MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT MEDITATION
Science says experiment and knows the truth, whereas meditation says experience within and know the truth. Science belongs to the realm of experiment outside, on the contrary meditation belongs to the realm of experience within. Experiencing the state of meditation means experiencing a state which is beyond body-mind. It is a transcendental state for which we cannot think, ponder or discuss it, where the mind is impotent to perceive it. There are few misunderstandings and misconception that prevail on the path of meditation are discussed below:
1) The Process of Concentration is not Meditation
Concentration is the practice of one-pointedness. It is a process of excluding all that surrounds us and focusing on only one object of our choice. It makes us more and more aware of a particular thing by narrowing down our consciousness to that object only and become oblivious to all others. This narrowing down of consciousness creates more tension in us instead of being relaxed, open and available to the whole that surrounds us. Other than the subject of concentration, it makes us more absentminded, unmindfulness to the rest of the world whereas the process of meditation brings more awareness, mindfulness to all around us. The process of meditation is all inclusive whereas the process of concentration is exclusively devoted to the topic of concentration. The result of meditation is of love, compassion, joy, creative whereas the result of concentration is of violent, destructive towards self and others.
The process of concentration is utilitarian. It has its uses especially in the field of scientific work, scientific research in the science lab. In those scientific work, the one-pointed and penetrating mind is needed to find out the truth of the object. It makes the whole mind more and more narrow, on the contrary, the process of meditation allows to drop all the barriers of the mind by becoming more alert and aware of the whole world. Concentration makes us one-pointed at very great cost by discarding ninety-nine percent of our life. But the process of meditation adds many new and unknown dimensions of our life by making more available, open to the present moment.
2) Contemplation is not Meditation
The art of contemplation is related to thinking about a particular topic or subject. In concentration the mind is one-pointed, in contemplation, the mind is oriented towards one subject. In contemplation one goes on thinking about something, one can go on changing and flowing with the subject but the process revolves around the same subject. Hence, it is not meditation as still mind exists in the form of thinking and concerned about others. Meditation is just delighted in our own presence, it is a delight in our own being. It is a total relaxed state of consciousness where one is not doing anything. The moment doing enters, one becomes tense; anxiety enters immediately. How to do? What to do? How to succeed? How not to fail? One has moved into the future, Meditation is just to be, not doing anything, no action, no thought, no emotion. Meditation is being here and now.
3) Meditation is not Introspection
Introspection is thinking about oneself. Western psychology gives emphasis on introspection. In introspection, one tries to analyse one’s act or behaviour. One start judging whether it is good or bad. One goes on thinking or pondering about it. One simply goes on rationalizing and justifying one’s behaviour or act. Introspection is a process of analysis about self. On the other hand, Eastern psychology insists on self-remembering. Its emphasis is on the self. Self-remembering is not thinking at all. It is a process of becoming aware of oneself but not analysing or judging oneself. It is a simple process of looking self with awareness, without any judgment of good or bad. Self-remembering is a state of no-thought, and look the reality as it is.