“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion.” Steve Jobs
There are meditation techniques, and there is a state of meditation; they are two different things. Meditation techniques divide into three types; abstraction (pratyáhára), concentration (dháraná) and meditation (dhyána). Each technique evolves from the previous one. When you first sit down to practise meditation, you may struggle a bit with the distractions brought about by your senses, it is normal. They are dense and demand your attention. Then, after persisting, until your body can stay still, and your senses no longer call your attention, your thoughts are the real distraction. By concentrating, the state of mindfulness arrives, which is nothing more than being fully present, in the “now”. That, in itself, is a state most of us seldom experience. We are usually too much in the past, or too much in the future, but rarely in the present!
However, mindfulness (dháraná) is not meditation. Meditation is a state of super-consciousness or linear intuition. It is when the instability of the mind (chitta vritti) ceases, and you can experience beyond what only your senses usually provide. You can easily understand this: imagine your consciousness as layers of subtleties and densities. The physical is denser than the emotional, which is denser than your mind, and mind is denser than intuition. When we are in dhyána, meditation, we experience a subtler type of consciousness. We no longer use only our “intellect” but enter a higher state of consciousness, the source of insights and intuition.
Imagine that after everything you have experienced in life to date, after all of the wonderful things you have already discovered and lived, you come to realise that there is a whole other “world” inside you, one that you never knew existed. A place you find so indescribably delightful to be in that you wish to visit very often and stay there for as long as possible.
I am talking about a type of consciousness in which you feel no fear, no anxiety, and no sense of time or space like being a small child who for the first time realises something new and wondrous about our world. How incredible to discover something like that at the age you are today!
It is as close as I can come to describing the experience of meditation, more accurately called dhyána (a Sanskrit word that has the prefix dhi – which means an expanded state of consciousness).
To introduce meditation into your life, begin by finding a comfortable position for you, one that allows you to be still, without fidgeting. Close your eyes, and start noticing your breathing, which connects you to the present! Try to make your breath long and deep, and after a few minutes, when you realise you are “quieter”, create an image of the flame of a candle in your mind. We could use any image that is abstract enough and easy to be visualised. Concentrate on the image for five minutes, as if contemplating it in front of you. Of course, many thoughts will come about, but you must ignore them, as they are not important at all even if they seem to be so. Every time you realise you lost the image, return to it until your alarm tells you that the five-minute exercise has completed. Practise this every day, always at the same time and eventually increase the time from ten to twenty minutes. But don’t expect that you’ll love it when you start practising it, persist a bit and you’ll find something extraordinary.