Do you know what prompted you to click on this article with a title like that?
Were you perhaps looking for an article to show you how to get something right? Are you maybe wanting to start meditating for health and happiness yet have no idea how to actually DO it? Or, maybe you’ve already been trying and you just can’t get into it and don’t know why or what you are doing wrong.
Well, let me start by saying the word ‘DO’ is probably where the problem initiates. The whole concept and idea behind meditation is to be in a state of quiet relaxation and calmness within. HOW we get there seems to be the biggest dilemma for us. Especially the over achievers, over workers, people pleasers, single parents, entrepreneurs…etc. We are a big group, and we all suffer from the same ‘doing’ syndrome. And hey, I don’t blame you or judge you for that. I’m right in that group myself – I’m right in there and passionate about it at the same time! Most of us don’t even realize we have a choice, or that the power does lie within us. We’ve had to work so hard in our lives and the messages we always get from the world are to DO more, GET more, WORK HARDER, be BETTER. It is only natural that when we consider meditation, either having learned about how it can help us cope with stress, handle our family lives better, or just bring some BALANCE – we add it on the the ‘To Do’ list as another thing that we need to sort out and DO to fix our busy lives.
Doesn’t that just seem a bit ludicrous? Adding yet another thing onto our plate only further serves to add to the overwhelm and feeds the stress further. AND, when we likely don’t even get to doing the meditation thing that we know we should do, we then feel guilty about it too – great, now we’re back to square one feeling like we’re just failing at this thing called life.
Ok, let’s change our perspective on this.
What if? What if we approached meditation not as something we need to DO, but as a state of mind and as a state of BEING. What this means is mediation doesn’t require all sorts of equipment and a focus on what we need to DO to get it right. Meditation simply requires us to do NOTHING and be totally cool with it.
Ah HA! That’s the hard part isn’t it. Do NOTHING and be cool with it. Therein lies the inherent problem. We do not now how NOT to DO.
Meditation is healing for the spirit, body and mind because it is meant as a sanctuary from doing. It is meant to be a place you can re-charge, re-connect, and re-establish what it is like to just BE without expectations on yourself. THAT’s why it is so damn hard to do – it’s not another ‘To Do’ that we can add to the list. It is an ERASER of that damn list.
Perhaps your meditation usually begins with: “repeating a mantra” or “focusing on your breath”.
It makes sense because these meditation practices are commonly taught in the western world, BUT it’s not “true meditation”, according to spiritual guru Osho.
In fact, he says that these practices are affecting our ability to achieve true peace and enlightenment. He often gets asked by people, ‘How do I meditate?’ His response is that you don’t need to ask that question. The very fact you ask it means you are off track and not truly understanding WHAT meditation is.
“When people come to me and they ask, ‘How to meditate?’ I tell them, ‘There is no need to ask how to meditate, just ask how to remain unoccupied. Meditation happens spontaneously. Just ask how to remain unoccupied, that’s all. That’s the whole trick of meditation – how to remain unoccupied. Then you cannot do anything. The meditation will flower.”
I understand, that may cause initial confusion and even more stress. “It just HAPPENS? – Remain unoccupied? – how the BLEEP do I do THAT?”
Well, here’s the kicker – when you figure out how to remain unoccupied, unbusy, unbothered, un – everything – then you will be meditating. Actually, you’ll be just ‘BEING’. The concept of ‘just being’ for us is so foreign the idea of it alone freaks us out. I’m sure you’ve seen and heard that quote before: “We are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS” – you’ve seen it, nodded your head in agreement and moved on… now the next step is you have to actually let it in and surrender to this idea.
Which brings me to the next reason this is so hard for us. Surrender. It feels like a weak, shitty word that we want to do everything possible to avoid. As survivors, surrender is not a word or action that we have had the luxury to allow into our realities if we wanted to get past the next moment. But, the truth of it is, surrender is the purest place we can exist. The pain in our lives is caused by our inner resistance to the way things are.
“Nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace. But this also means that nothing outside yourself can hurt you or disturb your peace or upset you in anyway.” Course of Miracles
“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.” Marianne Williamson
So, what IS true meditation then?
According to Osho, true meditation is simply doing nothing, accepting yourself, and being in relaxed state of consciousness:
“Meditation is just being delighted in your own presence; meditation is a delight in your own being. It is very simple – a totally relaxed state of consciousness where you are not doing anything. The moment doing enters you become tense; anxiety enters immediately. How to do? What to do? How to succeed? How not to fail? You have already moved into the future.
“If you are contemplating, what can you contemplate? How can you contemplate the unknown? How can you contemplate the unknowable? You can contemplate only the known. You can chew it again and again, but it is the known. If you know something about Jesus, you can think again and again; if you know something about Krishna, you can think again and again. You can go on modifying, changing, decorating – but it is not going to lead you towards the unknown. And “God” is the unknown.
“Meditation is just to be, not doing anything – no action, no thought, no emotion. You just are. And it is a sheer delight. From where does this delight come when you are not doing anything? It comes from nowhere, or, it comes from everywhere. It is uncaused, because the existence is made of the stuff called joy. It needs no cause, no reason. If you are unhappy you have a reason to be unhappy; if you are happy you are simply happy – there is no reason for it. Your mind tries to find a reason because it cannot believe in the uncaused, because it cannot control the uncaused – with the uncaused the mind simply becomes impotent. So the mind goes on finding some reason or other. But I would like to tell you that whenever you are happy, you are happy for no reason at all, whenever you are unhappy, you have some reason to be unhappy – because happiness is just the stuff you are made of. It is your very being, it is your innermost core. Joy is your innermost core.”
So, How do we actually practice this then? How do we train our minds to be unoccupied? It’s a good question, one that I am very curious about as well. Just HOW do we simply ‘let go?’
Here is Osho’s response:
“Watch your mind. Don’t do anything – no repetition of mantra, no repetition of the name of god – just watch whatever the mind is doing. Don’t disturb it, don’t prevent it, don’t repress it; don’t do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher, and the miracle of watching is meditation. As you watch, slowly mind becomes empty of thoughts; but you are not falling asleep, you are becoming more alert, more aware.
“As the mind becomes completely empty, your whole energy becomes aflame of awakening. This flame is the result of meditation. So you can say meditation is another name of watching, witnessing, observing – without any judgment, without any evaluation. Just by watching, you immediately get out of the mind.”
Ways to just BE:
Those are just 10 of the thousands of ways you can just allow yourself to STOP and BE. Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!
May your find your way out of doing and into yourself. The healing that comes from just BEING in this world with no judgement is incredibly powerful. Get off the hamster wheel and gift yourself the nourishment and surrender that you were born into. Who you are right now is enough, what you do is enough, where you are is enough. Let that in, and the breathing thing will just happen on it’s own as you truly feel the release and peace that comes will being fully present.