Regarding meditation, I initially found it absurd (in this fast pace day and age) to sit still. What, after all, can be the value of sitting still? What is it that I'm waiting to happen? What takes place? What do people see in this sitting still?
All valid questions. First off, you needn't be in a group. You needn't go to a retreat. You don’t need to do anything except sit still and be attentive. You must sit still and be attentive. If you can do those two things, you will have begun.
If you set aside thirty minutes and commit to those thirty minutes, you will likely have gained nothing in five minutes and have meanwhile convinced yourself to get up and do something "productive." Even if you hang in there for the full thirty, you will likely still measure the experience against one of your "more productive" thirty minutes and reject the entire idea of meditation though you might, by "coincidence," feel more relaxed.
The value of meditation is to get to the core of experience. To grow more conscious of experience– conscious of consciousness. It is not thinking, though thoughts come. It is not desiring, though desires come. It is not being inactive, though attention falters. It is reaching a point where emptiness prevails. This emptiness, incidentally, is possibility itself. In this space there is "nothing to be done". The core of experience is not thinking. It is not the experience of being compelled by feelings and desires. It is only experiencing possibility– and that experience brings absolute joy. It is the joy inherent in boundless potential. Think of it as peeling an onion. The first layer is an attachment to things, the second to thoughts, and the third to feelings. The center is joy. Joy and absolute wonder. A wonder in the face of possibility.
When our consciousness has a regular time and place to encounter this level of awareness, there begins a peace– a peace that spreads and is retained on many levels. It begins to infect more tangible areas of one's circumstances. Options become clearer to us in every area of our lives. We feel the possibilities at hand.
The reason we sit still is to divorce ourselves from all things external– the world of things. We must commit and disengage from things. We become aware only of ourselves. One exercise is to pretend that everything external is an illusion– that you are the only thing that is real– the creator and center of your world. Detach. Close your eyes if you wish, but don’t stop paying attention. Closing your eyes can often lead to falling asleep.
One of the reasons for sitting in the so-called lotus position is to keep you erect, with your energy centers aligned and open. If you lean against a couch, a bed, or lie down, you can drift into sleep, though every step is progress.
The next thing to work on is your thoughts. Some may argue that this is not work at all. To observe your thoughts. To observe your thoughts, you must get to a point where you are aware of having them. This will come with patience. If you are up doing things in five minutes it is because you thought of something to do, and either forgot your commitment to meditation or bargained it away for what you might accomplish "out there" instead.
Some people are so frightened of themselves that they find it unbearable to be alone. They need the television on or radio, or something constantly distracting them from themselves. Driving in cars, speeding. Forms change but you can go to a place where there is no form, and BE change, THE change, the CHANGER, AND the change. Meditation, time alone, quiet time, peaceful time is important for this kind of processing.
An Improving Nature.
All healing occurs through interaction. Perhaps this is obvious. After all, doesn’t everything occur through interaction? What about my hesitation? What about my fears? This remains the challenge. There is something smart in me– in my body– in my involuntary being. My impulses arise out of this intelligence. These impulses are specific to me as an organism. I am the only one who can "feel" them. If I fail to listen to my impulses and resist change, I will quickly fall out of accord with my environment (with what sustains me) and my health will suffer. I must be willing to interact.
All interaction challenges me to honor my true expression (my distinct nature). This is part of what frightens me. When the moment comes can I express my true self– the self I know? Expressing my true and specific nature through interaction is what gives my life its quality. It is what allows me to experience life as meaningful. All my relationships change when I change how I behave. My entire life undergoes reorganization because of how my new way of behaving (nature) fits in with others.
Here we have managed to outline the three fundamental dynamics of human health– Vitality, Sensitivity, and Integrity. Vitality is the willingness to interact– to overcome the gulf between being capable of interaction and to interact. Sensitivity is the depth of interaction– the depth of responsiveness. It is the quality of distinction and trueness. Integrity is the level with which this interacting actualized true nature achieves harmony and balance together with all other things. These three dynamics (vitality, sensitivity and integrity) apply to patterns of energy that are responsible for sustaining and balancing systems in the body.
Again, I behave both consciously (voluntarily) and subconsciously (involuntarily). One is deliberate (conscious) while the other is spontaneous (subconscious). When I am consciously aware of my behavior I am choosing. Obviously, some choices are arguably better than others for how they will change my nature. The quality of my choices becomes the quality of my health. The quality of my choices will improve when I pay attention to how they affect my health and the health of those around me. If I pay attention to my impulses I will begin to understand their value. This is how I build a trust in my own nature. This is how I improve my health.
Nature improves! Consciousness grows! Things get better! The ongoing endeavor to improve is evident at all levels of being. Evolution! There are those among us who choose to celebrate and honor this prevailing way– this undying movement toward betterment– this good (or, to drop an "o" and capitalize out of reverence, "God").
The all-possible is good. After all, possibility is the maker of all things, for all things are created within this realm– the realm of possibility. The principles are all there. We only need to trust them. It's all about overcoming the resistance to change. It's about overcoming fear.
My nature (my way of behaving) heals automatically through exploration– through interaction– through involvement. This is how nature heals. We either get in its way and become like cement, or we express our radiant energy in its natural patterns and enjoy life– play at life– boldly grow and become!