In this short talk, Guy Finley explores the true meaning and purpose of meditation, and explains why it is the most natural and practical thing you can do for yourself.
Click here to listen to “The Gift of Meditation”
If you wish to experience the wholeness of a meditative moment, just work as best you can to gain your attention. When you can bring your attention home and keep it focused within yourself, it acts as a kind of “celestial collector.” And while it does not actually “collect” anything, it can serve to reveal a whole new understanding of your relationship with the present moment. Awareness of this new relationship is the essence of true meditation.
The essential pain in our life is born out of our idea that we can do something toward the moment and take something from it that will complete us. What we fail to realize is that any action we take to extract something from the moment to complete ourselves actually separates us, not only from the moment that we have imagined will make us whole, but from being present to the beautiful, quiet energy that occupies the body naturally when our own desires no longer interfere.
When you are in relationship with your natural body, your natural mind, and your natural heart, you will see how unnatural it is for you to continue to try to give yourself something. You will see that everything you’ve always wanted is never not being given to you. And meditation is the enjoyment of the gift.
The day will come when you will understand that if you’re just present to your own body during meditation, you need do nothing more. The catch is that you must first realize that your previous efforts have just interfered with the meditative process, and that you’ve accomplished nothing for all that you’ve done. You must see that all these efforts may produce the sensation of someone who is accomplishing something and achieving some ideal as it concerns meditating. But they do not produce the actual state of meditation that is necessary for the transformation of your being.
The energy we are given each moment, when it is experienced in its wholeness, is enough unto itself. It doesn’t need anything outside of itself. True meditation can simply be seen as a moment in which it is enough to be what we are.
When you go outside on a beautiful day, do you step into the sunlight and try to enjoy the warmth, or isn’t the enjoyment inherent in the experience? Similarly, when you see a falcon fly amongst the trees, land, shake its tail, and then survey its domain… or a great buck with its massive horns, broad chest, and strong neck… do you try to feel the nobility of these creatures? Or isn’t that feeling just part of the whole moment that you yourself have become one with?
In the same way, real meditation is effortless. It is the fulfillment of relationship, not the attempt on our part to create one. Our being itself is meditating; it is naturally one with everything occurring in the moment. Our thoughts and feelings are all a natural part of the whole.
All of the preparatory work we do to develop our attention is to help us be in the moment where life is unfolding. By contrast, it is the propensity of our present mind to always be wandering around “out there,” somewhere in thought. This tendency is so ingrained, it even prevails while we’re meditating. Instead of just being in the moment, consciously experiencing whatever the moment brings, our yoyo mind is busy running back and forth — looking for something within which it can come to a rest. Real meditation is the end of seeking, not a means to an imagined peace.