Thank you for your interest in meditation. If you are unfamiliar with this practice, or already have some preconcieved notions about it, we hope to give you some more clear and balanced ideas about how it works and why it could greatly benefit you.
Just imagine for a moment, if you could learn how to shut off that little voice in your head that is constantly judging, nudging, and shouting at you, telling you you’re no good, that you aren’t worth it, or that you “can’t”. You can learn to turn that voice off. Just imagine if you could choose to focus intently on whatever you decide, with greater clarity and ease. This is the mind of a meditator. You can learn these skills just like you can learn any other skill – by practicing. Many people think that because their mind is so restless, that they can’t meditate. Or they just don’t have the right kind of mind to do it. We would argue that the opposite is true. If your mind is restless and agitated this is precisely why you should be meditating! In fact, even experienced meditators started with a wonderfully restless mind. Meditation is the tool that you can use to bring calm and focus. (The following information will all be covered in much greater depth during the Breath and Inner Body meditation courses.) Now, let’s talk about what meditation actually is. Many people have the impression that meditation is only for the spiritual person and not for the empirical, scientific mind. And yet for those who consider themselves “spiritual”, many believe that meditation is for more advanced experts or esoteric monks who have committed their lives to practicing it. You may even believe that meditation can only be practiced by those who have mastered it.
Unfortunately this mythologized reverence for and/or intimidation by meditation has given this practice a false reputation of being unattainable to many who could greatly benefit from it. This is unfortunate, and hopefully we can clear up this confusion for you so that you, too, can enjoy the real benefits of this ancient practice. So then, what is meditation? Meditation is simply mindfulness, also referred to as “being present” or aware of being aware. To be mindful is to be deliberately aware from moment to moment. As an exercise, please take a few seconds, stop reading this, take your eyes off the computer screen, close your eyes and clear your mind as best as you can by doing the following: Ask yourself the question: “What is the very next thought that comes into my mind?” Then watch with intensity for that next thought to enter your mind. Watch and wait until it comes to you on its own, trying to be fully present and aware of it when it finally comes.
* Please take a brief moment to do this exercise and then continue reading on…
If you tried the exercise, you may have noticed immediately after asking this question, your thinking had actually stopped for a brief moment, your consciousness was pure consciousness, mere observation with no judgment or “thinking.” You were watching intently and actually waiting to see what you were going to be thinking. You were able to fully experience the pure untainted objective awareness behind your thinking for a few seconds. Then the thinking process started up again as a background noise that was not necessarily a clear ‘thought’, but was likened to mental noise that you were just aware of. Believe it or not, that was your first thought. But just before that moment, your mind was totally silent as your consciousness was just observing your mind. It was as if your thinking mind and your consciousness were two separate things. In this case you became consciously aware of your own mind. Congratulations, you just meditated!
Put another way, in order to watch your thoughts, a new dimension of consciousness opened up and part of you had to actually stop thinking in order to just observe your own mind as if it were a separate entity. For that brief and fleeting moment, you became the silent observer, you were the watcher of your own mind. And during that moment you were actually experiencing enlightened consciousness. This is objective thinking, and it is the key to what a meditation practice is all about. The advanced practitioner of this type of meditation is more often aware of their mind than is the non-meditator who coasts through life in a state of constant agitated reactivity to their surroundings and even to their own thoughts. They have not learned to separate their conscious experience from their thoughts. In other words, they are totally identified with their thinking mind, unable to break free of it. This is because they have never learned to observe their own thinking. Meditators, on the other hand, are accutely aware of this very important concept, which is: They ARE NOT their mind.
The mind, or that little voice in the head, is not who you are. Who you are is pure conscious experience, and the mind is a layer that is imposed on top of your own experience. You literally experience your thoughts like you experience anything else. But, unfortunately, most people do not realize that, constantly thinking that they ARE the content of their thoughts. We can learn to not be a slave to our mind by learning to recognize it for what it is and see it with complete objectivity. We are actually much more than the content of our thoughts. And by practicing, we can learn to be the observer of our thoughts.
Please remember a meditation practice is indeed a practice, which means that we are all students. Even the most advanced practitioners are students. So all you have to do is start. Just give it a try, by doing that you will become a meditator. From that point forward, your consciousness will begin to open up into a whole new dimension –the dimension of pure consciousness free from thinking. Without our mind’s constant chatter, this pure dimension is, by default, a dimension of pure joy, love and compassion. This is the natural state of our experience. Anger, fear, hatred, jealousy, greed, and all of the negative thoughts are just that, thoughts that can be watched with a blissfully detached objectivity and diffused like the ticking bombs that they are, through insight meditation. Please see the research page for more information on the many scientifically validated therapeutic benefits of meditation. Let us help you learn meditation. Get your headphones, and click here to learn in more detail what SoundMind Meditation and binaural technology is all about. Or, if you’re ready to get started now and just experience meditation for yourself, you will learn everything in the course that is contained on this website as you progress. Click here to begin your journey.