What is Meditation?
Meditation is a state of Intelligent perception beyond the thinking mind.
When the thinking mind is perfectly still a new state of perception is realized where total "attention" to the present moment is experienced and this state of "present moment awareness" contains within it a great secret and power. A secret that the thinking mind is totally unaware of, but this state can only be experienced by the mind that has been stilled. This is because the thinking mind is not fully present, it is lost in thought, therefore the mind that has not realized "stillness" has no experience of it and is not qualified to make comment. That does not prevent it from doing so however, and that is how thought, belief and opinion are born; out of the ignorance of a mind that is not still.
Meditation can also be seen as a series of stepping stones across the "stream of thought" within the mind. Correct meditation will take you by the hand and lead you across the stream of thought to the other side, whereas incorrect meditation will only lead you into confusion, and into a very wet experience! Incorrect meditation uses the thinking mind in an attempt to overcome that very same thinking mind, which is of course an impossible task. Why would the "thinker" want to defeat itself? The thinker in you is the one you have to become aware of and move beyond . . . into the stillness and inner peace that lies just beyond it. The fact is that "thought" can not bring "thought" to a point of stillness and there is a very good reason for this. Let's take a simple example. If you use a single word or phrase to focus your attention on what are you actually doing? You are thinking, yes? You are actually focused on one word or phrase to the exclusion of all others but you are still using the thinking mind in an attempt to still it . . .um, do you see the problem here? It is like feeding the fire while you are fighting the flames. Thought feeds thought and stillness puts the flame of thought out! The point I am making here is that you will need to learn a form of meditation that is based upon you, your natural intelligence, turning in on itself as the observer of thought. And when I speak of thought I also include the emotions that are reactions born of thought. You literally have to "watch" yourself thinking continuously in order that you can take back control of your mind and therefore, as a consequence, your external life.
Why would anyone want to still the thinking mind?
Stillness is a state of "Inner Peace" and inner peace is the end of worry. So, right from the start, we have one good reason . . . a life of freedom from worry. What is worry? Worry is the mind thinking problematically, with a will of its own, without pause. Have you ever spent time in self-observation? By that I mean have you ever spent time observing the way your mind works and watched it in action? The action of the mind is thought. That is the first step across the stream of the thinking mind; Begin with "Self-Observation." Watch yourself thinking and getting emotional and observe your thoughts and emotions as they rise and fall. And do this without judging those thoughts and emotions as being good or bad, right or wrong or even likable or dis-likable.
You will need to spend considerable time observing the way your mind operates and the way thought and emotion are connected. I don't know if you have ever noticed but if you are unhappy it is because your mind is thinking about something and you then begin to become emotional about it.
Meditation, when practiced with true dedication, will remove unhappiness from your life. It is not possible to be unhappy when the mind is perfectly still. Why? Because for the thinking mind to be perfectly still all ignorance and false conditioning have to be dissolved, dissipated and removed from your being. Then you are in a state of total "peace of mind."
But that's not all. When you still your mind you'll also experience what true "joy" is. Some people call it "bliss" and others "love" but the label is not important. What is important is the direct experience of this state of being. Peace, joy, bliss and love are words that describe a state of BEING, they are not emotions, they are what remain when all normal conditioned emotions have been removed from your total system. The most appropriate name for your total system is the general verb "Being."
Would you like to experience a life that is free of all psychological and emotional unhappiness, is that possible? Yes it is possible and not only will you be free from pain, misery, suffering and unhappiness, which is the normal human condition but your life will also change externally. Seemingly from nowhere changes will begin to unfold in your life. The external circumstances of living will begin to improve or change for the better. Why and how does this happen? It happens because at your very center, the center of your being, there is the perfection of the original state. And the original state, being perfect, is attempting to "unfold" as your life . . . the life that you are. This perfect state of being, which is at your center, is perfectly still. It does not move, it doesn't go anywhere or do anything, it does not even think . . . it just is! But in its "isness" there is total perfection. No problems, no unhappiness, no mental or emotional misery and no struggle or trying to be something it's not.
This perfect state may be "thought of" as a blank canvass by the minds of the unenlightened, and there is nothing wrong with that, other than the fact that this "blank canvass" is your own state of pure and clear Intelligence. What the enlightened have realized is that this state of pure and clear intelligence is the real "i" in the word real"i"zation. In other words it is what "I" really am when all past conditioning has been removed from my sub-conscious mind.
Some people call this state heaven, paradise or a garden of Eden but whatever label you give it, there is one fact that every man or woman who fully investigates this subject discovers; "the center is already perfect." It is the natural state of perfect stillness and inner peace at the center of each of us and it is filled with a natural "Joy" that has no opposite polarity, no sorrow, contained within it.
The direct experience of your center, which is the "realization" of who and what you "really" are, automatically and naturally dissolves, dissipates and removes all your conditioned negativity, aimless and problematic thinking (worry) and emotional unhappiness.
The realization of the perfect state brings that very perfection with it into existence; through you, through your life . . . as your life. Not at some future date, not when you experience physical death but now, while you are alive. The time to begin the process of bringing the perfection of paradise to earth is . . . Now. Let us begin!