The Bare Essential of Meditation
Updated: May 6
(I've written another article on meditation here)
During the times before I was chronically fatigued, I was able to read much, and one of the subjects I read about was meditation. Even then, I realized that, in order to meditate, you don't necessarily have to torture yourself by sitting in a certain position and doing nothing.
Throughout the years, I've done just that, and I've realized that it only enhances the pain in my back and neck (especially the neck). This made the orthodox way of meditation very difficult for me on the sensory level, and now that I am easily exhausted by just about anything (except voluntary writing), I can no longer practice the orthodox form of meditation -- Zen meditation.
It was thanks to Osho, a guru from the previous century, that I realized that there is no one way of meditating, and theoretically, every kind of action can be used for meditation. There is, possibly, only one condition for an action to be meditative: to lose yourself within it.
In other words, if you're able to overcome the automatic experience of life, made by your rationality, you will then enter a state of ultimate intuition; one that will make you "lose yourself" in whatever you are doing. Once you use intuition for this purpose, you can not only calm yourself more but also reach certain insights that may lie within yourself, as some of my own readers have told me.
I will now give an example. During my years as a kid, I had an unexplained desire to build a base and just watch it. By "base," I refer to video games where you can build things. In other words, I had, for some reason, a deep urge to build the video-game equivalent of an aquarium, only with troops and machinery instead of fish. This urge continues to "haunt" me to this very day, and I have no idea why.
I've tried playing multiple games to please that urge, but very few actually achieved this strange urge for meditation. One was stressful, the other felt like I was watching orbs instead of troops; another game had civilians and cars walking in a loop without really feeling authentic, and even though you could build a base there, it was severely lacking in what I was looking for.
Only recently have I found such a game, and when I played it, I felt the same meditative emotion as when I used to practice Zen meditation. You could build islands and other buildings that would spawn units patrolling the area, from tanks to boats to planes. For me, it was a dream coming true after two decades of failure.
My former master, who introduced me to Zen meditation, told me that there is a certain feeling that exists when you meditate successfully, something that could be described as purity in terms of experience, and that feeling does not exist anywhere else in life.
I knew what he was talking about, and he even told me the name of the feeling: something in Japanese that was supposed to describe a sunrise. Even when I remembered the name, I failed to find anything about it online, back 10 years ago, in English or Hebrew.
The game in question may be costly, as you need to make in-game purchases in order to get things done quickly, but at least I finally found the aim of my strange calling. Still, I have no clue as to why I craved this so much, and I'm usually a person who can explain much of his motivations. Perhaps the intuitive part of myself -- the one who knows naturally -- knows things I do not know about myself as a rational-driven being.
So yeah, meditation, although synonymous with contemplation, isn't exactly the same thing. When you contemplate, you do not lose yourself in the source of observation. Contemplation is rational, while meditation is intuitive.
Perhaps the thing that binds them together is the fact that they are the means to the same end -- to become more insightful about existence. Each part -- the rational and the intuitive, has its place in the grand scheme of things, even though they serve the same function.
The core difference, however, between the two is that rationality is based on reality, whereas intuition is about "existence beyond this one". Perhaps that meta-existence is something that exists beyond the automation of thoughts to which many of us are confined.
As John Lennon said: "Life happens when you're doing something else", and when it comes to meditation, these words are extremely true. When we are successful in our meditation, the iron curtain of thought is pulled away, making you lose yourself in the source of your activity. Therefore, any action, in theory, could become meditative.
Nonetheless, intuition is very paradoxical from a philosopher's point of view. On the one hand, it could guide us very well sometimes, but on the other hand, we're just "supposed" to accept that it does just that, as it minimizes skepticism. The latter has no function in intuition as it is a rational tool, whereas intuition is about embracing wholeheartedly.
Ask yourself too much, and you might ruin the whole experience. Hence, meditation requires losing yourself in the activity. In turn, you could gain insights you wouldn't otherwise have, and that's something that comes from someone who has meditated on and off throughout the past eleven years.
What I can report from the meditating I've done over the years is the fact that I failed to find this very elusive emotion I've written about, other than the very action of meditating. The only "substitute" I found for it is in drinking coffee, and that's what made me a coffee lover; drinking coffee does not hurt me like Zen meditation does.
Finally, the whole desire to build a base with troops and watch it function is a variant of having an aquarium. For some, watching the fish swim in their confined area is as relaxing as watching planes patrol the sky and ships patrol the seas. As to why my intuition led me to this niche variant of aquarium-building, I don't know, but it sure relaxes me, like in a successful attempt at Zen meditation: to lose yourself in the object of focus until your sense of self disappears.
Osho himself spoke a lot about the self being an "illusion", a slave-master that makes you live life as if it were a dream. I don't agree with him on that part, but I think I can understand the intention – life passes quickly when you are in "automatic mode", and much of it, quality-wise, is lost with time. Be more intuitive, and your senses will intensify, giving you more pleasure, if not entirely happiness.
One of those who rejected me, Seph, told me that she does not believe in happiness. After being alone for so long and using meditation, I now completely disagree with her.
To further convey to you the strange, exclusive feeling I wrote about, I have best found it in this composition I made a long time ago. Enjoy, and thanks for reading. Final note: only in solitude did I manage to find this deep sense of meditative happiness. It's the main reason I crave it so much.