Meditation — Don’t Play by the Rules

I found an article from Fall 2009, Tricycle, titled “The Problem with Meditation Instructions.” As regular readers know I just provided very simple instructions for getting started feeling, doing, sensing what a meditative state feels like. Here’s an opening quote. “We assume that meditation practices are proven to work for most anyone, so when we experience frustration with the task of meditating, we often lay the blame on ourselves. We don’t see that the meditation practice itself has something to do with it.”

H-m-m-m. That statement confused me because I’ve always thought a meditative state can be achieved in any variety of ways just as a hypnotic state can be acquired in different ways, and even as a sleeping state can be arrived at through different methods. All are altered states of consciousness which fall along a continuum with fully alert at one end and unconscious at the other.

I continued to read the article, through discussions of rules and individiuals’ apparent need to over follow rules for meditation or anything else, in our pursuit of correct performance and perfection. I started to understand Jason Siff’s (the writer) point, which he clearly articulated at the end.

“But for now, it is enough to know that there is no way to do this [meditation] wrong, as it is not about following an instruction as much as about allowing your experiences to unfold. Seeing for yourself, from your own experience, what works and what doesn’t is what meditation is all about.”

I agree. I also apologize but I can’t find the original article by Jason Siff online so I can provide a link for you. You can however look him up and find that he’s all about hanging loose, not blaming self, ignoring meditation instructions, and finding what works best for you. Get into that lovely zone of distance and detachment that ends up improving your brain fitness as well as reducing your stress.

I feel much better and comfortable with the loose instructions I provided on Wednesday. Hope you do too!

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