The concept and practice of meditation in our current time, here in the 21st century, is multitudinous and perhaps, ironically, distracted. For our purpose here today, let us consider and apply ourselves to the development and following this, the subsequent application, to a working definition regarding the practice of meditation.
We might start out upon our short treatise by drawing our attention to the natural world around us - to the turtle, head stretched upwards into the sky; to the heron standing one-legged in the marshlands; to the tiger, tense and fixed in single-pointed focus. In each of these we are led into the heart of meditation. It might then serve us to define meditation, so that we can better organize our minds and thus use it as a tool in the development of our lives. Let us consider then, that meditation be defined by our ability to concentrate, and fix our attention, single-pointedly on a particular line of thought, and to hold this attention upon this thought-form until we are moved, intentionally and consciously to adjust it.
Following along with this definition we may then be able to see that meditation will differ for different people and for different types. The spiritually inclined may be apt to center their attention upon the life within the form, upon God, upon Christ, or upon that which embodies for them the Ideal. For the professional, during their hours of work, their attention and concentration fixed, single-pointedly on the matters at hand, to solving the problems that lie before them. In this environment we often have the opportunity to develop a more dynamic type of attention while in the midst of varied forces that may attempt to distract and undermine the power of our concentration. For the general individual, working on a difficult project or reading a challenging book, to the student writing a complex paper, to the child fixed and tense as they build a challenging design with their legos - in each of these the applicant applies the full force and power of their brain, attempting to get behind the words, to see beyond the problem until an impression arises, as if spontaneously, upon the still waters of their mind.
Let us consider that learning to meditate has nothing to do with sitting in a certain posture or coordinating a certain way of breathing, though at some point, after we develop a powerful concentration, these may serve us to greater degrees. What is needed, in this moment, is that we find our own way of concentrating, to ascertain for our ourselves our own method of approach to that which lies within, and to study for ourselves the parameters and obstacles that inhibit and distract.
Can you imagine the tiger without concentration and attention? How effective would they be in their world, with their problems and obstacles to life and to existence? Meditation is not a negative, receptive state of mind, or a state of trance and passivity. It is something that requires the most intense application of mind, the utmost control of thought, and an attitude which is neither negative or positive in regards to charge, but an equal and harmonious balancing of the two.
To practice and develop our skillful means in meditation we need not set aside hours in our day to sit in quiet reflection of our navel. We need not dedicate ourselves to physical postures that we are not comfortable in, or to breathe in ways that aren't natural for us in this moment. Let us consider and perhaps remember, for all of this has been known to us since the beginning, that to meditate is to train our minds to think clearly and to think only that which we wish to think in any given moment of our lives. In so doing we may find that we all have ample opportunity in each and every moment of our day to meditate, to apply the full-force of our concentration upon the tasks at hand, to solving the problems that stand before us. These problems are ours to solve, and will continue to appear before us, in one form or another until we have applied ourselves sufficiently and appropriately in their resolution.
By our brooding concentration, by a constant recollection, and by strenuous application to a particular line of thought wherein which we find something that interests us, for interest creates the appropriate polarities within which true meditation can be found. In these we produce profound results to tap into the inner reservoirs of inspiration and of power, and we find application to bring down from the higher levels of the mental plane the information that will best benefit humanity and the group wherein we work.
When we ourselves, have practiced and honed our concentration. When we can apply this focus to group endeavor. When we have developed physical bodies that are strong and clean and emotional bodies that are controlled and unswayed by desire. When we have mental bodies that are our instruments and not our masters, then may we see the true meaning of meditation.
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