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meditation
 

John Ruskan's
Emotional Clearing

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Many of us are, unfortunately, allergic to the word “meditation.” Perhaps you have tried it and didn’t get anywhere, or possibly you aren’t attracted to the peripherals that may accompany it. A large part of the problem, as I see it, is that meditation often is incorrectly explained. We are led to expect unrealistic results, and we become discouraged when we do not get them.

Meditation, to me, means sitting and doing nothing. It is not another form of activity but inactivity. I am not referring primarily to physical activity but mental activity. Usually we think we need to do something with our minds in order to meditate. We become preoccupied with doing and again ensnare ourselves in thought. If you can just flop down into your favorite chair, stop all activity of the mind, and let yourself drift into your feelings, you are meditating. However, we are so bound to the mind, its activity, and its self-rejection, that we have lost the capacity to drift or to even have an appreciation for the state.

The need for meditation comes about because we are incessantly active in our minds: doing, striving, asking, planning, thinking, seeking, evaluating, worrying, perhaps even praying. The mind simply needs some time off. Cultivating this capacity is an essential part of inner growth. When you enter the state of nondoing, you allow the mind time to recharge and to cleanse, both of which are essential for optimal inner health. If you develop this state and enter it regularly, it will easily become your favorite part of the day. If you don’t practice meditation, the sole alternative for cleansing is the projection mechanism, which results in a distorted perception of the world.

Use a focus point

Remembering that meditation means doing nothing – stopping mind activity – will help you to enter the state. Sometimes, however, a focus point may be useful to help stop mind activity. You may watch the breath, or mentally repeat the word “om” or any another word, or inwardly watch a visual symbol. The focus point is not a requirement of meditation and need not be used all the time; it is only a tool to train the mind. Focus your attention on the point you have chosen as you sit to meditate. Soon, the mind will begin to drift to other thoughts. Keep gently bringing yourself back to your focus point.

The focus point is not to have any content. If you are watching the breath, make sure you do not alter the breath; only observe it in its completely natural form. If you use a word, take care that you do not focus on what the word represents, such as “love” or “peace.” Doing so amounts to attempting to condition the mind and feelings according to a dualistic concept instead of allowing them to be revealed as they are, which is the basis of processing. It is better to use a word that has no intellectual meaning, that is simply an abstract sound on which you focus. Similarly, any visual symbol should not have emotional content or meaning at this stage of the meditation. Later you may bring emotionally charged symbols before you in order to bring up certain feelings. In this initial stage, we are setting up conditions for entering alpha and allowing nondirective emptying of the subconscious.

 
 

© 2004 John Ruskan / The Institute for Integrative Processing