The Science of Meditation

A reader of our meditation column recently mentioned to me that she “loves reading the column but doesn’t understand all of it.” To overcome this minor obstacle I recommend to anyone having difficulty in comprehension not to hesitate in contacting me to clarify any ambiguities. I also suggest that the readers cut out and create a notebook of the columns so that you can refer back to certain issues to gain a better understanding as we progress in our exploration of the science of meditation. Access to previous weeks is also available online, but you can’t mark them up with notations.

Our column on The Science Of Meditation is much more than learning about the effects of meditation on the human being. You figured that out by now, right? For those who are practicing sincerely and have done so for at least a few months, it should be clear, (clear is the objective in practicing meditation), that the practitioner is not meditating for oneself but for others. Wow, what does that mean? Imagine that our differences between us could actually evaporate and disappear. In other words, that we create the world where nothing prevents us from loving each other as living creative creatures on our blessed planet where the term “them” becomes a pejorative. So, our column is really about learning creativity, sustainability and that for every action there is an action of equal content whether it is hate, judgment or love.

What does it mean to be “clear” and what is this business about “them?” Imagine that for millions of years we are moving along on the evolutionary conveyor belt - that’s the thing under your feet that you can’t see. Take a second to ponder what we just wrote. Yes, you wrote it too. We wrote it together as we explore consciousness! Ask yourself the question, “Did we always see other humans as a threat?” In the early days of emerging intelligence were we curious or fearful of other humans? Let’s explore this idea next week. For now take a few minutes and “clear” your path.

Set a timer for 10 minutes. Sit down on the edge of a firm chair. Don’t lean against the chair-back. Sit up vertical so that your torso is parallel to the force of gravity. Allow gravity to pierce straight through your verticality. Tuck your chin in a bit. As you are sitting with your hands on your thighs, close your eyes, relax, nasal breathe and as you gently inhale swell your belly bringing vital oxygen into the larger lower lungs. Gently nasal exhale. Continue with your breathing concentrating only on your belly-breathing mechanism. This is your sanctuary! Stay in it! When a thought intrudes your sanctuary, don’t judge it. Let the thought drift away like a cloud as you remain in your sanctuary, focusing on your breath. Be patient as you build your skill. It takes only a little effort and time to train yourself. Soon you will create new neural networks in your brain that will give you clarity in life. Thoughts are persistent but not welcome in your sanctuary. Let them be as clouds drifting away. Only the stillness of mind and body and the rhythm of your breathing are welcome. Stillness - breath - clarity.

Paul Benavidez, MFA