I’ve been meditating most every day for the past ten years. I do fifteen minutes in the morning and a shorter session in the afternoon.
The results? I’m calmer. I play better tennis. I’m more patient. Focus better. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
As part of my journey, I’ve read the books and listened to the great meditation teachers. Two have stood out above the rest.
Two fantastic meditation teachers
One is Peter Russell who I wrote an article about a few months ago (link). Peter’s voice and overall emphasis on relaxation and enjoyment of meditation strike a chord with me.
My favorite cue of Peter’s is to say to ourselves early in a session:
“I’m not trying to get to any special spiritual state. I’m just sitting here, following my breath. That’s all.”
The other teacher I’ve responded to is Adyashanti, formerly known as Stephen Gray, a really cool guy who lives in Northern California. Here’s one way Adya, as he’s known, sums up his view of things:
“The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.”
Adya also emphasizes relaxation in meditation. But he ventures into a really cool area that I haven’t seen others teach. Once we’ve warmed up in our session, situating ourselves and following our breath for a period, Adya teaches to sense our natural state of awareness.
What is our “natural state of awareness?” Just what it sounds like. It’s the awareness within us that’s always there. It’s our natural state.
Which brings us to Adya’s mind-blowing cue. After sitting with our natural state of awareness for a short while, he asks us to say this to ourselves:
“Now, see if you can get rid of the meditator…”
Did your head just explode? I love this!
Going from duality to nonduality
What’s this about? With virtually everything in meditation, there is a subject/object relationship. There is ME, the meditator (subject) following my BREATH (object). Or ME (subject) listening to the faint sounds of birds and cars outside (objects). Or ME (subject) repeating a mantra (object).
The key is that there is dualism, two entities. Subject/object.
What Adya is asking us to do, by getting rid of the meditator, is to simply BE that natural state of awareness inside.
You want to know why that is so massive and mind-blowing? Because it’s a microcosm of the END of the spiritual journey.
The endpoint of the spiritual path
What is that end? It’s the ego withering away and leaving us as only pure consciousness/natural awareness. It’s reaching a state of nonduality. No more subject/object.
That’s what high beings like the Buddha, Ramana Maharshi, Meher Baba and Neem Karoli Baba achieved. Adya invites us, with this cue, to see if we can experience a taste of that state.
I hope this makes sense. If not, skewer me in the comments section.
To sum up:
-Get to the point in your session where you are calm, relaxed and focused. For me, that’s going to be ten minutes, on a good day.
-Then sense the natural state of awareness flowing inside you.
-Then direct yourself to eliminate the meditator.
-Finally, see if you can simply exist as that natural state of awareness.
Why is ‘existing as our natural state of awareness’ so critical?
Because that natural state of awareness is who we are, at the deepest level.
And that, my friends, is why this cue blows me away…