Unfortunately, Western Culture leads with the mentality that those with the most toys wins. An understandable confusion until your early 30’s, the anxious pursuit of material happiness, if you’re lucky, gets tired by the time you’re readying yourself for your mid-life crisis. This pursuit, however, isn’t limited to fancy cars and ridiculous McMansions. No, the desire to possess even infiltrates spiritual practices like meditation.
Ed and Deb Shapiro pen another great article on the topic of meditation and how no one practice is better than another. According to their latest Huffington Post, regardless of what name you put on the practice, it’s all about letting go in order to appreciate the simple state of being.
The practice of meditation easily gets put in a box: “I will practice now, at this time, at this place and in this posture, and I will do this particular method.” But a method is simply an aide; it is not the experience itself. A hammer can help build a house but it is not the house. There is no doubt that through practice we can release stress and feel wonderfully peaceful, but genuine meditation is about waking up, where the mind is clear and free of obscuration.
This is not a mental process but an experiential one as meditation is an opening, a release of ego identity when all attempts to meditate, all striving, all doing stops, when there is no past or future, just radiant emptiness. It is being present — fully aware and present in every moment — and we can do that whatever we are doing and wherever we are. It is the freedom to be fully oneself without limitations or ideologies — there is just this.
Read more from Ed and Deb Shapiro on keeping your meditation practice from being placed inside a box here.