Are you interested in meditation, but find it a bit overwhelming with all of the many meditation methods and techniques available? Are you a long time meditator who is still searching for that elusive state of inner peace? Maybe you have been occasionally able to find that place of calm and quiet within yourself through meditation, but you sense that there must be a simpler and more direct way to get there, rather than through a lot of striving and struggling with your mind.
Or perhaps you may have heard a lot about how beneficial meditation is, but you’re not really sure if meditation is right for you. Whatever your situation is, I want you to know that the inner place of peace, freedom, and openness is a lot closer than you may think, and there is a straightforward way of getting there. Welcome to the simple, yet revolutionary practice called True Meditation.
Note-If you would like support in this practice, there is a guided meditation called “True Meditation,” by the spiritual teacher Adyashanti. Read more about it below in the section titled “Guided Meditations.”
What is True Meditation?
I was introduced to true meditation through one of my spiritual teachers named Adyashanti. His approach to meditation is very simple and enjoyable, yet at the same time radical and fresh. True meditation can be summed up in this way: “The art of allowing everything to be as it is.“
I don’t know about you, but just hearing those words already makes me feel so relaxed and at ease. What a relief to be able to let go of striving and trying to change and manipulate your inner experience. Instead, you can simply rest and open to the exploration of what it’s like to just let things be as they are, in the moment.
True meditation is a lot different from any other meditation approaches in which you are instructed to change your experience into a particular state or to focus on a particular thing (such as the breath, a mantra, etc.). I’m not saying that these other approaches are not good, because they are effective and I use them in my own practice. However, it can be so liberating to engage with the practice of meditation as a way of simply letting go, relaxing, and feeling the great spaciousness that opens up when you just allow things to be as they are.
When you allow things to be, what is actually happening is that you are letting go of the mind. You are letting go of your ordinary self that is always trying to control everything. Or as Adyashanti describes it, you are “letting go of the meditator.“ Relaxing out of the part of yourself that is always trying to do it right and make something happen, you can make the amazing discovery that the sense of stillness and freedom is already there inside you, without you needing to do something in order to get there.
The Art of Allowing Everything to Be As It Is
There are two very important words in this phrase-“Art” and “Allowing.” The word art is important here because it shows that this way of practicing meditation is done with the same sense of lightheartedness and freedom as someone who is engaging in a creative endeavor, such as in the arts. When you are painting, writing, playing music, or doing anything else that is creative, you may notice that there is a particular attitude involved.
There is an sense of playfulness, exploration, and joy. There is no feeling of there being any hard and fast ‘rules’ that need to be followed, nor is there an excessive focus on a ‘goal’ that you are trying to attain. Rather, there is more a sense of being in the moment and enjoying the process as it unfolds. When you are really enjoying the act of creation, there is not a strong feeling of an “I” or “me” that is doing it. It feels more like a flow, like you have tapped into something deeper and are simply getting out of the way and allowing it to happen.
This leads into the second important word, which is “allowing.“ in the practice of true meditation, you are allowing your experience to unfold, rather than trying to force something to happen. This does not mean that you aren’t engaged. It means that you change the way in which you engage the meditation. You are focused and present, but your attitude is very open, with a feeling of allowing. You have an opportunity to let go of trying to control. You can give yourself permission to let go of that tense grasping and holding inside you. What a wonderful gift!
Why Practice True Meditation?
Because you deserve to be happy, and you have the right to discover that peace, happiness, and joy are actually your natural state of being. By practicing true meditation you can experience this natural state. The only reason it is ever hidden is because we are usually covering it up by avoiding the is-ness of the moment.
Another benefit of this way of meditating is that you get a feeling of freshness, of things being brand new. When you let things be as they are, at the same time you are letting go of your preconceived ideas about them. This allows for an experience of everything being new. It feels like you are seeing things for the first time.
It is such an amazing feeling to have moments where you are free of the mind. In this state, even simple experiences such as looking at the leaves on a tree or feeling the breeze on your face are completely amazing. Life becomes a magical journey, an adventure not to be missed.
Ordinary Examples of True Meditation
To help you get a feeling for what true meditation is like, I want to give a few ordinary examples from every day life. These common life experiences have a similar attitude and feeling to the practice of true meditation.
The first is being in nature. Think of the last time you had a positive experience in nature. Perhaps you were going for a walk on the beach or a hike in the mountains, swimming in the ocean, or enjoying the vast open quietness of the desert.
When we are having beautiful experiences in nature like these, we are happy. Why? Mainly because we are relaxed, at ease, and not trying to make anything happen. In other words, we are allowing everything to be as it is.
When you see a sunset you are not somehow trying to make it better, thinking, “If only this sunset could be a little more beautiful. I sure wish there wasn’t as much yellow and orange. If only there was a bit more purple, then this would be a good sunset.” If you thought like that, it would ruin the whole experience.
What actually makes a sunset, a walk on the beach, or any experience of being in nature enjoyable, is the fact that you aren’t trying to change it. You are in contact with the is-ness of the moment.
Another example is when you are playing or listening to your favorite music. When you are really getting into the song, really
enjoying it, you are letting everything be as it is. You like the song just as it is, and that is why it feels so good. But if you were to start focusing on all the aspects of the song that you don’t like and how you want it to be different, then you lose the fun of it.
Also, think of the last time you were having a great time with your best friends, your child, your pet, or anyone else you really care about. In these joyful moments you are letting things be as they are. It may seem that the happiness is coming from your friends, your pet, etc. But actually the reason you feel so good is because you are in a state of non-resistance, being in the moment without wanting to change anything. This feeling of joy is the perfection of experiencing things just as they are.
True meditation has a similar feeling and attitude to these above examples. Although you may be sitting still in a room by yourself, inwardly you are experiencing the same feelings of happiness. And as you become more experienced with the practice of true meditation, you can actually begin to access a treasury of well-being that is even deeper and more profound. The goodness of life, just as it is.
Why Guided Meditations are Helpful
For me personally, the best introduction to experiencing true meditation was through a set of guided meditations, led by a meditation teacher named Adyashanti. They are called “True Meditation,” (click the link and you can get them as a CD set or digital download).
In these meditations, you are guided through the art of allowing everything to be as it is, from someone who has direct experience of the practice. There are actually three separate meditations, each one gradually leading to a deeper experience.
I have found it to be so inspiring and beneficial to have the assistance of someone guiding me through the meditation. Having a calm, soothing voice to give suggestions and pointers is so helpful to veer away from distractions and move deeper into the present moment. With these guided meditations you can come back again and again (I like to do it everyday) to that place of peace, and become more familiar with the freedom of experiencing things as they are.
I hope I’ve gotten you interested in this wonderful meditation practice. I can say from experience how amazing it is, and I want you to be able to experience the same benefits. I highly encourage you to get the CDs or audio downloads to assist you in your practice.
I wish you all the best, and may you discover for yourself the joy of the True Meditation.
Please leave your questions and comments below!