Meditation is the perfect combination of seemingly two contradictory states: total relaxation and total awareness. On the one hand, when you are only totally relaxed, it means you are in deep sleep. It must be the most beautiful time of the day, but you miss it, because awareness is missing. On the other hand, when you are only totally aware, it usually means that you are in a shock.

Something happened that suddenly woke you up from the dreamlike state you are normally in. Maybe you received some bad news, or your life got in danger. You instantly got pulled into the present moment with full force, your fight or flight reflex kicked in, and your body released adrenaline into the blood. This must be the most awakened time of the day, but you are totally tense, because relaxation is missing.

Meditation is total awareness combined with total relaxation. Your body needs to be as still as if you were already dead, and your mind needs to be as awake as if you were just going to die. When you sit down to meditate, close your eyes, and imagine that you are waiting for Death. He can arrive at any moment, so you have to be ready every moment. This is a good way to make your awareness as sharp as a sword.

As you practice meditation more and more, you will be better and better at it. At first, you will just watch your thoughts, let them go, and come back to your center. But with time, you will have to let go even of letting go. Even the act of letting go is an activity, although very subtle.

The secret of letting go of your thoughts is not to grab them in the first place. Not to give any importance to them, not to pay any attention to them, not to give any credit to them.

Most thoughts that come up are judgments, and then you create secondary judgments by judging your judgments. And then you remember that you were supposed to be meditating, and you judge yourself again. The key is not to judge your thoughts at all. Let the mind create thoughts, it can’t help its nature. But you shouldn’t condemn your thoughts, instead be forgiving to your mind.

Accept your thoughts without judgments as they come, and let them go without guilt. Whatever arises, let it arise. Whatever fades, let it fade. Whatever comes, let it come. Whatever goes, let it go. And even when you stopped all judgments, don’t say in yourself how good you have become in meditation, because that is just another judgment.

And last but not least: don’t make a coping mechanism out of meditation! When your mind is a mess, it is perfectly natural that you want to escape from it. You want to get rid of your problems, you want to take a break from the stress, and you want to experience something extraordinary in your mundane life. So, you start to use meditation as a medication, as a tranquilizer, as a painkiller.

But this ancient method shouldn’t be used like a sleeping pill, because its purpose is just the opposite: to awaken you. So, instead of supressing your thoughts, let them come up. Instead of covering your subconscious with meditation, use meditation to clear your subconscious. Do you remember the shadow work from the fourth module? This is something similar, but on steroids.

Let your demons come up from the dark, and at the light of your presence, they will almost instantly evaporate. Be totally open and vulnerable, but also aware and present. If you are, nothing can harm you, because only your ego can be hurt, but you are untouchable. Instead of forcing meditation upon yourself, let meditation come on its own. But first, you will have to meet all the things you supressed into your subconscious.

So if anything is still left there, now it is time to meet it. Remember, meditation is total openness, total looseness, and total acceptance, so keep this attitude. If you degrade meditation to just a tool for stress-reduction, it will never reach its full benefits, and you will never be totally stress-free anyway. So, don’t fight, don’t control, don’t repress!

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Memento Mori!

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