“All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” - Blaise Pascal
To meditate is to dream. Meditation is a practice in which you can send yourself into the wildest corners of your imagination to really explore the depths of your mind before returning home safely, soundly, and singingly. To meditate is to adventure, explore, discover - meditation is to dream.
Meditation is not a practice where you should categorise your thoughts into numerous sections where you allow some thoughts freedom and enslave others - all thoughts, like all humans, are equal, therefore all thoughts should be treated equally. To mediate is to flow like the current of the ocean; openly and freely - it is a practice of currency where you allow your thoughts to drift in and out of your mind similar to the tide of the ocean.
The objective, then, of emptying your mind of its thoughts during mediation is not only silly, but it goes against what mediation represents - it contends the goal in which you are looking to achieve. The more energy you expend in repressing your thoughts, the more thoughts you will have, and the longer their visits will last.
When you are in meditation and have become lost, when you realise that you've been thinking of him or her or doing this or that or going here or there, you have succeeded in your meditation. ‘How so?’ Because you are aware that you have become lost, and now you can refocus your mind and return home. There are no boundaries to how far your imagination can travel during meditation, there are only minor suggestions, subtle subtle signs of advice from your mind's eye that lets you know that you may be closing in on travelling too far for too long of a time. But these are simply signs, not limitations. When you do, if you ever do find yourself doubting the repetitive process of getting lost and being found, take a mental step back and evaluate what is happening and how you are able to manage it. Soon, you will realise that in order to return home, you first must have realised that you were lost, otherwise you could not have returned - and now that you have realised, you can return. You see, going beyond your thoughts in meditation is not a failure, it is a success.
To take this one step further, let's say there was a certain criterion to how one’s mind should act during meditation, a criterion where only grave silence and statue-like stillness of the mind was permitted whilst sighting nothing but haunting darkness, ask yourself: 'Would I still meditate?' I certainly wouldn’t want to. Where is the fun in darkness? You cannot see - you are blinded by its presence. Where is the vibrancy, the joy, and the celebration in it? The light of life has been clouded by darkness - it shines no more. If there is no moonlit sky or twinkling stars to be seen, where is the pleasure in the darkness of the night?
Meditation, please do not show me darkness, for I will see enough of that when I take to my grave - when my beating heart is no more. For now, shower my mind with colourful blessings; show me a bright clear sky, a lushest green forest with hundreds of mighty oak trees, a beautiful sunset peaking over the horizon, and a family of light blue butterflies dancing through the air. Even greater, show me something that I have not seen before, provide my mind's eye with a totally new experience. Perform some magic for me. I command you.
Meditate where you wish, for however long or short you choose, whilst imagining what you can’t.
Thanks for reading.