What is Meditation
By Shuem Healing
The last couple of years magazines and newspapers regularly write about the benefits of meditation for our health and happiness. Supported by scientific research more and more people try to meditate and find these benefits. What is less known is what meditation actually aims for and thereby how to reach the promised benefits. This recently was clearly demonstrated in a group discussion on Linkedin where the answers to the question ‘what is meditation?’ were widely diverted.
According to Shuem Healing meditation is shifting your attention from the content of your consciousness to the space in which this content arises. Although it might sound mysterious it is very close to everybody. When you would try to clearly observe yourself right now it becomes clear that you actually just exist. This existence is what spiritual traditions call ‘Being’ which is very quiet, calm, peaceful, open and harmonious.
All the time your universe arises within this openness. Everything you perceive through the senses and everything you think, feel and wish arises within this state of being. People who get to know this space develop a very different perspective. Seen from this wider space you get much more control on what is within it.
Meditation and different kinds of attention
To understand the process of meditation it is helpful to helpful to distinguish three kinds of attention that are part of the human experience.
The first Attention
The first kind of attention is our daily attention. It is focused on what we experience in daily life and the material field of existence. It mainly is perceived through the senses and in thinking which is the world of words. Because of these words this first attention always shouts loudest within you. It’s this voice and all the things screaming inside and outside.
In meditation you try to get a bit away from this first attention that otherwise captures all of you. In order to do that there are many different techniques. In Zen Meditation for instance they stare at a black point on the wall. By doing this you fixate your attention in one point. This way your attention no longer bangs and bumps around that much anymore.
The second attention
Once you fixate your first attention the second attention within you comes alive. This second attention is called soul awareness and consists of inner feelings and pictures, dreams and visions. It is the connection between your daily existence and who you actually are on a deeper level. The second attention interprets and translates the world as it is for you. Herewith it gives meaning to what you perceive.
The second attention is a very useful field to alter the way you experience things. When for instance you’re not happy you can make a change within this second attention. Since the second attention gives meaning to what you experience it is in this field that you can change what things mean to you and thereby harmonize your life.
Second attention consists of feeling and feeling is the main thing we thrive for. All our actions are directed to experience a certain feeling. Whether you want a big car and lots of success or instead try to hide away all is to try to get this feeling. By harmonizing the field of feeling people experience their life becomes much smoother and balanced.
The third attention
The third kind of attention is ‘Being’ or even ‘Non-being’. This is the wide open awareness in which everything arises including the notion of yourself. In Meditation you try to shift your attention from the first through the second attention in order to reach the third attention.
Obstacles on the way
Very often people get stuck in the second attention. The second attention is a very fascinating world. Here you see beautiful things and visions and hear interesting insights. This is also the danger because fascination is another word for being hooked and you don’t get any further. The second attention is worthy to work with to harmonise your feelings, but as a human being you have the potential to reach the third attention.
Meditation: the deep core of your existence is peace
In Meditation you try to get in touch with the third kind of attention. This is what you are at the deepest level of your own being. This is not far away and exists right now as well except that you’re not used to give attention to it. When you reach this third attention you will notice that the deep core of your existence is peace.
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