Technique of Mindset
This type of interior roads are followed by the journey itself, not by some imaginary objective in the equally imaginary final. Meditation is part of a lifelong process. The only mistake we can make in the exercises of meditation is not to do them. We can also reduce its positive effect by constantly criticizing ourselves for not doing well. Self-criticism, impatience and frustration harm us, they are unnecessary things that we create. The only rule to follow to do meditation well is to practice it every day.
To practice meditation regularly is to do it well. Each society has its own attitudes about goal setting. We tend to evaluate success by the speed with which we achieve it, and it annoys and discourages us to take too long to achieve it. It would hardly occur to us that the goal of meditation, as in many other things, is to experience the process, rather than to achieve some pre-determined goal. Meditation is a process that lasts a lifetime, there is always more to learn, more to experience, we can always continue to promote inner growth.
If we establish objectives for meditation, at the beginning we should only set the simplest ones, which make us feel better, more relaxed with more energy, or which expand our capacity to know ourselves and others. Then we will soon begin to have purposes that work out well for us. It is better to consider them as markers, rather than objectives, because they are only an indication that we are doing well.
One of the things I learned is that if the students themselves believe that they don't do well in meditation if they don't get complete mental relaxation and experience something exciting, it is very difficult for them to think that their practice is of any use to them. There are several reasons why it is not at all advisable to set such goals.
First of all, we do not know that we are about to calm the mind until it occurs, we do not recognize that the moment is approaching until we find ourselves in the situation, and even then we may not recognize it immediately. In many cases we play down the first moments of mental silence by assuming that we have fallen asleep because there was a moment when we did not hear, thought, or dream.
Secondly, we may think that we have been in silence when in reality we were deeply concentrating on an altered state of consciousness, thinking or perceiving something else, or perhaps sleeping, and then we do not remember it. There is a difference. If we have been asleep or thinking in an altered state of consciousness, we will generally feel rested. If we have been in true silence, we will feel totally rested, energetic, euphoric, and possibly even inspired.
With regard to appropriate objectives, a score should be made on cultural expectations. Anyone who tries seriously can achieve that inner silence within six months to a year. That statement has influenced many people, and even people to whom the idea had come distorted or did not even know where it came from. What is said is probably true, although it must be placed in the context of the culture and expectations of the 18th century.
Serious intent was to mean retiring to a monastery and devoting many hours to Opus Dei, God's work, the divine office of formal prayer. It would also include many hours of contemplative prayer throughout the day. And, of course, devoting the rest of the time to reaching the contemplative state of mind, turned toward God, in all the ordinary activities of the daily life of a contemplative monk or nun. It may seem exaggerated, but at that time everything was very obvious.
People were preparing to work in a single activity of their trade for many years. Several generations of workers were employed in the construction of a cathedral, and a man could perfectly devote his entire working life to doing a small part. The man planted on his land knowing that for generations his descendants would benefit from the fruit of his labor. Houses were made to be inhabited generation after generation. Today things look different, long-term goals must be achieved in a few years, or even a few months. For many generations, a long-term goal was often a lifetime commitment, sometimes even a project that even grandchildren would not see fulfilled.
Under current conditions, few people are prepared to devote their lives to long-term spiritual goals. Today, long-term goals are often things like paying the mortgage, paying college fees for children, or planning for retirement. Our society has forgotten what it means to plan well in advance, to take into account generations yet to be born, we seek immediate profitability. A terrible example is the way we have polluted the earth since the Industrial Revolution, producing the current ecological crisis.
Although you may want to consider this aspect of the short and long term goals, don't start by trying to assess whether meditation fails. If we limit the objectives of meditation to the simplest, such as feeling ever more relaxed and clear, we will soon obtain satisfactory results. Most of the positive consequences of meditation discussed above, including the process of personal growth, are almost always achieved long before achieving that inner silence.
What really matters is to practice every day. That's what good meditation is all about. People who do so experience that absolute inner silence, in which they often feel the ecstasy of mysticism, although it is not their goal. The magic word is process, not objective, and the process always advances.
If we meditate in expectation of a sensation of euphoria, ecstasy, or some other phenomenon, we run a greater risk of having the impression of failing in meditation, of becoming discouraged, and of giving up. It is essential to remember that what is important is to meditate, not what we experience, nor how we feel when we meditate.
In all currents of meditation, both Christian and otherwise, teachers speak of times when efforts seem to be in vain, mere mechanical acts that we repeat over and over again. They call it spiritual drought and it is evident that in those moments the best thing is persistence in the practice of meditation. It is practically inevitable to spend periods in which we meditate daily without visible results, although negative results are seen immediately when we stop. It is best not to judge our meditation experience. We are generally not objective or knowledgeable enough to make reliable evaluations. In addition, there are better things to use energy for, such as practicing the meditation technique.
The true basis of the practice of meditation is that of lacking objectives, pressures, competition, premeditation, to free ourselves from mental and emotional fixations on us. We must focus carefully and wait with calm and tranquility. The key is to be, not to do.
A lot of Hugs..!!