Meditation Is Not Concentration

Teachers who teach concentration and call it meditation may actually block the expansion of their students.

If concentration were meditation, then balancing our checkbook or carefully tying a knot would expand our awareness and fill us with bliss. We concentrate all day: we get tired and cranky if we don't rest our attention.

Meditation is the opposite of concentration. It is de-concentration. Real meditation is the dissolution of any content on which to concentrate. When awareness radiates its own light, with absolutely no object to be aware of, this is samadhi, the deepest meditation.

Any object you concentrate on, even the most sacred name, even the radiant vision of God's face, is just more stuff. But meditation un-stuffs the mind. Meditation rests from focus, dissolving attention until our space is boundless. True meditation is never about the object, but the subject. When the subject knows its Self, reposes in its Self, and drinks the infinite bliss of the Self, then the subject is its own object.

This interior relationship - where perceiver, object, and act of perception are one continuum of awareness - is the essence of Yoga. You may call it Advaita, Christ Consciousness, Buddha-Nature, whatever you like. But the taste is what counts, not the name.

In that essence, Being, Consciousness and Bliss are one Sat-Chit-Ananada, the Holy Trinity.

In the simplest meditation, we don't need any visions, heavenly sounds, or philosophical insights to feel the Bliss of pure Being as our own Consciousness. This naturally expanded state of rest does not come through effort, mind-control, or concentration: it comes through the Grace of the Master. Then we feel in each atom of our body the same vastness that contains the distant galaxies. How light, how spacious, how free we truly are, just as we are!

Un-stuffed and burdened by nothing, our emptiness shines, more radiant, more solid than sapphire!

This is why we say, "Jai Guru Dev," all gratitude to the holy Shankaracharya tradition of masters who have handed down this profoundly graceful practice of meditation.

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