So that’s it. You have officially reached the end of the boot camp.
I threw a lot of material at you with very little “actual” meditation. But understanding these fundamentals. Understanding why we meditate. Understanding what you’re trying to do during meditation is the key to successful meditation.
Here are just a few closing comments.
Each time you meditate you’ll hopefully notice a little more separation between you and your thoughts. You’ll hear the thoughts just like you would listen to someone else talking, but the thoughts will no longer be you. You will also notice that the separation starts to carry over into everyday life.
When you start to understand how the mind works you will literally laugh at some of the games it plays. It can be truly devious.
So one thing you might encounter is that the mind realizes what will happen if you keep going. Eventually the mind will cease to exist. It’s called an ego death. So naturally that’s a problem for the mind that needs solving.
You’ll notice your mind struggle and get pretty crafty. It will get scared and it will fight back. It will start to say you’re no good at meditating. Why waste your time. But don’t worry. Just keep doing the same thing and it will eventually relinquish its grip on you.
One thing to watch out for is the self righteous mind. It’s old method of self criticism no longer works on you so it changes tactics and starts to reinforce your new higher principles. When you meditate, it will start to say things like, “wow, you’re really good at this”. “You could be enlightened by next week”. “You’re so much better than everyone else because you are operating on a higher plane”. It will start to sound like Yoda – “Yes, yes, follow the breath you do”. “Become the wind you will”. “Transcend the mind you will”.
But that trickles over into everyday life because you’ll start to criticize everyone else, but this time differently. “Oh I wouldn’t do that. I meditate”. Essentially, I’m better than you. Or you’ll go around telling everyone they should meditate. The underlying thought is that you’re better than them. But it’s still just a thought created by the mind and based on fear. Fear the ego will disappear.
But because it sounds like it’s higher principled you may think it’s a good conversation to have in your head and may not catch it for what it is. It’s just your mind again trying to run the show. It changed the story to something it thought you might like.
So if your life is somewhat OK. You have a roof over your head. You’re not starving. You have a little bit of money. Then “the journey” can be tough because it’s a slow battle with your mind.
People with truly horrific life situations can have spontaneous awakenings where their mind just can’t handle the situation anymore and simply seems to overload and shut down.
People with terminal illness, people on death row, people with extreme hardships. If you have 6 months left to live, the mind has a hard time with that. It wants to live forever. But the news just shuts it right down. You don’t have to plan for the future anymore. All problems seem trivial by comparison. Learning from your past isn’t going to solve your impending fate.
It’s a shame that for a lot of people, they have to be on their death bed before they experience a peaceful mind. If you look into the eyes of someone who’s dying and has truly accepted what’s about to happen, their eyes are full of unconditional love. There’s no struggle anymore. No drama. It doesn’t matter how much money they have. House in foreclosure. They become childlike. When they look at you it’s like they’re seeing you for the first time. Just the same way a child explores the world for the first time.
I really enjoyed when my boys were around 2 years old. They were seeing most things for the first time, so even a mailbox was fascinating. How the little flag went up and down was mesmerizing to them.
When you’re an adult, you don’t even look at the mailbox anymore. Your mind simply see’s “mailbox”, classifies it as “not life threatening”, and then goes back to solving the laundry or dinner or thinking about the weekend. It likes to be anywhere other than looking at that mailbox.
The reason is. If you really look at the mailbox. Look closely at the colors, the texture, see how the light hits it and bounces off, your mind doesn’t exist. It can’t exist in the PRESENT. But if it can find fault with the mailbox. It’s faded, it’s wonky, it’s not big enough. It created a problem and then the ego is back in charge. You have to plan a trip to the hardware store. You have to worry what the neighbors will think of your faded mailbox.
Over time, meditation will help you see through all those games and get back to being present. Being in the NOW. And it’s a wonderful place. You may cry when you realize how much of LIFE you’ve missed listening to your mind instead of being here.
Enjoy the journey. Keep meditating.
Peace, love and light.
When you only have a $100 bill in your pocket,Confucius Hermit
change is inevitable
UP NEXT – go out and stare at your mailbox. We’re finished here.
Meditation Boot Camp – Quick Navigation
- Meditation Roots – the history of meditation
- Why Meditate? – why do we need to meditate
- Physical Relaxation – the importance of physical relaxation for meditation
- Meditation Environment – how to set up the perfect environment for meditation
- Meditation Posture – different meditation postures that work for everyone
- Breathe Properly – both energize and relax your body by breathing properly
- Breathing Practice – simple breathing exercise before meditating
- Subtle Sensations – becoming aware of your body
- Stop the Mind – stopping the mind from chattering
- Entertain the Monkey – giving the mind a task during meditation
- Follow the Breath – focusing on breathing during meditation
- Simple Breathing Meditation – putting it all together in meditation
- Meditation is a Journey – make meditation a lifelong practice