Meditation is an adventure, the greatest adventure the human mind can undertake. Meditation is just being, not doing anything; no actions, no thoughts, and no emotions. You just are and it is a sheer delight. From where does this delight come when you are doing nothing? It comes from nowhere, or it comes from everywhere.
Whenever you can find time for just being, drop every thing you are doing. Including thinking, concentration, and contemplation. Even if for only a single moment you are not doing anything and you are just at your center, utterly relaxed ‑ that is meditation. And once you have learned how to do it, you can remain in that state as long as you want; finally you will be able to remain in that state for twenty four hours a day.
Once you have become aware of the way your being can remain undisturbed, then slowly you can start doing things, keeping alert that your being is not stirred. That is the second part of meditation. First learn how just to be, and then learn little actions such as, cleaning the floor or taking a shower, but keeping yourself centered. Then you can perform complicated actions while still staying centered.
Therefore, meditation is not against action. It is not an escape from life. It simply teaches a new way of life; you become the center of a cyclone.
Externally it may seem that you live a normal life, but in reality you will live more intensely; with more joy, clarity, vision, and creativity. Yet, you will be aloof, just as a watcher on the hills, simply seeing all that is happening around you.
You are not the doer of any activity, you are the watcher. That is the whole secret of meditation. Doing continues on its own accord. You can do everything, only one thing is not allowed, your awareness should never be lost. That awareness should remain absolutely unclouded and undisturbed.
The essential theme or spirit of meditation is to learn how to witness.
A crow is crowing and you are listening. There is a object and a subject. But you can not see a witness who is seeing both? The crow, the listener, and still there is someone who is watching both. It is such a simple phenomenon.
You see a tree. You are there, the tree is there, but you can not find one more thing? There is a witness in you which can see you seeing the tree.
Watching is meditation. What you watch is irrelevant. You can watch a tree, a river, the clouds, or you can watch children playing. It does not matter what you watch, the objects are not important.
Remember one thing: meditation means awareness. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. Action is not important, but the awareness that you bring to your action is important. Walking can be a meditation if you walk alert. Sitting can be a
meditation if you sit alert. Listening to the birds can be a meditation if you listen with awareness. Just listening to the inner noise of your mind can be a meditation if you remain alert and watchful.
The quality of observation, the quality of being aware and alert, is the most important and that is what meditation is. One should be alert and watchful, then whatever you do will be meditation.
There are four basic steps:
1. Watch your physical actions (body)
2. Watch your thoughts (mind)
3. Watch your feelings and emotions (heart)
4. Watch the watcher ‑ Ultimate awareness
The first step in awareness is to be very watchful of your actions. Slowly and slowly one becomes alert about each gesture and movement. As you became aware, a miracle happens. Many things that you used to do before without awareness simply disappear, because you realize that they were useless. Your body becomes more relaxed and attuned. A deep peace along with subtle music prevails in your body.
Then begin becoming aware of your thoughts. They are more subtle than your actions and more dangerous as well. When you become aware of your thoughts, you will be surprised to learn what goes on inside your mind. You will see a mad mind inside of you. It affects whatever you are doing and not doing. The sum total of it is going to be your life and this mad mind has to be changed. The miracle of awareness is that you need not do anything except just become aware. The very phenomenon of watching it changes the mad mind. Slowly and slowly the mad mind disappears, and the thoughts start falling into a certain pattern; they become more of a cosmos. Now one observes a deeper peace.
When your actions and your thoughts are at peace you will see that they are attuned to each other. Now they are not running in different directions. For the first time there is a unity between them. This will help immensely to work on the third step, that is becoming aware of your feelings and emotions.
The third step is the most difficult one, but if you can watch your thoughts then it is just one more step. A little more intense awareness is needed when you start reflecting your emotions and feelings. Once you are aware of all three they will all unite into one phenomenon. When all three are functioning together perfectly, you can feel the music, and then the fourth happens. It happens on its own accord. It is a gift from the whole, a reward for those who have accomplished these three.
The fourth step is the ultimate awareness that makes one awakened. One becomes aware of one's awareness. That makes a Buddha, the awakened. Only in that awakening does one realizes what bliss is.
‑ the body knows pleasure
‑ the mind knows happiness
‑ the heart knows joy
‑ the watcher knows bliss
Bliss is the goal of being a seeker, and awareness is the path towards it.
The important thing is that you are watchful. Slowly, as the watcher becomes more and more stable, a transformation happens, at this time the things that you are watching disappear.
For the first time, the watcher itself becomes the watched, the observer itself becomes the observed.
YOU HAVE COME HOME.
The following qualities are essential in all different methods of meditation:
1. a relaxed state of mind, no fight within the mind, no control of the mind, and no concentration.
2. just watch with awareness whatever is going on, without any interference, just watch the mind silently, without any judgment or evaluation.
In summary, a relaxation, a non‑judgemental attitude, and watchfulness all together is meditation.
Slowly and slowly a great silence descends over you. All movements within you cease. You exist but there is no sense of "I am," just a pure space or emptiness remains.
A Story of Baal Shem and a Watchman on Meditation:
Hassidism is a mystical and a rebellious branch of Judaism. Its founder, Baal Shem, was a unique person. He used to go to the river every evening and would return in the middle of the night. At the river in the night, he felt absolutely calm and quiet. He used to simply sit there, doing nothing, just watching his own self, watching the watcher.
One night when he was coming back, he passed by a rich man's house. A watchman was standing by the door of the house. The watchman was puzzled because every night at exactly this time, Baal Shem would pass by.
The watchman said, "Forgive me for interrupting but I cannot contain my curiosity anymore. What is your business? Why do you go to the river? Many times I have followed you, and there is nothing there, you simply sit there for hours, and in the middle of the night you return."
Baal Shem said, "I know that you have followed me many times, because the night is so silent I can hear your footsteps. I know every day you are hiding behind the gate. But it is not only that you are curious about me, I am also curious about you. What is your business?"
"My business? I am a simple watchman."
Baal Shem said, "That is funny, that is my business too!"
The watchman said, "But I don't understand. If you are a watchman, you should be watching a house, a palace, animals, or children. What are you watching there, sitting in the sand?"
"There is little difference. You are watching for somebody outside who may try to enter the palace. I simply watch this watcher. This is my whole life's effort, I watch myself."
The watchman said, "This is a strange business. Who is going to pay you?"
"It is such a bliss, such a joy, such immense benediction, it pays itself profoundly. Just a single moment, and all the treasures in the world are nothing in comparison to it."
"This is strange. I have been watching my whole life, but I have never experienced a bliss. I have never come across such a beautiful experience. Tomorrow night I will go with you. Just teach me. I know how to watch, it seems that I only need to change the direction. You are watching in the opposite direction."
There is only one step, and that step is the change of direction. Either we can be focused outside or let our whole consciousness be centered inwards. Soon we will know that we are knowers and we have never lost our awareness. We have simply got our awareness entangled in our outside activities. Withdraw our awareness from everything else and just let it rest within ourself, then we have arrived home.
This article is summarized from Osho's literature on Meditation.