Learning Meditation the Smart Way

Learning Meditation the Smart Way

Evolution, Nature, and Economics are going to be our mentors while we’re learning meditation. We’re going to focus on mantra, mindfulness, how they interact, and how their interaction applies to your life.

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You’re going to learn how crucial mindfulness is to your meditation and happiness. It’s in fact a natural trait of human evolution.

Abandoning all possible misconceptions, this is the origin of meditation. Short and simple and based on its origin, meditation means awareness.

Learning meditation therefore equals learning about your consciousness and developing a keen awareness of who you are and how you’re doing.

Learning meditation the smart way, you learn how mindful detachment applies to any meditation technique as well as any life situation. It is a key to success.

Mindfulness and mantra are inseparable aspects of consciousness and the wide spectrum of awareness – meditation. Now let’s see how you can make them work together…Mantra And Mindfulness In Action

Within the wide spectrum of awareness, mantra is concentrated, attached, and narrow focus. It can be a word, phrase, sound, thought, any point of focus that draws your attention.

Mindfulness encompasses the points of focus/mantras and the space between them. In other words, only when you decide to follow a thought or any other point of focus/mantra will there be change.

Mindfulness gives you stability and lets you experience change without judging or attaching yourself to it. Now let’s see mantra and mindfulness in action.This is a sunny beach analogy…

Standing on a beach, extremely concentrated, mantra is the zoomed-in, CLOSE-UP view of a grain of sand.

Mindfulness is the w-i-d-e screen, the detached focus. In practice it’s also a patient, non-judgmental attitude. So if mantra is the close-up of a grain of sand, mindfulness is the entire beach.

Mindfully zooming out now, there are countless grains of sand, even rolling waves, an ocean… A HUGE picture!Mindfully detached from any particular aspect (mantra) of this picture, zooming in and out…

The ocean seems to breathe, waves come and go, pulling out and returning sand to the beach…

A pelican dives to catch a fish… Two children make a sand castle, a wave demolishes it… They cry and the mother comes running, scared first then she laughs with relief… Three teens turn to see what she’s laughing at, then return to their game of Frisbee…

You get my point. The mindful, large perspective shows how interconnected the “close-up shots” (mantras) of the huge picture are.

How beautiful they are apart and especially together.

Mindfulness and mantra interact in a dynamic, fluid manner. The person learning to meditate is able to move freely along the spectrum of awareness and freely observe and feel his world. This freedom goes far beyond concepts, boxing in and dividing up the experience of real-time life…

Detached mindfulness brings you closer to nature and life, not farther away from it. You detach from judgment and conditioned (often stressful) responses.

This is healthy and relaxing.

On the other hand, getting stuck on rigid goals, focusing on money, things to come, narrow-minded beliefs –- attached, narrow, mantric concentration — are stressful approaches to living.

Yet it’s an all too common thing that we tend to do.

Properly learning meditation, we need to be able to detach ourselves from this flaw…

The Human Problem: UNnatural Attachment

We can never predict exactly where we’re going. Trying to control natural progress hampers our ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

Richard Dawkins bluntly puts the human problem in this way in his excellent book, River out of Eden:”Homo sapiens is a deeply purpose-ridden species.”

We should be mindful of our human, purpose-ridden nature and occasionally practice detachment from goals and narrow perspectives. Mindfulness is vital to your success.

On the other hand, overly attached (mantric), stressful goal-setting can be detrimental to your progress (and happiness) because it doesn’t open up for inevitable change and great, unexpected opportunities.

Learning Meditation With Jimmy

I always try to keep things simple and based on multiple sources and perspectives to eliminate as much bias as possible. Now we’re going to jump from science, history, and nature to economics.

Briefly, let’s review a stock market example of mantra and mindfulness…

Jimmy, a 50 year old man, decides to invest 10,000 dollars in a mutual fund: Let’s call it Emerging Real Estate. Jimmy’s goal is to secure his old age, perhaps retire a few years early. He sees his portfolio grow by 30% over the next year. He’s happy with the progress.

Then a growing sub prime mortgage crisis, rising gas and food prices, inflation, and all these interconnected economic issues start making their impact on Jimmy’s portfolio and awareness.

Jimmy’s getting nervous. And angry! The stock investment was supposed to secure Jimmy’s retirement. Now people seem to be selling out. The value is plummeting.

What’s Jimmy supposed to do?

The attached, zoomed-in mantric perspective screams out, “Sell, Jimmy, sell!” But if Jimmy sells now, he will lose 5,000 dollars.

On the other hand, if he waits he might lose everything, right?

So he must make a choice: Either follow the flow of investors pulling out, and sell. Or wait, detach himself and his goals from the immediate activity and take a few steps back.Become mindful.

Jimmy reviews the last couple of decades and sees how the stock market has gone through ups and downs, rising and falling, always changing.

He decides to detach himself from this sudden change in people’s minds and follow his own mind and initial plan – to sit on the stocks for ten years. He takes a deep breath, relaxes.

Jimmy instead decides to take advantage of the mindless sell-outs. He soon buys more stocks at an incredibly low price.These are the main points from Jimmy’s example:
Be careful about accepting anything at face value. A sudden change of mind/development means nothing unless you decide to follow and attach yourself to that change.Also while you meditate, observe what happens: mantras (thoughts, sounds, sensation etc.) come and go but there’s no need to follow them around. They are there. They are natural. Observe good and bad. Accept/Detach. Relax.
Mindful detachment can open up your awareness to great, unexpected opportunities.Stocks and money aside, the same dynamic principle of mantra/mindfulness – attachment/detachment – also applies to such mundane activities as detaching yourself from your professional tasks and goals in order to enjoy your lunch break.

Finally, the common thread throughout Jimmy’s stock example (and this entire Web site) is interconnectedness.

Interconnectedness between mantra and mindfulness, between you and me right now, between you and your friends, family, the people who manufactured your computer and clothes, the food you eat, investors in global stock markets, interconnectedness between, well, everything that lives and breathes.

Learning meditation, interconnectedness is vital. Here you can see how and why the 2 types of meditation evolved into so many techniques.

Human Interconnectedness and COMPASSION

I will mention compassion time and time again because it’s possibly the most undervalued and misunderstood (at least in Western societies) – as well as the most important – component of human life, happiness, and success.

Learning meditation the smart way, you should thoroughly familiarize yourself with the science of compassion.
Now we’re getting more technical about learning meditation (always learning :-). These are meditation tips for setting up your external (and internal) environment.

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(Last Updated: April 22nd, 2017)

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