What Meditation Is Not

posted by keeb August 28, 2013

Can you practice meditation? Are you sure? Perhaps meditation is something that is 24/7, a matter of attention, a deconstructive awareness of what one is; the unconscious now conscious, psychological divestiture, something apophatic. First find out before sitting in lotus position or perhaps chanting a mantra – my views on this are quite contrary to what the majority of spiritual people are doing, much of which I consider superficial nonsense.

There is no meditation without love; the psychological roots of power relationships and all forms of becoming (notably, the power relationships within a fragmented mind) must be uncovered.

Questioner: Meditation that I and many others practice involves self reflection, being non-reactive to thoughts, being detached to outcomes whether good or bad and ultimately, achieving a state of ‘no-mind’. Yes, it is deconstructive and destructive. I have found out before commenting and I have been ‘practicing’ meditation practically my whole life, 40-odd years. This is why I believe that people wouldn’t be attached to power over others, competition and generally ego-driven pursuits if they meditate. Meditation can be practiced/performed under any conditions – from being out in nature right through to the slums of India. It will slow your heartbeat and the mind can operate in Delta frequency. Yes, I’ve read a lot of studies on it and I say it from personal experience.

Neil Sansom: What is it that is non-reactive to thoughts? Is that not just another centre. Is detachment different from attachment? Is it indifference and is indifference living? What is destructive about deconstruction or is deconstruction a creative process? Is a meditating monk free of violence? Violence has many forms does it not.

Questioner: I mean non-reactive to thoughts, being neutral in how you accept the flow of your thoughts. Neither judging thoughts to be postive or negative. The ultimate goal is to silence the mental chatter. All chatter is just attachment to things. As a lot of the quotes going around the web say – ‘if you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are worrying about the future’. The goal is to silence those thoughts and live in the present moment, etc. I am learning to not have attachments to thoughts, chatter, linear time and even family history. Everything is an illusion and it is healthy for me to be indifferent. I can only speak for myself but yes indifference is living for me and it works for me. Re: deconstruction, deconstructing all the concepts I have held thus far about linear time and culture being a mass hallucination … to quote Terrence McKenna.

I think the meditating monk is able to transcend the mass hallucination that is culture by living a life that is free of the mental chatter, the day-to-day drudgery of living amongst millions of others, co-existing with strangers on public transport etc. The monk chooses this lifepath for himself and I guess, it is free of violence and yes violence takes many forms. Who knows how he would react when taken out of this artificial environment? I can’t say. Personally, I think that freeing oneself from the mental chatter is the first step to mental freedom as I believe the mental chatter is a form of violence towards oneself. I hope that I have explained my ideas in a way that you can be open to. But really they are not my ideas, I have picked them up through studying the wisdom of others that resonates with me.

Neil Sansom: To be indifferent is to be insensitive, yet sensitivity is the way of understanding. Full attention uncovers the false. Partial attention creates a centre. I will come back to this point in a moment. On monastic life, whether prayer or meditation-based the point is essentialy the same. Both include denial and devotion. To deny is a form of pleasure, it is also an inverted form of desire. Can a tortured mind ever find what is freedom? Many religions assert that the only way to truth is through this torture, this distortion. Is there are difference between a spiritual life and a worldy life? To be consumed by one thing is no different from being consumed by another. It is just another form of identification. As Buddha states, Silence cannot make a master out of a fool. Silence is not the goal, awareness is the goal

Meditation is choiceless awareness. It is not something that you do it is something that you are.  You are born as awareness, you are born already Being – this is what you fundamentally are. Meditation is not something that you go out and ‘get’ and then bolt onto yourself; it is not something that was missing before and now, having practiced this or that technique, you can add it onto yourself. You come upon what you are in the uncovering what you are not. You are not thought, you are not your personality; the personality is just a suit of clothes, you are ‘nothing’. You are emptiness. Meditation is the process of negation of that which is false: it is to be naked, open and in total release. It is something apophatic. In this sense a person who is awake does not practice meditation, instead his entire life is meditation. It is not a practice that is an escape from the daily grind, it is instead to read all live thought processes openly and choicelessly without a compulsion towards detachment or attachment. It is to be present in all senses: with full attention to eating, sitting, walking, weeding, even going to the toilet. One is alert at every moment to what is true and what is false. One is alert, sensitive and alive to whatsoever is happening, an effortless effort. Meditation is the art of non-doing, the Art of Being; it is the unpremeditated Art of Being. There is no such thing as how to meditate.  As soon as you ask how you introduce a censor, a controller, the actor of choice or will which all fundamentally create psychological fragmentation. It is to be free of the will of the centre; there is no direction, frontier or boundary. It is not bound by psychological time nor does it rest in the limited interval between thoughts or in the numbing down of the mind chanting a mantra. Krishnamurti once famously suggested “coca-cola” as a mantra to illustrate this point. It is that which is free of all bondage. It is a freedom without restraint, restriction, direction or compulsion. Only in such freedom is there contact with that which is unnameable.

Joy, bliss, freedom, goodness, virtue, order and compassion are all facets of this unnameable ISness, a celebration of ISness. Meditation is that which is not thought, meditation is love. Please consider this important question. How can there be love if your life is used a passage towards some pre-determined self-chosen end? Instead it is to give yourself over; to be free of the need for gratification in all of its forms. And it is to be free of the process of adjustment or comparison or measurement, which is fear. It is to know profoundly your absolute correctness.  Only such a person is individual, indivisible, integrated and whole. It is to be alone.

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