“How long do I HAVE to meditate?”
This is the question every one of my meditation students asks me.
Then they wait apprehensively for me to impose the dreaded sentence. Ten minutes a day and they’re relieved, or even happy. Twenty minutes is acceptable. An hour is like a life sentence. Telling them to meditate twice a day is completely unacceptable. Excuses start pouring out.
Is meditation really that bad?
Yes, it is.
Meditation has to rank among the most boring, painful activities existing. At least you’re doing SOMETHING if you’re washing dishes or cleaning toilets. But with meditation, there’s nothing to engage your mind, nothing to occupy your attention.
The only dirt that appears during meditation is the blemishes inside yourself. No one really wants to look at their own garbage, much less deal with it.
Boredom soon sets in –very soon. Being bored is one of our greatest social taboos. It’s just not cool to be bored.
Close behind boredom comes pain. Meditation postures are all invariably excruciatingly agonizing. That is they are if you can even get into one.
Take the full lotus position. I’m not a hundred percent sure about you, but I’ve NEVER been able to sit with my ankles on top of the opposite thighs with the soles of my feet pointing at the ceiling. If God wanted my feet pointing at Him, He would have put them on top of my head!
And the half lotus? Is it half better? Either one is agony after twenty seconds.
The Burmese position is supposed to be the comfortable one for serious meditation experts sitting ten plus hours a day. They give you a nice little meditation cushion sloped just right for comfort. You get to put BOTH ankles on the floor instead of on your thighs.
And after half an hour your ankle bones feel like they’re digging their way through that floor. Your knees are cramping. Pins and needles are all you can feel from the waist down. From the waist up there’s only your aching, unsupported back and a head so heavy that it’s impossible to hold it upright.
Please, please, just get me a chair. Give me something to do too.
Fortunately, there is another kind of meditation.
The one where you have to sit doing nothing is called Vipassana, Anapanasati or Empty Mind. The Buddha assures us that practicing this kind of meditation will bring us to Enlightenment in no less than sixteen lifetimes.
Sixteen lifetimes! Sixteen years would be doing “hard time” as they call it in prison.
Buddhists call the other kind of meditation, the interesting kind, Vajrayana, or The Diamond Vehicle. Yogis call it Raja Yoga and regard it as being the highest form of Yoga. New Age calls it energy work or light work.
This is the fast track. You can become pure light in this very life.
So how does it work?
It’s quite simple, really. You find a realized teacher who can give initiations. She does some fine tuning in the energy system that underlies and supports your physical body. Suddenly, you can do the same meditations that she can do.
You become able to feel subtle energy moving through your physical body and to actually see the energy with your mind’s eye.
Each initiation you receive enables you to work with finer and finer particles of energy. Your teacher will guide you through doing exercises using the energies to cleanse your system and gradually turn you into pure light.
Believe me! There’s NOTHING boring about moving energy around inside yourself with your mind. It’s a much better show than the best psychedelic drugs give!
It’s also completely beneficial.
Your physical and emotional health undergoes dramatic transformation. Your relationships either improve or disappear. You get really clear about your life purpose and which activities bring you joy.
Can you guess which activity starts bringing you the most joy?
It’s going to be the one you enjoy doing the most, the one that brings you the most pleasure.
As the energy starts clearing out all the emotional and traumatic garbage you’ve been carrying around, all your stress and tension, all the stories you’ve been telling yourself, something magical happens.
Love, joy and peace start growing inside you.
Love, joy and peace bring bliss.
Bliss is highly addictive.
You start ignoring TV, computers, talking needlessly and even sex!
You want to meditate as much as possible because, not only is it really good for you, you actually love doing it more than anything else in life.
Try meditating in blissful love. You may never stop.
Richard Crown teaches meditation via Skype/Tel. He uses Shaktipat, Deeksha and Kundalini energy to guide people into deep meditation fast. See Richard’s meditation courses at Shaktipat Meditation.org.
Download two Ebooks free - Creating Eternity: A Meditation and Healing Manual and Ascension In Love: Our Spiritual Journey Shaktipat-meditation.org/weekly-shaktipat-blessing/.
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Lovely post. I really enjoyed reading it. I believe there is nothing wrong with the drudgery at the beginning phases of meditation as long as you know that you are on the right track. It teaches us how to be persistent and we can practice our will powers at the same time. Even in Raja yoga you encounter difficult times when your awaken energy gets blocked and you have to deal with the emotional barriers, prejudices and wrong mental construct.
Do I have to meditate in buddhism?
I don't quite understand your question, anji. Of course you have to meditate. Meditation is the single most important activity in Buddhism.