Why do I meditate and how might meditation benefit you?
The primary reason I meditate is because before my meditation practice I was mostly an uncertain and struggling childlike mess of a man lost in my own mind. A good man? Yes. A kind and loving man? Yes. A smart and creative man? Yes. But considerably confused and fragmented as to who I was and how I fit in the world and suffering from a debilitating lack of self worth.
I meditate with the discipline that I do today to avail myself again and again and again to the eternal and liberated experience of life and Self beyond transient thoughts. To realize the steady truth to the universal question, Who Am I, Really?
One day it radically landed for me that to try to navigate to the truth of life and Self through the interpretations of a mind that is constantly making shit up and then re-making it up in a different way the next moment, is total insanity. This was my suffering.
The mind’s predominant way of knowing the world is through thoughts and through beliefs constructed of thoughts.
I began to ask the deep inquiry, “What is the true nature of Self independent of thought?” I could use the mind to point to an emptiness/everything-ness beyond and prior to mind.
Using a thorn to remove a thorn.
But to the mind, an absence of thoughts seems useless and even threatening. When trying to imagine a way of being beyond thoughts, it initially perceives only a great void – emptiness, no substance, no way to know self or experience without ideas of self & experience.
The mind’s personal viewpoint is that there is no way to know self without thoughts about self. Thoughts that make up images of self in the past. Thoughts that make up images of self in the future. Even thoughts about self in the present are typically referencing the past and projecting into the future – trying to maintain and solidify a constructed image made up of….. thoughts.
The mind’s proclivity for thought figures that to feel good about self we just need to create and stabilize better thoughts about self. But thoughts will NEVER stabilize. It is their nature to constantly change and to be creative and exploratory and questioning and constantly re-evaluating everything. This includes our own sense of identity as it exists In the mind.
Trying to find a stable identification and knowing of self in thoughts that are ever changing is madness.
Going deep into meditations of powerful and sustained inquiry as to the experiential nature of the eternal and unchanging Self totally independent of these perpetually changing thought forms, can be the most stabilizing, liberating and beautiful adventure you’ll ever undertake.