Beyond experience

What most people want is to have an amazing experience, dramatic and exciting, to experience ecstasy, unforgettable pleasure, sexual exhilarations and deep emotions.

We are willing to pay large amounts of money for strong experiences, we will trek to the corner of the world for the extraordinary, will do anything to feel, to be moved, to be shaken, surprised, stunned, this is what we translate as being fully alive.


But what about being perfectly still?

Being silent, relaxed, content and peaceful; withdrawn, introverted, and absorbed. What is it that we experience when we quietly center ourselves within, are we not alive? When we experience our own self, the very core and bare self, stripped from thoughts and emotions, memories and plans.

When we undress ourselves from our personality and detached from the body, from our personal titles of name, age, place and gender; naked within, when we step back from our experience, who are we then? the experiencer of ourselves.


If you are looking for a breathtaking experience there are endless of tourist attractions and tours that promises to give you just that. There are adventures sports and drugs and all kind of energy manipulation games and powers. Meditation, on the other hand is not an experience and should not be seen or understood as such.

If you are practicing meditation to reduce or mange stress, you are not practicing meditation at all. You may like the idea and love the image of “a meditator” but meditation is not a self-image, it is not a de-stresser, it is not a therapy not a remedy, it is a meeting with oneself.

If you want to learn meditation to have some out-of-body magical experience, to obtain some supernatural yogi powers and have mystic experiences, you are not interested in meditation at all. Go be a magician!

Beyond mind, beyond mindfulness what are you left with?

Unlike popular belief and common understanding, the goal of meditation is not to be more mindful. Mindfulness practice is not meditation, it is a great, useful and efficient method to develop awareness. It is a valuable technique designed to develop one’s ability to concentrate relax and be more alert. This is all great qualities to develop but meditation is not about developing positive qualities, it is not about connecting to our thought, nor is it about changing negative thinking patterns to positive ones.

Meditation can only begin once we put the correct intention forth, the intention to meet who we are, who we are beyond the mind. And only once we actually have the access to go into a state beyond the mind, can we even aspire to meditate.


Understating from a teenager’s understating

Recently, I spoke to my teenaged niece, we spoke about meditation. She was extremely surprised to hear me say that meditation is not just closing your eyes while sitting on the floor in a cross-legged position and making long mmmmm sounds. She was very surprised to learn that one actually need to learn to meditate. She, just like most people for some common belief came to the wrong conclusions about meditation. Underestimating the practice as a simple experience that everyone can have if they just put on the right cloths, sit in the right way and close their eyes, making a long mmm sound.


As she is a young professional and talented athlete, I compared meditation to her favorite sport which is volleyball and explain that just by dressing up in athlete clothing and holding a volleyball in the volleyball court, doesn’t make me a volleyball player. Personally, I have no idea about how to play the game, I don’t know the rules or goals. Dressing up has nothing to do with actually playing volleyball just like sitting on the floor in a crossed legged position with eyes closed has really nothing to do with meditation. In essence, meditation can be practiced anywhere, regardless of body position, eyes open or closed, etc.

While possible, it would not be very comfortable to play volleyball in tight jeans, just as it would be rather challenging to begin meditating in an unsupportive environment. But, let us be clear and not confuse the core essence with the external props and costume.

Meditation is not an experience, it is a meeting with the experiencer.  A meeting of oneself with their very own self.

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