What is meditation?

December 27, 2017

Our cultivated focus on the outer world

In the Western world, we have cultivated a focus on our so called outer world. We are immersed in our actions and eager for a successful outcome (e.g. career, performance, appearance). We try to manifest a life by our own design with controlled action. We adjust our behavior to what is desirable to ourselves, but at the same time we adjust our behavior to what is desirable to others. In reaching out for what we want, conflicts arise. Conflicts with people around us, but most of all conflicts within ourselves. Either we don’t have what we want, or we don’t want what we have. We can be torn between choices, feel stuck, confused, restless, disturbed, empty, inert in our work or relationships, etc.

 

Exploring our inner world

We know very little of our inner world of thoughts and feelings. In our Western culture we haven’t been taught to deal with our inner world. We haven’t been taught to understand the relationship between our thoughts, feelings and behavior. We haven’t been taught to study the exchange that happens between ourselves and our environment. We haven’t been taught to communicate feelings, navigate on intuition, or how to simply relax our body and mind…

 

In fact, we cannot be taught about our private inner world, about our own unique, inner experience. We can only explore it ourselves! We can for example look really closely to the subtleties of our own feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. How do they move, where do they come from and where do they go? When do they arise and when do they disappear? What is an emotion and where is it experienced in the body? All the knowledge is really inside...

 

Guidance through your inner world

Guidance into our inner world can be of great help to gain understanding. A meditation teacher can point towards the subtlety and richness of what is experienced. A meditation teacher can point beyond your habitual way of perceiving. Only without filters the full spectrum of colors can be perceived.

 

The first aim of meditation is to see what is actually the case. Often teachers refer to the ‘here and now’. We prefer to refer to ‘what is’, to save people from striving or struggling to be in the ‘here and now’. You can try it out right now. Sit comfortably and ask yourself: What do you feel, what do you experience in this moment? Simply observe what is...

 

When you’re on the road traveling, how do you start your route navigation to your destination? Navigation always starts in determining where you are. Where are you in this very moment, what is happening inside you? Be silent for a moment and simply watch...

 

 

Exploring the relationship between the inner and outer world

Once you become aware of the subtleties of your feelings and thoughts, you can start to discover and understand the effects of your mind (thoughts), feelings and behavior on your environment and vice versa. How are they connected and how do they influence each other?

 

We can explore conflicts in work and relationships that appear again and again. Sometimes we get increasingly sensitive to specific conflicts in our life and feel the inability to get out of these vicious, exhausting life patterns. Why do we experience the same conflicts again and again? Why can’t we let go of recurring and exhausting thought patterns, of endless planning and pointless judgements? Why do we share frustration with the ones we love?

 

There are basic mechanisms at work which we introduce in our meditation teacher trainings. With meditation and more specifically self-enquiry, it’s about getting your question really clear. Meditation can offer you the space to gain insights. Self-enquiry can offer you the right questions to gain insights about yourself. In our experience, you won’t find any answers. Rather, more and more questions dissolve by themselves.

 

 

Meditation and our trainings

By closely observing and understanding our inner life, we can overcome inner problems by the very knowing of what is really happening. The unconscious troublemaking patterns, dissolve when brought into the conscious.

 

In our trainings we explore our inner world and study the exchange that’s happening between our inner and outer world. With a clear seeing and understanding of what is actually happening in your life, the grip of your mind (control) will lessen and a harmonious state of peacefulness will emerge. You will become acquainted with a serene state by just being with what is happening. Your daily life becomes rooted in this fundamental anchoring, resulting in a feeling of balance and steadiness.

 

Meditation is not a difficult or passive process! It is a journey into the unknown, fueled by curiosity, enjoyed by relaxation and celebrated with aliveness.

 

Click here to read more about trainings of the Institute for Meditation.

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