For the past few months, I have grown a keen interest into Buddhistic meditation.
I'd like to share my experience in the hope that it might benefit you as well (and to be honest I just want to recap it for myself).
To be clear, I don't believe in the religious hocus-pocus related to it, but it offered me (eventually) some super easy wisdom that I rarely payed any attention to before.
And that's the thing, meditation is easy, too easy.
After some months I came to the conclusion that for meditation I basically had to do one thing... nothing!
The hard thing is actually not trying hard.
So why did it take me so long to come to that simple conclusion?
Well one possibility is that I could be an idiot? After all, I say very stupid stuff sometimes and there's a lot of even more stupid stuff that I keep to myself! And that's just my perception!
However, I have some other possibilities that I'd like to entertain you with.
I remember the first time I tried to meditate. Trying to get that state of mind that would deliver me from all my worries! Trying to make my mind completely empty. Of course that meant being frustrated by any thought that surely would pop up!
I was really convinced that I had to put in a lot of active effort to clear my mind, whilst only making it more turbulent.
Like Alan Watts said, it's really like trying to make rough water smooth with a flat iron. The more you try to flatten it, the more turbulent it gets (his book "The Wisdom of Insecurity" is certainly one of my favourites).
Some weeks ago I had a really rough day and I didn't seem to want anything anymore. I thought "screw it" and I'll let everything be, as it is, for once. Turned out I rarely felt so clear as I did then.
It's the law of reversed effort as Aldous Huxley once coined the term.
So it got me thinking, why did it take me so long to let it be, as it is?
It required me to do a fair amount of reading on Buddhistic meditation. To be honest, I should have probably started with this (although it was certainly valuable to have drawn some conclusions myself).
All the reading seemed to come down to the same answer.. ego!
The thing that always wants, rarely notices, and is never satisfied.
The thinker behind the thoughts!
Or at least that's what it seems at first.
But are we really the thinker of our thoughts?
It you notice a thought, how can you have been thinking it?
If you see a river flowing, you are not the river now are you?
Most importantly, even though you notice the river, it's better to stay on the shore than to be dragged away by it!
I'll leave it at this for now, before you'd start to think I have some special mushrooms in my garden!