What is Meditation?

Wahido Theriaca's picture

Average: 3.2 (6 votes)

What is meditaion? What is for you meditation? Have you ever meditated, really? What was one of the things that always happen when you meditate? any ideas? any thoughts? yes, this is my point. One famous contemporary Spiritual Teacher called Tony Samara once told me: "Once you figure out the mind you become enlightened." Now, this doesn't mean anything specific, and i cannot speak about what he is really referring to, but I believe that the mind is vey powerful and commands our lives, even when we are meditating. So for me meditation is simply watching the mind. Of course you can have meditation where you exercise the body, but ultimately if you cannot unfocus from your thoughts then you are lost in your mind aspect of your being. This is not bad or good, its just an experience.



leo's picture

3 categories of meditations

In general you can categorize meditations into 3 types:

The simplest type is active meditations in which you have certain mental doing involved (e.g. guided meditation, Pranayama).

The 2nd type is passive meditations in which you only observe some object without any active doing involved (e.g. Vipassana, Anapana).

The 3rd type is the highest one in which there is just being without having any object to observe ("I AM").

leo | Sat, 07/05/2008 - 22:39
divine intervention's picture

Examples of meditations

Other examples:

Active meditations: Osho's dynamic meditations, visualization meditations.

Passive meditations: "observing the thinker" of Eckhart Tolle, observing your emotions, self inquiry of Ramana Maharshi (observing the "I Thought")

The 3rd type is actually one: just being, this is the beauty of it, no objects, no entertainments for the mind, just abiding in the subject. Difficult in the beginning. This is Nisargadatta Maharaj's "I AM", and Eckhart Toll's being.

divine intervention | Thu, 07/10/2008 - 18:51
Quantum's picture

Good summary

I'm stuck in the Passive Mode.

Whether or not I ever abide in BEING, my thoughts and emotions enter and take possession of my identity. So, what I do is go round and round in three phases:

Phase 1
When the mind is quiet, there is less mind stuff to identify with. A separation from the mind results. When you are not identified with the mind, you can actually observe it even while it is noisy and active. Can observe thoughts, emotions, inner body sensations. You can observe it all while detached from it. This is freedom from the mind. This is being on the mark. No longer missing the mark. No longer possessed by, and identified with, the mind. Sin is an archery term that means “to miss the mark.” So, living detached from the mind, means you are no longer living in “sin.” You are abiding in “I AM.” If you abide in “I AM”, good stuff comes your way. They just do.

Phase 2
But, when observing the noisy mind, while remaining detached from it. Something bad happens. And it happens before you realize it. The mind is observing the mind. The ego has just snuck in through the back way and took possession of you again! So much for deluding oneself into thinking that one is permanently abiding in “I AM.” Who is doing that thinking? The mind, of course. Mind pats you on the back, “Good job, you abide in BEING. Good work! And you get puffed up. EGO!!!!” Now you are simply the mind observing the mind. That cunning ego! The most cunning of all creatures.

Phase 3
So, once again, for the billionth time, narrow down the mental mind activity stuff by focusing 100% of mental concentration attention focus on the breath in the present moment here and now. This takes you back to Phase 1 where there is less mind stuff to be identified with. And the process repeats itself.

Being in the Now is like crossing a very busy high speed multi-lane freeway. Catch that moment of space and clearing where there are no cars and you are safe…in the moment of empty space…until you get overwhelmed by thoughts again.

Slow down the traffic by giving them all a UFO in the sky (The Breath) to slow down and ogle at. Then you have an easier time to cross... and BE in the Now…that clear, relatively empty, space…where it is quiet, and nice things just happen. They just do. It’s a Garden of Eden. Good things happen. They just do. THe nature of abiding in BEING.

But as soon as mind abd egi comes in and you are once again identified with it’s polar nature of opposites and good and evil, you’ve fallen from Eden, fallen from Grace, missed the mark again. Living in a state of “missing the mark.” Living in sin. And it's botched up again. Bad things happen. The just do. The nature of mind dominance.

Quick, slow down traffic so you can find a clear space to cross again….

Quick! Do it NOW!

Quantum | Thu, 12/24/2009 - 06:54
Psiplex's picture

Very Clear Chart

Thank you for posting the chart- very helpful!

One Love

Psiplex | Wed, 10/08/2008 - 01:53
madan_gautam's picture


Meditation is not concentration.
Meditation is some what different.
IT is doing nothing by mind, no efforts, only concentration needs efforts, not meditation.

madan_gautam | Thu, 09/11/2008 - 10:50
Quantum's picture

I know...

And what you say is true.

But for the poor lost beginner ernestly seeking to abide in being...it is my humble opinion that a high philosophical statement like "Meditation is not concentration.
Meditation is some what different" is not very helpful at all. It the person saying sound "Mysterious" as though they are have special high knowledge and abilities others don't have. Probably an ego trip is where it comes from. Sort of like playing give them something to sniff and then hide the ball. Sound mysterious. Make them into students and follows. Dispense knowledge they won't understand.

It makes it sound mysterious. You say what it is not, but you do not say what it is, but if you did try to say what it is, you would probably say it cannot be described. So, what you are implying is you are basically *SOL*.

It would be like a Professor in Nucleau Physics saying to a 2 year old preschool math student, "Solve this Multi linear variable" equation, either you can or you can't. Just solve it."

That's not very helpful at all.

Quantum | Fri, 04/02/2010 - 15:06
moorey's picture

metta meditation

mantra meditation is great technique for mind relaxation. I have also founded a website which provides great tips on mantra meditation . If you want to know more on mantra meditation just click on the link below.


moorey | Fri, 04/02/2010 - 12:37
moorey's picture

metta meditation

mantra meditation is great technique for mind relaxation. I have also founded a website which provides great tips on mantra meditation . If you want to know more on mantra meditation just click on the link below.

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moorey | Fri, 04/02/2010 - 12:39
PranaBeats's picture

Hello Wahido, Wonderful

Hello Wahido,

Wonderful quote from Tony Samara. I have another one from him that is close to my heart:

"Meditation is leaving the sense of dualism, that picture that you see reflected outside of yourself and coming back to where the reflection of light can be absorbed in its completeness. It is coming back to that present moment, to that space within yourself that has an eye open to the multitude of possibilities. It is a wonderful space and I believe that space to be our only way forward."

There are many techniques for meditation, but all have the same purpose, to unveil what is beyond the clouds of illusion :)


PranaBeats | Wed, 04/21/2010 - 15:53