Living Meditations

How to Get Started with Meditation

Written by Ekras Gorakh

Be comfortable with doing nothing. That’s it.

Our language is funny. Is it still “doing” if we’re doing nothing at all? Even when we seem to be doing nothing externally, the heart is still beating, we’re still breathing, and our nails and hair are still growing. In fact, if we think about all the energy that the body uses, stopping our thoughts and voluntary movement probably doesn’t move the needle much. 

This is what’s happening inside us. The outside world also doesn’t seem to care too much if we stopped doing something. The sun continues to shine, the earth continues to move, the trees continue to grow, the economy continues to chug along, and television programming continues unabated. Even trolls on the Internet continue unchecked, and it’s very likely that your colleagues are doing their work while you sit there and do nothing. To be sure, interesting facts will continue to be searched on Google, and someone will be looking at cat videos while you’re not watching. It may even happen that people post the most interesting content on Facebook and other people will “like” them without noticing that your contribution of a like has not been noticed.

Unless you’re Clark Kent and the world needs Superman right now, it’s probably OK to do nothing for a brief while. So, why is it so uncomfortable? Maybe because we’re not sure of our place in the world. Maybe it’s just a habit. 

New habits can be learnt.

Zen poet Basho said: 

Sitting quietly, doing nothing;

Spring comes,

and the grass grows, by itself.

There’s a place of inert silence, like death. Then there’s the opposite place of creative silence, which is the essence of life itself. We want to experience this pure life force. Full of creative possibilities.

A good guided meditation can talk you through the entire session (I have some on iTunes/Stitcher under “Ekras Living Meditations”). The guide’s objective is to talk you through this process of settling into your own skin. First, by relaxing the body but keeping it alert so you don’t fall to sleep, then by adjusting the breathing so it’s naturally relaxed and alert, and then by resting the mind’s awareness on an internal or external stimulus so that we can step into the meditative state.

The sessions could be as short as ten minutes and as long as twenty minutes to an hour. Depends on how long you can stay, and with practice you can stay longer in the state.

When you come out of meditation, you’ll find that you’re ready to take on the world on your own terms. And you’ll find you have started to meditate!

About the author

Ekras Gorakh

Ekras Gorakh is a software executive and a yoga-meditation teacher living in San Francisco, CA.

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