Can you learn to do nothing at all?
In my work I really try to make meditation as easy as possible for everyone. That is not because I lack appreciation for the profound depth and profundity of this practice – in fact quite the opposite.
I realize that true meditation means simply resting in the recognition of who you really are. It means just being yourself in the deepest possible way.
Too often meditation is thought of as only a technique – following the breath, repeating a mantra, visualizing a white light, etc. Of course any of these forms of meditation can lead you to the essence of your true nature. In fact they were designed for that very reason.
Unfortunately, more often than not practitioners get stuck in the never ending process of perfecting their technique. They get better and better at it without ever discovering the Truth that they were searching for in the first place.
The way I teach meditation makes it so simple. You just sit without making a problem out of anything that arises. You become the space through which all of your experiences keep flowing. All you do is allow everything to be the way it is.
The Practice of Emptiness
This is a practice of emptiness. You are simply empty space. If you don’t think about it, or try to do it, you will find it is easy. In fact, it is what you are already doing all the time. Meditation is not different from being and since you are always being, then you are always meditating.
What could be simpler than being something you already are, or doing something you’re already doing?
So if I do anything that gives you the impression that you need to do anything at all in order to meditate, I will be taking you away from who you already are and what you’re already doing.
You are a Conscious Entity
When I teach meditation what I am actually doing is helping people recognize who they already are and what they’re already engaged in. That means recognizing that you are a conscious entity that is alive and aware.
When you really get that you will see that it is a miracle to be you. How did you get here? How did you become conscious? It is almost funny how easily we can miss the miraculous nature of who we are. Modern life has us so caught up in the never ending effort to acquire more that we miss the miracle that is already here.
It is more difficult to really understand this than you might think. Almost everyone gets the simplicity of this form of meditation initially, but they find this non-problematic approach very difficult to stay with for long.
Every year I teach a five-day retreat that includes lots of meditation. I always start the retreat telling people that I can teach them everything I have to share about meditation in the very first hour. After that all I can do is repeat what I have already said. There is nothing more to know.
Meditation Means Doing Nothing
If we allow meditation to be as simple as it is, there is really very little to learn about it. The technique of just being can be mastered almost immediately. All we have to do is sit still and not make a problem out of anything that arises. Just don’t do anything and allow it all to be fine the way it is. Leave your experience alone, don’t change a thing.
What we discover is that when we are not involved in the never ending process of monitoring, regulating and adjusting our experience everything runs smoothly along. Your internal bickering is really not necessary.
It’s easy to explain what meditation is and how to do it. It’s a lot harder to believe it. We are so conditioned to thing that nothing good comes easily. We’ve been taught that hard work is the only thing that pays off. Meditation isn’t like that.
Meditation only pays off when we allow it to be as easy as it is. Meditation means doing nothing and what could be easier to do than nothing.