“Do not let pleasure distract you
From meditation, from the way.
Free yourself from pleasure and pain.” – Buddha
Well, since I didn’t really manage my time so effectively, I procrastinated my adventure blog; while this seemed like a poor idea at the start, it turned out to be my favorite blog, even being put off for so long. I had been interested in Buddhism since my senior year when I read a book about the history of the religion, or more truthfully, the lifestyle. Also, since I didn’t have too much time to go out on an adventure for religion, I opted for a more personal course of action. Namely, Buddhist meditation.
For Buddhists, as far as I know, meditation serves a fairly simple purpose, i.e., stilling the mind; they meditate to stop the rushing stream of thoughts, whether they be purposeful thoughts or rambling ones. It is to focus the mind, to take control of your mind and body as one entity. Emerging into our written history in about 1st century BCE, that’s Before the Common Era, for the laymen, Buddhist meditation is among the earliest forms of meditation. Meditation is present in almost all religions; for example, prayer is also known as discursive meditation, as well as the mantras in Hinduism.
The actual method of this meditation takes many forms, but the one I chose was a form of concentration meditation. I was to concentrate on….you’ve guessed it: nothing. Literally, your breathing was to be concentrated on, but the real aim is to think of nothing. I was not even allowed to think, “I am breathing,” because that separates my mind from my body. Not only did I choose to do a nearly impossible starter-up meditation, I opted to make it more difficult by timing my bouts of focusing on nothing. To explain a little bit further, I had a stop-watch and would start it when I started the meditation. If I broke concentration, I was to restart the timer. To give a little insight on the sheer difficulty of the task, I lasted about two seconds on my first try(cue laughter and snickering). By the end, I was making it to upwards of a minute, cue more laughter and snickering(but try not to think of the word ‘premature’, I deserve more than that). Mind you, this success was after an hour of tries and failures, all the while my legs starteed cramping from the half-lotus position.
If you have been brave enough to read this far, with all the sex jokes and whatnot, I seriously recommend doing this. It has been the most rewarding and frustrating hour I’ve had in a long time, as well as the most productive. For sitting and doing nothing, you feel so very refreshed after the time spent, well, sitting and doing nothing. Please, please do this.