Most spiritual seekers would agree that meditation is central to the journey. And, most honest seekers would also agree about a shared frustration: the apparent struggle to maintain motivation for the practice.
Over the many years I have been sharing conscious presence, I have heard this same enquiry arising in most people: ‘Why is it a struggle to keep up the practice?’ It seems that for many people the energy to apply oneself to meditative practice all too often fades into the mire of the mind’s objections.
Of course these objections can take on many forms: an uprising fear of letting go, a sense of apathy, a fear of one’s own true power, disillusionment due to lack of results and a whole range of clever ego reasons to avoid going deep into our inner being.
Although the symptoms are varied the cause is most often the same: the mind’s misconceived desire to get to something else. This desire is generated by underlying beliefs and illusions… the disbelief in oneself and the universe, the perception of separation and the notion that we are not perfect already as we are and therefore need to become something else. Sadly this desire to get to something else is contrary to the true meaning and motivation of meditation.
Meditation, more than a practice, is a state of being.
It is a space in which we embrace our self and existence simply as it is… and we do this consciously. Fundamentally it has nothing to do with becoming something better or getting to another state. It is not even about achieving some outcome like enlightenment. Yes, transformation and enlightenment may emerge from a meditative state of being, yet if we use these goals as our motivation for meditation we quickly lose the energy to stay present to our experience because we are too focused on gaining something other. And that ‘other’ simply never arrives… at least not in the way our mind is hoping and expecting. So naturally the mind responds with disappointments and tactics to retract from the meditative experience.
Our ability to relax into a state of being rests on a deeper understanding and acceptance: that the only thing that really is real IS the moment of now. When we embrace this truth and take it deep into our awareness, we become ever more curious and open to our self and existence as it really is in the moment. A deep desire to experience it draws us naturally into a meditative state: simply being deeply centred and aware in the moment. A slowing down occurs. And in that slowing down is a letting in: a surrendering into the space that IS our very being. In this space is a natural momentum of deepening. When we let into this space of simply being we can’t help but to enter deeper and deeper into the source within us… the source that is awareness itself. The source that is ‘beingness’. And that beingness IS existence as it is.
Although spiritual seekers conceptually understand the notion of letting in to our natural state of beingness, the inevitable question still arises… but how? How do we create the conscious experience of beingness?
How ironic it is that we already are this beingness yet we struggle to meet ourself consciously as such! The apparent paradox for the seeker to resolve then is in understanding the balance between the motivation (the desire to experience our true being) and the mechanism (the tool or practice that helps us connect consciously with our true being). It is a paradox because the mechanism is tied to the mind that seeks to become whilst the real motivation is actually simply to be awake to what already IS.
This is why I always bring the questioning mind back to the importance of aware breathing. Aware breathing is really the foundational tool (the mechanism) that allows us to move easily into alignment with true motivation: to surrender to the state of simply being in the now. Why? Because breath IS in the now. Through our breath it becomes easy and natural to experience the presence of our self simply as we are. Through our breath we can slow down and experience the beauty of letting in … free of the minds objections. Even though mental activity may still flutter around, with aware breathing the attention shifts from thought identification to energy awareness. When this happens mental activity simply becomes an echoing backdrop… like clouds simply floating through the sky… they are there yet do not overtake the clear sky of vast being.
Once we occupy a state of aware energy we encounter the direct experience of simply being. We suddenly realise the true depth and beauty of the being we already are. The beauty of this encounter awakens in us an even deeper appreciation and gives us the conscious motivation to maintain a meditative state in our life. We see for our self the miracle that is existence in each and every moment… ONLY in the Now. How then could we wish to be anything but truly consciously present? How could we be anything but truly available to this which is radiant and alive… right here… right now…? With this understanding our motivation to be meditative is based in something very real and achievable (because it actually already IS!). And when we align with that which is real the ego simply cannot hang around for the ego cannot be present in a space of true being.
The true motivation for meditation or conscious being then is actually about being REAL.
Once we truly understand this it follows naturally that we rest easily into our meditative self. It is no longer a task but a presence, a miraculous gift revealed to us by those who have been graced with the realisation that is waiting… always here… within. Once we realise and accept this gift in our own life it is inevitable that we our self become the presence… the living gift of meditative being. Gone then is the conundrum of motivation…. swallowed up in the joy and freedom to truly live… awake in the Now.
© Isira Sananda 2020 All rights reserved