Meditation — so-called meditation — is often compartmentalized by people to fit into a certain part of their day or week. During a specific time, they then practice what they’ve been taught in order to achieve something. However, the real thing may not be what the two aforementioned sentences shine a light on. The real thing may occur all day long, even as one is driving a car, walking on a wooded path, planting flowers, or washing windows. It may involve watching (without learned separative images or opinions) at the way you talk to others at work, or the way the mind reacts to a hurt creature or mentally sick person. Then the mind is aware… not according to someone else’s blueprint, not according to someone else’s concocted methodology… but just naturally, completely, effortlessly, without mere past conditioning. Meditation is extremely simple, but our complex minds are often too “knotted up” to perceive directly without looking through the contaminated screen of past knowledge. We were brainwashed to perpetually categorize everything, to look with a fabricated space from a learned image (of a supposed central “controller”) at things (via separation). That separation was traditionally inherited or learned. Even when there are no problems, we invent problems to solve. Another thing: we, as so many others, constantly strive to be perpetually entertained. What if we needn’t always be entertained? What are so many using entertainment to escape from? If our inner selves were not so imbued with limitation and stagnation… then maybe we wouldn’t be so disturbed about not being entertained and with facing what we (internally) really are.
Mindfulness, too, has those so-called experts who tell you how to manufacture clever, little tricks in order to keep your mind “mindful.” However, a mind that merely uses procedures from others (and little tricks) to be aware… is aware as a result of something. Profound awareness is not a mere result, however, but hypnosis and being a mere automaton certainly is. The real thing is not what someone can teach you to be, or give you to absorb (or mechanically practice). Real meditation is measureless and beyond conditioning… and what is measureless and unconditioned cannot merely be learned from another. The one who truly meditates does not know that he or she is meditating; nor does he or she care to know. However, in real, whole self-understanding and profound awareness, there is a profundity that negates sorrow, depression, fear, and mechanical mental parroting. There is real bliss when the mind is aware without being in a mold poured by others. However, there is no map or set of procedures (called religious or otherwise) that was devised by others that will really get you there. You have to do the work. And that work isn’t sitting on one’s behind on a superficial mat for 30 minutes, thinking one has achieved something marvelous.