Thursday, May 15, 2014

How to meditate: Don't "meditate"

Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly;,
A kuti is a "meditation hut" or "cell," lodging to withdraw, absorb, and contemplate. It is likely to feel like a prison cell if one does not enter with the right intention and view.
Oh, to have a Thai Buddhist meditation hut like this shrine hall (Richard-Perry/

It is easy to meditate, too easy. So easy that one should not "do" and it will happen.

It will happen. So be meditated rather than meditating. In yoga class I say to practitioners, "Remember to breathe." Newcomers roll their eyes. But before long, they're forgetting. They're clenching, sucking in their guts, getting dizzy. "Breathe, breathe," I say.

Eventually, they ask, "O, you mean remember to do deep abdominal breathing without clenching." "Yes," I answer, "what else would I mean?" Breathing would just happen if we got out of our way.

Samsara or Bhavachakra thangka (Stephen Shephard)
But better than breathing, let the breath breathe you. That's tougher to get one's head around. No need. Just do it. It will happen if we allow. Look, it was just happening! You, reader, you were just doing it! The breath was breathing you...

By the same token, meditate. And remember to meditate. How? Pay attention. We're always paying attention to something. Choose. Rather than wandering and wandering -- endlessly wandering on in this tragic samsara (wheel), blinded by delusion, baited by craving, dejected by aversion -- choose. Focus. Stay.

Easy meditation steps: Stop. Stay. Awake. Too easy? Really stop, completely stop. If I were doing nothing, what would I be doing? Not nothing. "Nothing" is not something we do. There would be breathing going on. We wouldn't be breathing. In a sense, Breathing breathing us. We wouldn't be meditating. In a sense, Meditation would begin meditating us.
would be
  • (Here "meditation" does not mean "contemplate" or "rotate in the mind." That comes later during the insight exercises for liberation. At this stage, it's all about acute-serenity, complete peace full of wakefulness and attention. For those of us with ADD, the two just don't seem to go together. But they will if the way we get to serenity is by prolonged attention. It purifies the heart/mind).
Downward Dog, also known as the Lululemon Test Pose (
All the words in the dictionary won't do it. Just do it. Practice. For one who practices -- who is persistent in following the directions, in "trying," as it were -- success comes. It can't help but come. Others go faster, still others go slower...some don't go at all. Look at yourself. Practice. It's not about them. It is about you.

The comedian on the radio
Christine Blosdale had comedian Kyle Cease on Pacifica on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 11:00 am. He said it exactly, describing "flow," which is both a kind of yoga and a psychological state world class rappers like to enter. Athletes, too. And meditators can learn a lot from it. As a comedian and motivational speaker, Cease had something to say about meditation, realization, and having an epiphany about the illusions we live in:
Evolving Out Loud (

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