Many people have tried to put into words what meditation actually is. While some people think it is a spiritual practice that comes from specifically one religion, others think it is a way of concentrating blindly by sitting cross-legged with closed eyes.
In recent times, there has been an increase in the interest in meditation among people, especially in the west. Even though they have been experiencing the benefits of it, they hit a wall whenever they try to understand what it is.
So What Exactly Is Meditation?
It is indeed hard to put the art of meditation into lucid words. But one interpretation is that meditating is the art of watchfulness. Watching the processes of your body and mind and being aware of them helps you get a greater purview of your life. And if you are among the hardcore ones, it can show you the very source of your life energies.
When you watch, truly watch, meditation automatically happens. The state of meditativeness becomes your very nature. That is why many masters have said, that you cannot do meditation. It just flowers. It happens like a life process.
How to Watch?
Most people confuse watching with concentrating. Because all around the world, the image of meditation is a bald monk in orange or red robes, sitting with eyes tightly shut, and concentrating immensely. Even the monks themselves will disagree with this stereotypical image.
Watching Is Not Concentrating
Concentrating essentially means putting all your attention into one thing and ignoring everything else. This is a very ridiculous way of observing and experiencing life if you want to have a fuller experience. Watching is inclusive. It includes everything.
Just like when you watch a movie, you are not concentrating on any small part of the picture. You are watching it as a whole, and surrendering to it. You are being at the movie’s mercy to guide you through the next 2-3 hours of experience.
Don’t you think your life deserves the same watchfulness and inclusiveness too? After all, it is ‘the creation. When you watch it as a whole, you get a bird’s eye view of everything that happens. By being super watchful, you go into deep states of meditation as the very secrets of life unfold.
Because of people trying to concentrate too much on things, they try to focus all of their energies on one aspect of life and exclude the rest. And due to this, every small thing becomes a distraction for them. They cannot expect anything else to come into their view except what they are concentrating on.
Thus, for them, the so-called mediation becomes a difficult process. Instead of watching and becoming meditative, they try to do it by concentrating and wasting their energies. This is why for many people in the west, meditation is so difficult that it becomes an act of pretending not to sleep.
The reason meditation is important is that your life is very valuable. And if you spend all these years on this planet without even knowing what this is all about, or even getting a little of its taste, then it’s a waste.
It is only by watching that you will know and realize many things about yourself and the life you are living.