you to inner spaciousness and a state of gratefulness. It has been my personal experience that the more grateful I am, more reasons I find to be grateful. Experience the spaciousness.