Lightspeed Meditation

Meditation means awareness. Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation. Action is not the question, but the quality that you bring to your action. Walking can be a meditation if you walk alertly. Sitting can be a meditation if you sit alertly. Listening to the birds can be a meditation if you listen with awareness. Just listening to the inner noise of your mind can be a meditation if you remain alert and watchful. The whole point is: one should not move in sleep. Then whatsoever you do is meditation.
Osho

With a hectic schedule it can be hard to find time for meditation. Even knowing how immensely valuable meditation can be, I often neglect my meditation practice. Usually my excuse is that I don’t have the time to meditate. While it is true that longer meditation sessions tend to be better, I want to collect some simple and quick meditation techniques here so that the excuse of no time does not hold any weight.

A Shop Window
We can start with the sparsest of meditations. One method I discovered may be especially apt for us would-be urban monks. “You Don’t Need A Cushion, A Shop Window Will Do!” was a reminder of the ease of embedding our meditation practice into every nook and cranny of our lives.

The first step is actually the hardest: realise that you’re rushing around! If you’re rushing it’s very easy not to notice.
The second step is find a convenient shop window, stand in front of it, and pretend to look at something particularly interesting.
The third step is take three natural breaths, noticing the flow of the breath in and out of your system. No need to think, plan or remember things, just notice the breath coming and going three times. Just noticing can be quite calming, it can also be quite difficult, the flywheel of the mind just want’s to keep spinning.

These mere seconds of awareness can be the seeds of deeper practice. Like a shadow lengthening as the sun lowers, what starts as a sliver can reach the horizon.

One Minute
An easy one minute meditation can consist of being mindful first of our breathing –perhaps deepening it– and then of our sensations, feelings and thoughts. This is unlikely to induce a meditative state, but it keys us into awareness. It also has the side effect of being relaxing and healthful.

A Chance to Sit
With a couple minutes to sit we can go a bit further. Inducing a rhythmic breathing and maintaining focus for a short period can be a good way to ease into meditation if we are new to the practice. Developing the discipline to not be distracted by thoughts or sensations can be done even in these short sessions.

Observation of Thoughts
Observing is the key to these basic meditations, and allowing ourselves to simply rest and witness what our minds are doing is foundational.

This involves sitting in a comfortable position and just trying to quiet your mind by thinking of nothing. It’s not always easy to do this if you don’t have practice with it, but a good way to begin is to think of yourself as an ‘observer of your thoughts’, just noticing what the narrative voice in your head says, but not engaging it. As thoughts materialize in your mind, you just let them go. That’s the basic idea.

By not engaging our thoughts we can rest as awareness and not identify with them. A concise way of reminding ourselves of this is using a variant of, “I have thoughts, but I am not my thoughts.” Being fully aware of these thoughts but being free of them is a vital first step that can take less than ten minutes.

The Source and Omega Point
Let’s keep in mind the aim of meditation.

Meditation, whether Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, or Islamic, was invented as a way for the soul to venture inward, there ultimately to find a supreme identity with Godhead.
– Ken Wilber, Grace and Grit

It is to remind us of our Original Face, that we are consciousness itself. Our bodies, our emotions, our minds and our thoughts are all objects that we witness. Everything that we can identify as an object is not our authentic Self. And beyond the witness we are joined with everything that arises. We are every passion, every slick body and sharp torture, free from it all we are saturated by it. Meditation trains us to be free of false stories of who we are, free of the suffering caused by identifying with narrow notions of self and ultimately liberates us to live a life fully engaged in beauty, goodness and truth. A lightness guides us even as we work to better a world filled with suffering.

A few minutes is a small price for moving closer to that, isn’t it?

14 thoughts on “Lightspeed Meditation

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  1. I like this post on meditation. The only problem that I find with meditation (although it by no means limit how often I meditate) is that witnessing life is excruciatingly painful. The more I meditate, the more painful I find it to witness life, as I become increasingly aware. Sometimes though the pain can be a drive to move forward, so it's not necessarily bad, just miserable.

  2. I like this post on meditation. The only problem that I find with meditation (although it by no means limit how often I meditate) is that witnessing life is excruciatingly painful. The more I meditate, the more painful I find it to witness life, as I become increasingly aware. Sometimes though the pain can be a drive to move forward, so it's not necessarily bad, just miserable.

  3. Gwen, disidentifying with pain can be an important and rewarding part of meditation. Maybe try recalling something like “I have pain, but I am not my pain.”

  4. Gwen, disidentifying with pain can be an important and rewarding part of meditation. Maybe try recalling something like “I have pain, but I am not my pain.”

  5. I understand your idea of disidentifying with pain, but I find myself unable to do so. It is not even my personal pain that hurts, but the pain of the world. I was actually chatting about this with my Priest, and trying to find whether a balance is indeed possible for me. I am unable to move through pain without first surrendering to its existence. In some ways, I find, the deeper the pain the deeper the understanding.

  6. I understand your idea of disidentifying with pain, but I find myself unable to do so. It is not even my personal pain that hurts, but the pain of the world. I was actually chatting about this with my Priest, and trying to find whether a balance is indeed possible for me. I am unable to move through pain without first surrendering to its existence. In some ways, I find, the deeper the pain the deeper the understanding.

  7. Of course surrendering to the pain is initially important, but becoming embedded in it is where the trouble lies. The first part of “I have pain, but I am not my pain,” is fully owning, embracing and recognizing the pain as our own. And then we move into a space of holding the pain while resting in our freedom from it.

  8. Of course surrendering to the pain is initially important, but becoming embedded in it is where the trouble lies. The first part of “I have pain, but I am not my pain,” is fully owning, embracing and recognizing the pain as our own. And then we move into a space of holding the pain while resting in our freedom from it.

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