What is meditation


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Copyright 2005 by K. Ferlic,   All Rights Reserved

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As stated on the Meditation Concepts and Principles for Creativity Home Page, “Meditation is a concept much like the concept of love. You can look in the dictionary and find a definition but its use and what it means to a particular individual varies widely . How to experience meditation will have as many different ways as there are people. Although there are several common and typical ways to meditate, what ultimately works for you may or may not be any of these common techniques, nor your technique even be something that is used by another.

As used here, meditation is about holding an inner focus. As such it encompasses becoming aware of one’s thoughts and how one thinks. It is becoming mindful and aware of where one is placing the focus of their attention. It is about exploring your inner world and how that inner world ultimately gets translated into an experience of your external world. It is about learning to observe one’s self in relationship, in action, and ultimately in everything one does. (More on ....What is meditation?)

Meditation is about creating a mental discipline to place the focus of our attention where we want it focused when we want it focused. There are many other techniques, such a studying music, athletics, art, academic study, that can teach us the same discipline and ability. The advantage of meditation is that it can give you an awareness of our thoughts. If we place our attention on the questions “why do I have the thoughts that I do as opposed to any other?” meditation can give us an awareness of our thinking process and the origins of our thoughts. This, in turn, is a very powerful creative tool to have in our creative tool kit.

The awareness of our thoughts that we can gain in meditation can lead to mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being aware of what is in our mind at any given moment and where we are placing our attention and awareness. Mindfulness allows us to “pull the string” on any thought we have to see where it is leading, where our thinking pattern is leading or where the thought comes from and what thinking pattern and beliefs caused that thought to arise in the form that it does.

What Is Meditation?

The are a variety of ways to view meditation. The actual understanding that is given to the action of meditation depends on the tradition or program that is using it and what one is trying to achieve. As said above, it can have as many different meanings and ways as there are people. So one does need to become aware of the finer points of what is being conveyed when they use the word meditation and for what purpose meditation is recommended.

Although the dictionary definition is consistent with most uses of the term meditation, it does not quite convey the full extent of the meaning as it is used every day or colloquially. To meditate according to the typical dictionary definition has a variety of closely related meanings. To meditate is: to engage in continuous and contemplative thought; it is to look attentively or gaze; to consider thoughtfully or to intend or plan; it is to consider thoughtfully, or at length, ponder, cogitate; to think about doing, plan. Meditation is the act of meditating and can be seen as a reflection upon a subject or contemplation.

This dictionary definition over emphasizes the active mental and thinking portion of meditation. There are meditations that encourage no thinking such a such as observing the space between thoughts. However what is often not recognized to sit and meditate with the intent of observing the space between thoughts is simply acting on a thought. That is, it is acting on the concept or thought to observe what lies between thought.

What is also missed in this definition is the fact that what can be contemplated is the depth and breath of one’s own true nature. A definition more appropriate to its variety of uses and it role in creativity is meditation is the conscious focusing and direction of one’s mental attention and awareness in a particular way to achieve a particular end. This, of course, opens the door to understanding that almost any activity in life can be a meditation.

Meditation as used within the understanding of the energy consciousness model to navigate or to create from what is symbolized in the heart is consistent with the general use of the word. But there is the added emphasis of exploring the depth and breath of one’s true nature both internally and externally and to come to understand how each is a reflection of the other. Meditation as used here in this material is seen as the conscious focusing and directing of one’s mental attention and awareness in a particular way such as in a practice or process to achieve a particular defined end and to become mindful and aware of the thoughts and the actions one should take that do and do not sever that end. It is to discover and explore one’s true nature at every level of one’s being; spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically to intimately know one’s self on each of these levels. The emphasis is on the focus in on one’s true nature as opposed to anything else. Or in other words, one’s true nature is the object or focus of the meditation, not the external world for it is in our true nature that we find and access our creative power and creative ability.

In meditation as used here, one is not concerned with the true nature of one’s external world or the true nature of any other individual. It is about coming to know and understand one’s own nature and one’s own truth. What you will find is that when you understand your true nature and your truth, only then you will see the true nature of the universe and the true nature of another.

It needs to be noted there are tremendous understandings one can have about the nature of the universe without exploring one’s true nature. Modern science has proven that. However, there is a connection between each individual and the world they experience that can only be seen by looking within. This connection is how we both create the experiences we have in Creation and the reality of those experience. Until that connection is explored and experienced, there are many aspect of the nature of the universe that will not be come clear and/or understood. The only “proof” that can be offered for this statement is to go inward and explore this connection. See for yourself what you come to learn and understand.

Meditation is a powerful tool that can be used to arrive at the awareness of your true nature. As such, it should not become an end unto itself. To sit and meditate to remove oneself from the world can be, and is, an addiction as strong as any other addiction one can have. Meditation should equip you with an understanding to be in the world and not lose yourself in the deluge of distractions of the world. Meditation should not cause you to deny your own truth and/or your true nature because of what the world demands of you. Meditation should empower you to become truth to yourself.

In this regard, meditation is an exercise like any other experience in life. It is not an end in itself. It is part of one’s journey and an experience to have, savor and release like any other experience you have. In the same way you exercise your muscles to have them do what needs to be done and you need to eat food to have energy, meditation is a tool that strengthens and equips you to become mindful. It should equip you to be in the world and to eat and savor the experiences of the world yet not lose yourself in it.

Overall, meditation is an inner focus. Any meditation practice is about exploring the unexplored frontiers of your own being. As for any exploration, you will have to use techniques that are appropriate for the frontier you explore including the techniques of meditation. Different techniques will allow you to explore different aspects of your inner world. For example, although the extreme northern and southern latitudes and the Amazon River basin are both parts of the same earth, as an explorer, you would use different tools to explore each although your basic technique of exploring would be the same.

As with any exploration you travel into the new frontier with the tools you believe are suitable for your exploration. In your exploration you observe and become aware of what you find, mapping the terrain as you go. It is the same with meditation. The basic techniques are the same but the actual way and tools you use may be different. If you are lucky, you may have a guide who has explored a similar inner terrain with similar tools.

However, you must realize there is no guide in existence that has explored the unknown terrain of your own being. Only you can do that. All the guide can do is advise you of their journey and the types and kinds of things you may expect to encounter when you follow a past similar to their path. The guide you have may have, but not necessarily, effectively explored their own terrain. If they have, they can assist an advise the exploration of the unknown terrain of others, but no one, other than you, can explore your own terrain. And it needs to be emphasized that any guide only knows what they have explored. If you follow their advice you will enter their world and not necessarily that world you have to enter.

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