Having practiced meditation for over 20 years I have come to realise that there are four keys that are helpful when you’re starting to meditate.
No matter what form of meditation you practice these 4 keys will set you up to have a joyful and successful experience.
Cultivating these keys will not only benefit the quality of meditation greatly, they also have a positive influence on your life in general.
Science is now agreeing that meditation can be a powerful form of stress relief and can help general health. Study after study on meditation have found and confirmed over and over the incredible benefits of meditation.
It can help reduce physical tension in the body, increase positive thinking and transform your life in a way that ripples out to benefit all of those around you.
Ultimately, meditation is not something that can be conveyed by speaking or reading about it. It is something to be experienced, it is something that is alive and flows.
With regular practice it helps improving people’s lives on a physical as well as on a mental, psychological, and spiritual level.
When you sit to meditate, it is not a given that you are immediately settled. You may find that are faced with all kinds of distractions
If it’s not your body that is uncomfortable you may find that your thoughts are all over the place, not to speak about the noises from your environment.
And all this while you’re doing your best to settle into an experience of profound healing stillness.
Settling into this stillness is only possible when you accept that distractions are there.
An important technique that I have learned while studying Dru Meditation is to work with the quality of the 3 acceptances.
With acceptance I mean total acceptance: having no inclination to change the situation or to make it other than it is in the moment.
It’s complete acceptance and allowance of where we are as we are, with full and deep unconditional love of what is.
The three acceptances are the acceptance of your environment, your body, and your mind.
When you sit, first take a few moments to settle into your environment. No matter what you perceive, heat or cold, light or sounds, simply accept it all without resistance and wishing for anything to be different.
Next, you become aware of physical sensations. Just notice sensations, comfortable or uncomfortable and accept them without moving, if possible.
The third step is to become aware of your mind. Simply observe and accept your thoughts without getting involved or attached to them. Watch them arise and fade.
This approach helps the body to relax, the mind to become still and for distractions to be less of a problem to you as you meditate.
Towards the end of this episode I will guide you through a short meditation around these 3 acceptances.
However, there is one more key that I have found is essential in making your meditations successful.
Its essence is revealed in the following story
There once was a young man from western background. Really successful coming up in banking and business and he had been talking to his friends and it seemed a really good idea to find a meditation teacher.
So he went to the east, as you do, you know. You travel to India and you try and find a master. He went a little bit further to Tibet. And he found this amazing master that he been recommended. In a monastery somewhere.
He entered into the monastery and he asked to see the master.
He asked the master: I have heard lots of amazing things about you. Please can you teach me to meditate.
The master said: Well, I'm not so sure whether you would be able to take it. You know we are very strict around here. But, I can perhaps do it in another way. What is it you like best apart from banking and those things? Apart from business. What is your most favorite thing? What do you like the best?
And he loved playing chess. He absolutely loved playing chess and he was very good at it as well. So the meditation master said: ok, that is perfect.
He said tomorrow morning you come here for a chess game. I will lay down some rules and you are going to play against one of the monks - you have one chance to yes or no if you are going to abide by the rules.
He went to his little room in the monastery and had slightly sleepless night over all this because he thought: what is going on? Is it going to be one of those weird things I have heard about where the master is going to do something totally unexpected? I can feel it coming on.
He was soooooo right!
The next morning this young man sat down and the master came in and brought in a very beautiful most senior monks. He was indeed a beautiful, compassionate man.
You could just feel the compassion ooozing out of this man. Such amazing radiance. He didn't speak a word of english so this young man was just communicating with the master who spoke good english.
The monk was sitting opossite him. Only in his early 30s and what an amazing being, what a power came out of him.
The young man though: if only I could be like that.
They sat down and the master said: ok, the rules of the game are - whoever wins this game stays alive. Whoever doesn't win this game will loose his life.
He didn't mess about and showed the sword that was going to do the job.
The young man thought what am I getting myself into? He completely trusted his ability to play chess. But he thought there must be a catch somewhere. He didn't quite feel comfortable with it.
He thought: I have made it all the way here I might as well go the whole hog and said "yes". And thus the chess game started.
The incredible thing was that the poor monk, this beautiful monk didn't know much about chess. The young man who was playing him found out quite quickly that he was going to win the game.
First of all he was sitting there a bit smug. Of course I am going to win the game. His ego was rising. His ego was strong. He made all the right moves. Very soon they came to a point in the chess game where the monk was doing such stupid things even though he really thought hard about it that - the young guy could easily win in the next few moves.
His whole attitude started to chance. He thought Oh my God I actually now am playing with the life of someone else. His heart sank. He didn't know what to do. Because he didn't want to loose his life but he looked into the eyes of this monk.
He looked into the eyes and he thought - what if this being is going to die because I win this stupid game! I can't do this! And he started to feel really uncomfortable.
He thought of all the amazing things this monk would do for this world. He thought: What am I doing with this banking? What is it worth? What am I actually doing with my life that makes me more worthy of living it than this beautiful man in front of me?
Then there was this other move and they were coming closer to the monk losing. All of a sudden he couldn't stop himself he started to do really stupid things. He started move everything, he maneuvered the whole game, he manipulated the whole game so that he himself would loose it.
Then the master stood up, put the sword on the middle of the chess board and said: Game over!
And the lesson was learned. The master said - now you know what meditation is about. It is not about you. It is not about your gain. It is not about your peace of mind. Your peace of mind will come when you do something that really benefits others.
Listen to the acceptance meditation in my podcast episode linked to this blogpost: