A meditation process roadmap

Meditation means different things to different people - most of us start out thinking that it is about getting blissful and relaxed, which is perfectly reasonable. Then after we've been doing it for a while we realise that pleasure and contentment do arise, but there's also a lot of other things that happen that seem to get in the way - these are commonly known as the five hindrances in certain circles. We work with these for a bit and then we start exploring the mind a little more - pleasant things still happen, but there's also a lot of other things to see too. We see things coming and going, we see how the mind contracts around experience, and we start to see that nothing is personal - life just happens. Once these ideas sink in, we continue the process of letting go of our preconceptions about who and what we are - this letting go brings with it more bliss and happiness. As we let go, the mind becomes less reactionary and we start to experience the freedom of a mind that is balanced and calm. By now we realise that we have come a long way from our original idea of meditation - a simple relaxation technique - and that we are beginning to face life as it really is. Good things happen, bad things happen, we experience them fully. This is not a fun time - but we begin to own our own life as it happens and this brings with it a deep shift towards self reliance. All the while, a sense of calm builds within us - this drops us deeper into letting go, and the pleasure of deep relaxation.

That's probably enough for now. The meditation process changes the meditator profoundly, but that's no bad thing. We all have within us this drive to understand this thing we are born into and a meditation path helps us to figure these things out in no small way. If, for some reason, we cannot fulfill our life in the normal way, then this at least gives us an opportunity to explore something that can bring a different kind of fulfillment.

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