Several weeks ago I was speaking with some of my meditation students about the general public’s impression of meditation practice. They said that people are generally not interested in meditation because many feel that is not effective enough to be worth the time investment.
One of my students then expressed the most damning statement against meditation when he said, “To be honest, with the exception of students who attend your class, if I compare people that I know who are regular meditators and people that I know who never meditate, I can’t find any significant difference in the quality of their lives or in the depth of their character.”
Such sentiments against the efficacy of meditation need be honestly addressed by meditation teachers because these negative sentiments very accurately reflect shortcomings in the available practices. Humanity is moving forward into a new phase of conscious awareness, and if meditations do not adjust for this phase we are entering, they will simply fade into disuse.
I have never had any formal meditation training, apart from a few short excursions, and in a very important way the lack of such formalized training was a blessing. As a result of having no formalized training, and because the motivation for my meditation was purely one of inspiration and a desire for oneness in daily life, the methods that I have come to employ are purely principle-based and lack any ritual, tradition, or dogma. The pure, simple motivation of my efforts ultimately blossomed into dynamic methods that are highly effective at bringing the individual to a sense of oneness in daily life.
Simplicity is the ultimate path of meditation, for that which is complex tends to fail under pressure. Let’s face it: Daily life is high paced and stressful. How will a complicated method hold up when there is no time or space for complexity, like in daily life?
The more natural the meditation the more effective it will be because it is honoring nature. Through a consistent appreciation of simplicity, I discovered a degree of connectedness and oneness that everyone is ultimately seeking even if unconsciously. Anyone taking a simple, natural approach will gain the same benefits so long as they sincerely apply themselves to the process. Anyone who wishes for greater harmony in life and who is willing to be persistent in their approach will gradually be able to realize such harmony through the power of simplification.
Once simplification takes root in one’s life, it is like a virus that infects the entire organism. All aspects of the individual’s life begin to ease and depressurize. When this happens the mind begins to quiet more and more, but when thinking is required it is more likely to be useful thinking with a directed purpose for a specific goal that you are able and willing to act upon.
Although meditation is an extremely powerful tool when used rightly, it is important to realize that it is only a tool to assist in the awakening process. Once the tool is transcended it is to be set aside, for it has accomplished the intended use. After all, if we were to continue meditating when there is no longer any need for it, then meditation becomes a complication, and that would be counterproductive in our goal of realizing greater awareness of the present moment, consciousness — ultimately, love.
Blessings on your journey of awakening!