This the first post in my ‘Meditation Guidance’ series.
Meditation is very easy to do, and provides enormous benefits, when practised correctly. Unfortunately however, it is difficult to teach, and difficult to learn. Indeed meditation is very difficult to conceptualise at all.
It is not surprising therefore, that meditation is, in general, very poorly taught. I originally learned about meditation in a Buddhist context in my early twenties, and often struggled with the practices that I had been given. I had many powerful and deeply affecting meditation experiences however, which encouraged me to keep practising, but as I look back on that time, I very much wish someone had explained to me the things that I know now – the things which I shall be sharing, as best I can, in the articles in this ‘Meditation Guidance’ series.
At that time, I applied myself primarily to the meditations taught by the spiritual tradition in which I was living and working, but because I found the prescribed practices so difficult and so unsatisfying, I also occasionally experimented with several entirely different approaches, which were essentially contemplations on the Mandala of the Five Buddhas, on Carl Jung’s Four Functions of Consciousness, and on the descriptions of our energetic anatomy from Tibetan Buddhist tradition. That period of experimentation and exploration laid the foundations for the approach I have adopted as I have recently returned to daily meditation practice in my late fifties.
My new approach has combined those understandings from my Buddhist and Jungian studies in my twenties, with more recent insights gained from sitting with ‘Sailor’ Bob Adamson and other contemporary non-duality teachers. Such is the enormous value that I have found in this new approach to meditation practice, relative to the difficulty I faced when using a more conventional approach, that I feel bound to try to present it in the coming months. It seems important that those that are able, should at least try to provide clarification, in order to save others from the misery of struggling with approaches that are inherently limited and ineffective – and should bear witness to the benefits of meditation for the individual and for society.
I am more than a little daunted by this task however, because there are a great many foundational understandings that have come together to create this approach, some of which will be familiar to you and some will not. Each of these understandings requires precise description, and several of them are in many respects very subtle. So please bear with me as I face into this challenge, and have patience that once these foundational principles are in place, your understanding, and your experience of meditation, will be very much deeper and more rewarding.
I welcome comments and feedback.
For summaries of the other articles in this ‘Meditation Guidance’ series click here.