I am reading an article from the July 6 & 13th The New Yorker today; it’s entitled “The Higher Life”. My brother, who is a Federal Judge (Kevin J. Carey) sent it to me as he is a big supporter of Meditation and was at my book signing last summer. Just in the middle of the second page the article starts off a paragraph with this: “’Meditation’ is hard to define, because the work can apply to so many things.”
Pardon me, but with all due respect to The New Yorker, Meditation does not apply to so many things. It can be used, and is used by students of Advanced Meditation techniques, to improve many things, but it is only one thing:
- Relaxing your body
- Quieting your mind
- Moving into an Expanded State of Awareness (ESA)
Now, can I share with you EXACTLY what that will be like for you, for the person next to you, or to the 5,000 other people in the auditorium, no I cannot. But I can share with you what it is like for me and for 1,000s of others and even though the experience may be perceived and experienced in many, many different ways (not every one of my Meditations is the same), it is still just one thing.
Meditation is not gardening, working in the yard (which I love), quilting, cooking, playing tennis, running, flying a plane, or golfing, even though these experiences share many of the beginnings of Meditation. The mistake made by The New Yorker, I believe, is because in many of these activities, our minds are QUIET, they are relaxed; but where it falls short is that when we do these things our minds are still active although focused on one thing, not on nothing. EXCEPTION: As a cross country runner in High School and as an active working-in-the-yard person (I have a special relationship with my Husky chainsaw, but only for dead trees), there are many instances, some longer than brief, where I am in a Meditative state. Namaste from Alpharetta, GA