As with most things in life, we tend to approach meditation with a “how can I get what I need?” mentality, looking to obtain something that we don’t have. For some, that may be a moment of relaxation or mental calmness, for others, achieving inner peace or even a mystic experience.
The philosophy of meditation tells us that we already are and already have everything, and that the only thing we need to do is let go of what may be preventing us from realizing that. Meditation teaches you to shift from a focus on what’s missing to a focus on what’s already there. A slight angle adjustment that changes everything, and moves your perspective from one of lack to one of abundance.
The way we do this is by exercising our attention. We start by developing our ability to bring attention inward and focus it somewhere in the present moment (normally our breathing) without distraction. This cultivates our mental strength.
Then we will use that skill to bring our attention to different aspects of ourselves, like our mind and our emotional state, and silently observe to learn about them and discover what’s useful and true, while letting go of what’s not.
What do you have to lose?
We lose anger and other negative emotions that drain our energy and cloud our vision, blocking access to our natural state of inner peace that reflects as calmness and peace in our life.
We lose the anxiety, stress, discomfort and all forms of fear related to an excess of future-association in our mind.
We lose the guilt, sadness, regrets, complaints, and lack of forgiveness related to an excess of past-association in our mind.
We lose the habit of judging ourselves and others, preventing us from enjoying loving and compassionate relationships, and from experiencing a sense of confidence and connection to others, and happiness in our life.
We lose an idea of self based on identification with the mind, opening the space in which we can realize the essence of who we truly are.
In meditation, the more we lose the better.
Illustration by Adolfo Arranz.