The goal of meditation is not to clear your mind or think of nothing. The goal of meditation is not about reaching a higher mental state.
The goal is in the process.
So how does one meditate? There are many styles and forms. Here’s a simplified viewpoint.
- Choose something to FOCUS on: breath, mantras, a visible location.
- HOLD this focus for as long as you can.
- You will naturally and eventually lose focus – CATCH yourself having lost focus.
- Upon catching yourself, REFOCUS.
The magic actually happens between steps 2 and 3. When you’ve lost focus, but have not regained awareness of your lost focus. A few bliss moments of “nothingness” are experienced, and the mind calms itself.
Here’s the part most people don’t realize:
You have to lose focus to enter blissfulness.
We often set goals in life. Lose weight. Make money. Read More. Develop new habits. And we often lose focus on our goals.
Once we catch ourselves having lost focus, how do we respond?
We get upset at ourselves. We take part in negative self-talk. We tell ourselves goals don’t work. And we throw the goal away because we couldn’t do it for 90 days straight and it’s toohard to stick to goals anyway.
We didn’t realize that the process was the actual goal.
And the success ensues between steps 2 and 3 when we FOCUS, HOLD, CATCH ourselves and REFOCUS.
“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.” – Vicktor E. Frankl