What Meditation is Not

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Okay, so let's now talk about what meditation is not. Because there is a fair bit of misconception around meditation in your world today, people have these ideas of what meditation isn't really entirely correct. Now, probably one of the biggest misconceptions around meditation is this idea that meditation is this kind of semi sleep state. I even remember hearing one meditation teachers say, if you are at that state, like just before you're about to fall asleep. That's like perfect meditation. Well, it really is quite wrong.

The real meditation you are totally aware. In fact, you're so aware you're aware of every single little crack that happens. In the room, every movement of somebody else, you're aware of a little fly flying across the room, you're super aware, during intense meditation. The main difference is that even though you're aware of everything that's going on around you, you are not affected by it, you're not drawing, but you just let it go as soon as you hear it or see it or whatever. So meditation is not being distracted by anything, but it doesn't mean that you're not aware in a state of drowsiness. So when you feel yourself starting to feel sleepy, there's nothing wrong with that.

It's a good feeling. It's a relaxation. I would say it's good for relaxation. But be aware that it's not meditation. Meditation is being super aware of what's going on around you. But of course, being super aware of what's going on in your own mind.

We say this state is high intensity, you have an intensity of Blind which is very, very present. So that's one misconception. Now the second misconception that I'm going to talk about is that all of the empty mind, people believe that meditation is to try to empty your mind. And I'm going to do in the meditation section of this course, you'll see a meditation on empty mind and full mind. And I recommend that you try that meditation, just as an experiment to see how easy it is to meditate with an empty mind. Of course, it's impossible because our mind it one of its natural qualities, is to express thoughts and manifest thoughts.

And when you try to sit there with an empty mind, a thought will come even if the thought is I must try and sit here with an empty mind. And again, people think that when you meditate, they say empty your mind. thoughts and just be, well, that's important and that that is wrong. And it's important to know that, because otherwise you're trying to do the impossible. So the pinnacle, if you like, as I talked about in the last video, is this one pointed meditation, single object meditation. So even there, even at the highest meditation, you're meditating on a single object, so you do have a focus of the mind.

So empty mind meditation is the next misconception. Now, another one, which is quite interesting people asked me the other day is if you just sit quietly with a cup of tea, and maybe you're just listening to the birds, is that meditation? Now, first of all, that's great. If you can do that. I think that's wonderful. And you could argue that as a type of meditation, now, I would say in the real sense of the word if you don't have Have an intention to focus your mind or to improve your mind or to find the patterns out in your mind, then it's not true meditation.

Because being restful and being peaceful is different to the act of meditating. And so I would put that in the category if you don't have the intention behind it as being just a restful exercise and not really meditation. Interestingly enough, if you do this, do exactly the same, but you have the intention of seeing the mind in action or the intention of trying to bring the mind to peace, then I would call that meditation. So I think meditation has an intention behind it. Another question I get asked is, is prayer, a type of meditation? Now with prayer, often you are trying to see deeper into the mind You're trying to focus your mind on the words of prayer.

So whilst is probably not in the category of what I would say, would be the purest, single pointed meditation, I do think that prayer is a type of meditation to do. So I hope those kind of explanations about what meditation is and what meditation isn't helpful. Again, in some cases, there's no clear this is meditation. And this is not, because wherever we're trying to manifest mindfulness and insight, you know, that could be classified as meditation. But nevertheless, it gives you an idea of what we're trying to define as meditation in this course. So I hope that was useful.

And in the next meditation, we're going to compare meditation for escapism versus metta. notation for use in daily life.

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