I recently started meditating and I was wondering if mediation is supposed to be the same for everyone or is it how your mind allows it to be? For instance my mediation allows me to talk to myself clearly about what I am feeling. I always understood that mediation was quieting the mind but mine resides more in a clear conversation with my ‘existance’. Any input on my approach? Thanks!! 🧡🧡
I think it’s important to be clear about what meditation is and what meditation isn’t.
That can be a tricky task because there are different kinds of meditation practice. Kriya Yoga vs. Samatha vs. Vipassana vs. Jangama Dhyana, etc. And then there are guided meditations, affirmations, visualizations, contemplations, and so on.
So needless to say there are some nuances here and there are no real clear cut definitions. Therefore it’s up to us to do what we can. What I state here is my opinion and what I think would be most helpful.
Some people like to say things like “music is my meditation” or “art is my meditation.” Music and art are wonderful practices that can indeed become meditative. My concern with people referring to those activities as meditation, however, is that they may never actually get around to sitting and meditating. The ego wants to avoid sitting down and meditating at all costs, so it comes up with endless excuses–such as finding activities it likes and substituting that instead.
That said, both art and music can be spiritual practice. In the tradition of yoga, there are several different types of spiritual practice: Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Dhyana Yoga, and Karma Yoga. Art and music are a part of Bhakti Yoga, which is the yoga of devotion. Devotional yoga is all about tapping our emotional energies into single-pointed concentration.
Therefore anything can be spiritual practice. But not everything is meditation.
Coming back to your question, what you describe to me sounds more like Contemplation. Contemplation practice is indeed useful. Some people engage in what you are doing now and combine it with journaling. So I am not suggesting you stop what you are doing, especially if you have been finding it beneficial.
However I do recommend that you also add a daily sitting meditation practice and see how that goes. I’d be happy to answer any further questions about your practice as you give it a try.
One meditation practice you can begin is mantra meditation. This was my first ever meditation technique. I practiced it for about six months before I moved on to silent sitting meditation. Mantra is a good introduction to meditation because it uses the mind’s addiction to imaginations as a way to tame itself. When you repeat a mantra mentally, you are using an imagination to focus and still your mind. Eventually you no longer need the mantra to settle the mind, then you are ready for silent meditation.
The silent meditation technique I practice is called Jangama Dhyana and it means “Meditation on the Eternal Existence.” My guru Sri Shivarudra Balayogi travels the world teaching it for free to anyone who comes. It is the technique his guru practiced through to enlightenment and it is the technique he himself practiced through to enlightenment. I have been practicing it for about 9 or 10 years.
The more simple a meditation technique is, the more difficult it is. That is why practices like mantra meditation are good initial training. But eventually the idea is to move on to simple techniques.
When taking up a meditation practice, we all face different obstacles. I’ve heard a bunch of them just through running this blog. Some people begin a meditation practice and they find themselves suddenly bursting into tears. Other people feel a great fear or guilt. And even others may feel strange bodily sensations or see colors or have visions or get intensely sexually aroused. All of this just has to do with our own particular imprints. Don’t be fascinated by or hung up on any of it. Let it come and it will go. It isn’t some commentary on you and you don’t need to analyze the trash before throwing it out.
Personally when I began meditation, my body would physically heat up. I would feel this anger and claustrophobia. Eventually it boiled out of me, I just had to keep going. That’s actually the time when you will first notice the great changes that meditation works on you. When you sit through your shit and it boils away.
It is worth the effort. More than I can say and you can know.
All of this is just my two cents. I hope it was at least a little helpful.
Namaste 🙂 Much love and keep up the wonderful work.