Monday, December 23, 2013

The biggest secret in meditation

In this post I am going to talk about the biggest secret in meditation, with the beginning meditator as my audience in mind. Meditation can go very deep into the human psyche. It has been documented in recent observations (from reputable and trust-worthy sources like that from the honorable master Nan Huaijin) that deep meditation for a couple of days can cause initial time space disorientation for the meditator. Furthermore deep inner experience is hard to describe by our rational mind, if meaning can be put (classic Taoist or Buddhist practices dissolve all meanings into Tao or Buddha in the final analysis), like Carl Jung's Red Book, its impact can be disturbing to the meditator himself. These issues are not what I am going to tackle (Those who think otherwise can safely end their reading here without wasting their valuable time... ).

What then am I going to talk about? I am going to talk about what is the most important thing that a beginning meditator should learn and why most meditation teachers do not teach it (assuming that they know what it is about).

If you read any beginners' meditation book or meditation web site, or even meditation classes, the teacher there will spend most of the time explaining to you the benefits of meditation. Next in line, he or she will talk about techniques. The techniques boil down to slow and/or deep breathing, relax your body and mind, listen to some meditation music, (a few) chanting a mantra, or (a few) focusing on some part of your body.  Some zen meditation teachers may also ask you to focus on the immediate, the understanding of which, most of the time, beats all rational thoughts of a beginning meditator. Yet some of you will feel happy and relax. Time and money well spent. But are these the inner circle meditation techniques?

Let me consider a question: what is the most powerful technique in getting a person into a half-sleeping stage for inner exploration, the quint-essential meditative state?

It is hypnosis. Some New Ages spiritual seekers use self-hypnosis as their key tool to attain their objectives.

The learned scholar and writer Emberto Eco has this interesting remarks about the effectiveness of hypnosis, as a technique, in his latest fiction The Prague Cemetery:

A medallion or a key is waved before the patient, who is told to watch it closely: within the space of one to three minutes the subject's pupils develop an oscillatory movement, the pulse slows down, the eyes close, the face relaxes, and drowsiness may last for up to twenty minutes.

In the famous text Taoist Yoga (translated by Zen master Charles Luk into English), it has this to say about our third eye and its gazing, in its first chapter talking about the first technique of Taoist meditation:

Question: Will you please give me the exact position of the original cavity of spirit?

Answer: It is (in the centre of the brain behind) the spot between the eyes. Lao Tsu called it "the gateway to heaven and earth"; hence he urged people to concentrate on the centre in order to realise the oneness (of all things).

Whether it is a medallion, the third eye (or belly button, tip of nose, a candle, the setting sun etc), they all involve subtle and controlled movement of our eyes. Such subtle movements open the door to our inner world.

Why meditation teachers do not teach?

Subtle eye movements by oneself is difficult to learn and need continual practice with patience. The progress depends on individual, oftentimes a teacher cannot help, for one thing you need to close or at least half-close your eyes during meditation.  In our modern world, tuition will be paid for things that can be taught. Why should I pay someone for something that he can't teach me? An honorable meditation teacher will have no student!

Meditation third eye


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