The beautiful thing about real, accurate, true meditation is there’s no division between spirituality and consciousness, between mental clarity, between physical health, between self awareness, it’s one-continuum. There’s not a barrier between the mind and the body and the heart, and spiritual aspirations — they’re all connected.
So, if you have a meditation practice that addresses one thing, it’s going to address all things simultaneously.
That said, if you have a meditation practice, you’re gonna say — you do this mindfullness thing and then you’re gonna be more cutthroat in the marketplace, I question the validty of that particular type of meditation that would be so selective. It’s not holistic.
If you start to meditate and trascend for the purpose of, maybe you high blood pressure, you have migraine headaches, well you’re also gonna wake up the prefrontal cortex which is the part of the brain that’s associated with your sense of self, your spiritual self. So it’s all one thing.
A person learning to meditate because they have high blood pressure is just a backdoor to enlightenment. Everything is gonna come, all the benfits will come. It’s hard to talk about enlightenment if they have migraine headaches so they learn to transcend, there headaches go, and at the same time all the other qualities of the brain, all the other qualities of the heart, all the qualities of emotion also unfold and flourish at the same time.
You can’t say all meditation is the same like you can’t say all medicines are the same, all vitamins are the same, so there are different approaches according to science. There’s three basic types of meditation.
One is called Focus Attention which is concentration form of meditation. Another is called open monitoring, that’s many mindfulness techniques. The third is self transcending.
The analogy that I use is of the ocean. You’re on a little boat and you’re in the middle of the ocean and all of a sudden you get these giant 30, 40, 50 foot high waves and you can think the whole ocean is in upheaval, but actually if you did cross-section, you realise the ocean is well deep over miles deep and while the nature of the ocean may be turbulent on the surface, the nature of the ocean at its depth is pretty silent. You could say the mind is similar.
The surface of the mind, the choppy, tsunami-esque, some traditions call that the monkey mind and the monkey’s just wandering all over the place and you have to stop it, you have to coral it. The nature of the mind is to wander, you have to stop it.
I gotta do this, and I gotta do that, I gotta call him and I gotta call her, and I’ve gotta make a list and I’ve gotta find the list, I gotta slow down. All the gottas and it’s a natural human desire. Everyone — I don’t care where you live, what your religious or philosophical or economic, I’d like to have some inner calm, some inner clarity, some equanimity and the operative word there is “inner”.
And the question is: “Is there such thing as an inner and if so, how do you get there?”
Focused attentions says, if you’re using the ocean analogy, if you have a calm ocean, what is a disruptor of calm? Waves, so stop the waves and you’ll have a calm ocean. If you wanna have a calm mind, what disrupts a calm mind? Thoughts, stop thoughts. So, focused attention, Vipassana, is one of these, where you just concentrate and focus on a point in your body, on an emotion, on a thought. When you do that, it creates something called gamma brainwaves which are 20 to 50 cycles per second, your brain working hard.
The second approach is called open monitoring. Open monitoring is many mindfulness techniques. That says thoughts are not necessarily the disruptor of calm but the content of thoughts can be the disruptor of calm. So, if I have a thought about a guy named Joe and I don’t know anybody named Joe then eh. But if I thought about a guy named Joe and 10 years ago, Joe done me wrong… disruption. So open monitoring teaches me to dispassionately observe my thoughts, my moods, be in the present, be mindful, don’t be in the past. When you do that, it creates theta brainwaves.
Transcendental meditation, is a third type and that’s self transcending and that says thoughts are fine, the ocean is fine, waves on the ocean are fine. Where’s the ocean naturally calm? At its depth. Where’s the mind naturally calm? We hypothesize, deep within everyone is a transcendent level of the mind which is always and already calm and this meditation gives access to that.
We already know that there’s a vertical dimension to the mind, we feel things deeply, we love deeply, we hurt deeply, you have an intution. Someone comes to you when they wanna pitch a television idea and it makes perfectly good sense on the surface but then somewhere, afterwards, when you’re just sort of by yourself, thinking deeply. Your intuition says, I don’t think so. That feeling level, quiet feeling level.
So the hypothesis is, even deeper than that, far deeper than that, is a level where your mind is always calm and settled and peaceful and alert and people have been talking about this for eons. True happiness lies within, the kingdom of heaven is within. The old testament, Isiah 42 says, “be still and know that I am God.” Einstein wrote about this. So it’s that transcendent experience, common throughout time has been too rare.
The idea is that the deepest level of my nature is an interface with the deepest level of nature’s nature. The idea in physics, the idea of a unified field of an underlying field that is the foundation of all matter and force fields in the universe. Einstein was looking at the end of his life to unify all the fundamentals force fields in nature and he called it unified field.
In the Ancient meditation texts, they talk basically about a unified field of consciousness. From the standpoint of physics, one could never access that field. You could never have a linear accelerator large enough to be able to access that, like there are instrumentations to access the fields of electromagnetism, that’s why we’re communicating, or the field of gravity. So the ancient texts would never say, yeah but the human brain, the human nervous system is that instrument in nature that could access that field, at that transcendent, quietest level. So, the deepest level of my own nature and the deepest level of your nature, and the deepest level of nature’s nature, are one in the same. And when I access that, then it enlivens all the qualities, I’d like to say, all the best qualities of life. It reduces stress but more than that, it wakes up compassion, kindness, insight, power, strength, discernment. All of the higher values of human life.
Jesus said, “the Kingdom of heaven is within you. Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else will be added unto thee”. That’s the language of religion but you can have the same language in poetry, in arts, in science, anywhere.
A thousand years ago when we’re living hunter-gather sort of lifestyles…
It might have been just naturally accessible. The thing is, is it might not have been that we had to carve out time in order to do that. We might have been so in-tune with nature, with the flow in the seasons, and the sunlight, everything, that we might have just naturally lived that.
In the Bhagavad Gita, which is a vedic text and also even in the Hopi Indians where they talk about four ages. Kali Yugas, the Dark Age, all the way up Satya Yuga which is the golden age and they say there have been times in society where naturally humans beings lived in accordance with the laws of nature and we’re now in Kali Yuga and that would be like the fullshine. We would be according to the text in Kali Yuga, which is a dark time where the light had to come from inside and not outside.