Dropping The Object Of Concentration: A Direct Guide To Meditation.
Studying mediation (both through direct experience and research) for a while now, I’ve come across many different ways to achieve meditation; often attributing a single way to being meditation itself. It is not. In essence, meditation is the way of no way. Mediation, quite literally, is the art of doing nothing (no-thing). Let me explain…
**Ps. Naval Ravikant has a really great exploration on meditation on the JRE Podcast, Episode 1309*. I highly recommend checking it out!**
When you first start coming to meditation (ie. choosing something to do that will help you to start focusing on your internal monologue)—I chose “Sitting” for this example—the mind will often look like this: a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that are trying to pine for your attention. Your Active Awareness. These are also the things that make up your Identity (most spiritualists call it the ego, but I attribute the ego to being something else, entirely… click here to read about it…).
Typically, what most meditation practices will have you do is focus on one thing. The act of focusing on one thing will help to clear your mind of additional clutter and train your Active Awareness on only one, single distraction—your chosen Object of Concentration.
This is where most meditation practices will leave you. It is believed that by being able to focus on a single Object of Concentration, you have arrived at meditation. You have not. Meditation is not Concentration, though a lot of teachers out there will have you believe that it is. Meditation is actually two steps further.
Before we continue, we have to examine something first: what exactly is the mind? I find Osho’s explanation of what the mind is (in this book, The Path of Yoga*) the best. The mind is a conglomeration of thoughts. You can have a single thought—which will capture your Active Awareness. Then, you will have another thought from that thought—which will, again, capture your Active Awareness. This continuous cycle of jumping from one-thought-to-another is what we call the mind. The mind is not a single thing; rather, an activity, better described as someone mind-ing.
The thing that happens when we reduce the stimuli for mind-ing to occur is that we start to let go of our Identity entirely and swim free in Active Awareness.
This is also where all of the mystical and divine experiences start to flood your Active Awareness, to try and, again, pine for your attention. Whether it be flashing lights, divine moments from God, or even (what I use this space most of all for) eureka moments to help solve your problems. What is moving your Active Awareness around through the vehicle of Imagination? DMT. In Dr. Rick Strassman’s book, DMT: The Spirit Molecule*, he likens Active Awareness and DMT to a scout on a horse. The scout is there observing what is going on (your Active Awareness), while the horse that is moving your Active Awareness around is DMT. It is also why stimulating DMT through sitting can often feel like a drug trip.
However, this space is still not the final space of meditation.
Meditation truly begins when you have dropped all Objects of Concentration entirely—this includes mystical and divine experiences.
Only when you’ve dropped everything are you ever truly just sitting. This is meditation. The reason why people say that you can’t know what meditation is, is because there is no mind there to recall anything in the first place. Our lives are full of mind-driven experiences. “Knowing an experience” is just a recollection of mind (what does that say about our lives?). To be truly in the moment is to not know what you had exactly done, but vaguely piece together what you believe to have happened. The most effective way to measure this is by seeing how long you’ve sat for. The mind can guess at the experience, but when you think it’s only been 10 minutes, but it’s actually been 3 hours, then you know that you have truly been. Have you ever played a pick-up game of basketball, driven home, or mowed your lawn and thought to yourself, “wait, what just happened?” You were in a state of meditation (of no mind).
To an experienced meditator, sitting is just sitting (what zen practitioners call “zazen”). When you’re truly “in the zone” (in the moment), is when you’re truly meditating. The top scientists call this a “Flow State” (check out the book, Flow*, for more info), because you’ve essentially unpacked everything and are able to move freely (to flow), and do whatever it is that you’re doing to your fullest capacity.
This is also the primary benefit to meditation (to me, at least). The faster you learn to get into these states, the better you are able to perform at whatever it is that you are doing. Instead of splitting your energy, your attention, your focus, on multiple different things; you are better able to give all of that to your chosen task.
Personally, I try my best to employ this technique in whatever it is that I’m doing so that I can give 100% to whatever is put in front of me. No past, no future, only present.
The real “Power of Presence.”
-just do it.