1. What really is meditation?
What meditation is may differ from what has been sold to you. The more you may try various methods, the more difficulty you may have meditating at all. You may have given up, have gotten frustrated, or may now cage yourself in jail of belief that you cannot meditate at all. If this is you, keep reading.
Meditation is not about clearing your mind, and they cannot be guided. Meditation is not a trance though people may use trance states to do it. Otherworldly Imrama or Echtrae are not meditations either.
Meditation is the act of just being while turning your mind toward itself. It’s turning the mind toward itself with which people have the most trouble.
Meditation is a breakage of the cycle of doing to provide a moment of non-doing and just being.
2. The secret conundrum.
Out of the parts of the self, the interaction between the mind and body seem most interesting to meditation and right-living. The body is flat seeming structural because it has one fickle will that goes to and fro. When we feel fear, for instance, we group the flat phenomena of a certain set of physiology into a hierarchy of feelings and emotions.
The best way to meditate is to simply close your eyes and watch your internal phenomenon without trying to do anything. Close your eyes, breathe, watch your breath. Listen to the sounds, feel the pain in your feet or back. Give attention to each new phenomenon or thing that happens to you. That’s it. As simple as it sounds, it isn’t easy.
The self will defend its normal existence, it doesn’t want to quiet down. It’ll introduce thoughts, pain, itches, make you fall asleep. The important thing is to not let the will of the body win. If you fall asleep, meditate again upon waking. If you itch, scratch it until gone and start again. You’re trying to beat your horse-mind into submission. The real trick is accepting the difficult path of winning. I have severe adult ADHD and I won against my horse-mind.
The conundrum happens when you get caught up the hither and thither of your thoughts. What goes on in the body and mind together engage with your impulses to break you out of the state you’re trying to achieve. Your mind and body re-engage and all of a sudden you may be breathing anxiously or sweating at the thought of the items of your worry.
People try to play whack-a-mole with their thoughts to get them under control, but you cannot relax or focus the racing mind as required in magic and druid practice by doing more racing.
If you get caught up in your thoughts, return to watching and listening. The more of these returns you make, the more successful you’ll become.
3. Why is the breath really important?
The breath is the key. It sits at the crossroads between watching and doing. It is something you do, but at the same time, it is something that happens to you. Here is a seam in the self from which to start rooting deeper awareness.
When you deeply meditate, and your focus and awareness become greater and greater while doing it, your breath will control itself. There is no need to control it when you’re not going after trance states. In fact, let it run out and let your body fill your lungs, do not voluntarily inhale, let it occur to you.
The breath and watching the five senses in introspection is the road to Segais.