Why We Should All Be Meditating

According to meditation advocate Pranav Ghosh, meditation is at the very core of Buddhist practice, and there’s nothing as fundamental as a human being needing to be in an enlightened state to achieve liberation. He also believes that meditation can be the first line of intervention in the battle against disease, because our bodies become the first “host” or disease vector, causing our minds to go crazy. There’s not much more to say.

I’m usually a noob to most of these, but I wanted to share my favorite meditation with you — the first in a series of three posts on the subject titled “Meditation For Your Brain.” It’s entitled “‘You’re’ Me,” and here’s how it goes:  Open your mind to the idea of living inside an invisible, ever-present wave of awareness. It’s a simple thing to start with. You could start with just opening your eyes; but the best start may be with what you’re currently thinking. Try this:  What do you feel like right now? What are your most vivid recollections of the past hour, the last six hours – and then ten hours – or even this morning? Ask yourself three simple questions: Do you feel a sense of calm and serenity? Do you feel in control of your body, mind and emotions? And what are you most mindful of right now – at this moment right now in this life? Do you find them all to be true? That might take just a few seconds, but it might be the most impactful thing you can do in your life right now.

I find this technique, while perhaps too direct for some, immensely effective, and I love the idea that anyone can start by just trying to be more aware of their “you.”

A Meditation for Your Heart

“Meditation for the Heart” is by far one of my favorite meditation posts, as it deals with the concept of being present in all your experiences; not just in the moment when you’re doing something or reading a book but in all of your moments. Here’s how it goes: (I also highly recommend the followup post, “Meditation for the Back and Forth,” which goes into a bit more detail.)

If you were an ice cream cone, your flavor would be “sweet.” But as a human being, what would you like your flavor to be? Would you like your ice cream to be “savory” or “pungent” or “mimetic”?

You could be more mindful and aware… But then you could not be mindful and aware. There is no room for that within the present moment. Instead, focus on your heart: (Don’t worry about the word “heart” – I’m going to use it anyway, as that is what it means for you.) What are you feeling right now? What do you like about it, how does it make you feel, how does it make your friends and family, and how does it make yourself feel? What do you find interesting or challenging in it, how do you feel when it’s working well, how does it work when it isn’t, how do you want it to work, or how do you want your heart to be?

Don’t worry about what type of ice cream you’d most like the most. Don’t think about your favorite flavor. Just be aware right now in the present moment of what’s in front of your eyes and in front of your heart, as you breathe.

What do you feel?

What do you feel like?

Are there times when you feel that this is a very difficult moment in your life – maybe a really, really hard thing to deal with, maybe really dangerous, maybe really hard, maybe just trying to figure out what’s going on and feeling scared and confused or frustrated that you don’t know what to do? If so, look at your heart. Does it feel sad? Angry? Angry at us? Do you feel helpless and helplessly fearful? Do you feel like you just don’t know what to do? Or do you feel like this is good, this is something you should enjoy, this is good and worthwhile, this is the only way you know how to feel? What do you feel like?

Do you feel angry because you don’t have control over some thing, right now, in your life? It might be a feeling in your heart, you know, a feeling of being stuck and helpless? Maybe it’s a feeling of a deep, dark place and you feel like you’re about to be crushed under some weight, like you’re about to be crushed and crushed.