108 - An Easy Hard Meditation Technique (#108)
Anything in life that brings you closer to inner peace can be
said to be "good". Anything that takes your peace away is "bad". Of
course, it is a given that anything that only brings you momentary
peace, like drugs, is not good. To really qualify, the peace must
be everlasting. Very often, good, and thus peace, doesn’t come easily.
For instance, politically and historically, it has often taken a war to
bring about a lasting peace between enemies. An example of this can be
found in the relationships between America, Japan, Russia, and Germany.
Deadly enemies during World War II, and now close partners involved in
mutual progress and at peace.
Within ourselves there is a similar inner world war-like
interaction going on between the mind, body, and emotions that prevents
us from knowing real peace. As the events in our life take place, we
react mentally, physically, and emotionally, sometimes more one way and
at other times more in another. This slave-like reactivity makes our
life seem out of control, bouncing back and forth between joy and
sorrow, and without lasting peace. This anxiety and conflict filled
state can be witnessed by an inner awareness that is our Real Self. This
Witness to our life has always been there/here, silent, non-labeling,
non-commenting, non-judging, and is present now.
As you are reading these words, your Witness is aware of your
mind’s mentations, your body’s sensations, and your emotion’s feelings.
If your inner chattering stops rambling on, you can sit back in your
mind’s eye and Witness your body/ego’s reactions. It is at a moment when
this occurs that what has been called your higher intuitive center
kicks in and you will know, with a gut feeling, just what to do. You
will then be able to witness your mind, body, and emotions act, and
either cease the reactivity that has taken away your peace, or start to
do that which will bring about peace in your life.
For instance, you may have been banging your head against the
wall for years, even though this caused you to suffer terribly. Your
friends may have told you countless times that your life would be more
peaceful if you would just stop doing this foolish activity. But, you
never listened, or perhaps justified it as worth continuing with for
some silly and illogical reason such as that it felt so good when you
stopped. Witness yourself now. Did you just see yourself laugh, or react
in a "Yep! That’s me!" embarrassment? Did your mind get angry and
defensive and deny that this concept could apply to you? Are you
witnessing now? And now?
Just as it is unlikely that you would continue to keep banging
your head against the wall once you really recognized that you were
doing it, once you witness yourself reacting to life’s events
inappropriately (in a way that steals your peace away from you), you
will stop doing it and thus allow peace to fill and stay with you. The
108 Meditation technique is one of the best at letting you witness your
Relax yourself in the way you have found best prepares you for
meditating. Focus your attention on your breath. Observe and feel air
come into the body, stay, and leave the body. Silently say "One". Do it
again and say "Two". On and on up to 108. This seems to be very easy to
do, but don’t be surprised, when you first try this inner exercise, if
you can’t concentrate well enough to get all the way up to 108 without
being distracted by your thoughts, physical sensations, or emotions.
Your mind has been your master and you have been it’s slave your whole
life, and it’s not going to let you be in charge without giving you a
very hard battle for control. Your mind has caused you to fritter away
your most of your life rehashing the past and fantasizing about the
future and will rebel if you try to live and control your life as it
Your breath always occurs in the present moment. Thus, if you
are paying attention to your breath, you have the potential of
experiencing reality, for it too can only occur now, in the present.
Inner peace is not something for the past or the future. It is available
and present now. We just must stop being distracted from it. When we do
this technique, and we watch our mind take us away from the object of
our meditation, our breath, we must not scold ourselves. If we see that
we are concentrating very well, we must not get too overjoyed. Both
extremes are distractions.
What is especially wonderful about this technique is that you
can become aware of what causes your distraction as well as what happens
as a result of your distraction. For instance, you may find that if you
try to do this with your eyes open, something may catch your eye and
you will start thinking about it. But, this is not necessarily bad
because you may then have learned that it is easier to do this
technique with your eyes shut and that this does bring more peace into
your life. So, in a way, you may gain greater insight from "failing" at
maintaining your concentration than from paying attention.
Another benefit that this method gives us is that we can gauge
our progress over time. For instance, when you first try it, you may
only get up to the number 12 before your mind’s chattering, or your
body’s twitching, or your emotion’s swings distract you. Then, perhaps a
week later, you may find that you are able to maintain your attention
up to 48. A 400% improvement!
Eventually, you will be able to silently witness your mind
obediently accomplishing the task you have assigned it and you will get
to 108 successfully. It will be then that you can be considered the
master, and your mind, body, and emotions, the slaves. They then can be
used as valuable tools that will help you attain the consistent inner
peace that you have been seeking. Easily!
Perhaps the greatest asset this technique offers is that you
will become more and more aware of, and start identifying with, the
Witness within - the pure, blissful, serene consciousness that is your
Real Self. You will then need no tools, techniques, or concepts, and
will live happily ever after.