The Benefits and Stages Of Empty Mindfulness Meditation.
The world has a tendency to alienate a person from his or her inner being.
The human mind is bombarded from all sides by stimuli which distract a consciousness from truly understanding the meaning and significance of most events and things in this world.
Mass media continuously try to satisfy our inner longing by providing us with all the enjoyment and diversions to while away our time and forget the gnawing reality of monotony and angst which afflict every person in our society. These diversionary tactics provided by modern conveniences and amenities slowly distract our mind and alienate us further from our inner-self which is the source of real peace, healing, and understanding.
The basic truth about meditation is simple—that you could learn it in just five minutes—and you can readily engage in it anytime and anywhere. Yet you should constantly engage in it to improve on it. Likewise, it could also be developed into a habit wherein it becomes natural or second nature to a person to engage in it. The more one practices meditation the higher the level of meditation one can achieve. Moreover, there are various methods of meditation which one can learn to further one’s journey deep into one’s inner being. In this book, my primary concern is to lay down and explain one of the most useful methods of meditation—the Empty Mind Meditation—which could greatly enhance your meditation experience and lead you to a deeper spiritual experience.
There are more than a hundred techniques of meditations which aim to help practitioners in the process of meditation. Yet, among these meditation techniques, one stands out as the most frequently used by those who daily engage in meditation, and this is the “Empty Mind Meditation Technique.” What is so special about the Empty Mind Meditation Technique?
Some people use meditation as a way to relieve themselves of the daily stress which buffet them in their life. Some engage in meditation to harness, focus, and discipline their mental faculty. Others set themselves down in meditation out of curiosity. However, others engage in meditation to further their spiritual growth and get in touch with the “Ground of Being,” or God, the Universal Life Force, or the Foundation of Being, or the “Tao.”
Empty Mind Meditation Explained
Empty Mind Meditation is a meditation technique in which the mind is gradually emptied of all thoughts which interfere in the process of meditation. Buddhists call this method Vipassana or Anapanasati. It is easy to say that the main purpose of meditation is to attune oneself to the universal energy via total emptiness of the mind from thoughts; yet, achieving this state of mind sometimes entails a lifelong endeavor. Buddhists and Christian monks often engage in an entire life of striving to achieve total detachment, coupled with dedicated and disciplined practices to attain this desired state of mind in which unnecessary thoughts completely disappear from the mind during meditation.
In the ancient times, spiritual greats had used the Empty Mind method to attain enlightenment. Buddha, for example, under the banyan tree, attained enlightenment while using the method of Empty Mind. Jesus engages in Empty Mind Meditation at Mount Tabor and Gethsemane to achieve total emptiness of his mind and will. Great Hindu Mystics were often seen engaged in Empty Mind Meditation in the Himalayan Caves, in Ganges River, and in their favorite nook striving to achieve the total emptiness of mind from unnecessary human thoughts. Great Mystics of the Christian Church likewise engaged in deep spiritual meditation using Empty Mind Meditation Technique to free themselves from selfish thoughts which interfere in their ascend to a higher level of spirituality. This only shows that this technique is as ancient and as new as the Great Religions of the World.
The Basis of Empty Mind Meditation
The dynamics of the development of the “Self” or the “Ego” lays down the foundation of the importance of the Empty Mind Meditation. In the Psycho-social development of a self, a person develops one’s Ego as one grows in life. The newborn baby has no concept of the Ego or Self. As the baby grows, it begins to develop a concept of oneself which one carries along in one’s development as a person. This Self, which embodies all our self-concepts and thoughts, becomes impermeable as one matures, and we protect this “self” by a very porous ego-boundary. We thought that this ego-boundary and the self that it protects is the real self—our very own being—which we treasure and so much value. We feel deeply hurt when someone says something untoward about ourselves. Yet, underlying this ego and ego boundary is our inner being which has been covered along the way with heaps of our self-thoughts and concepts. In the Buddhist concept of the self, there is only one true self and this true self is God or the Tao, and all others selves are illusions. This might be true considering the fact that the ego boundary, in the last analysis, is illusory. Now, to counteract the over-dependency of humans on his ego or self, one has to engage in a certain form of exercise on self-emptying. The Tao, the Buddhists say, can only enter into an empty mind and heart. Likewise, the Universal Life Force or the Tao can never be reached unless one is full of oneself and self-thoughts. For this reason, we need the Empty Mind Meditation Method to achieve a certain state of emptiness of the mind which will allow us to see the essential in life and discard the trappings or the non-essentials in life, and in the process, get in touch with the Ground of Being or the Tao.
The “Self” and the ego boundary as a barrier to Enlightenment
The “Self” often poses as a big hindrance in our ascent to a higher level of spirituality. The “Self” with all its desires, thoughts, and cravings hinder us from attaining the ultimate goal of meditation which is the attunement to the universal will via the total emptiness of oneself. The more porous our self or Ego is, the greater the hindrance it creates in our ascent to a higher level of meditation. For this reason, there is a need to temper down the self by the use of Empty Mind Meditation.
The Empty Mind Meditation Technique softens the Ego
As I have mentioned earlier, the ultimate goal of meditation is the attunement to the universal will by way of emptying oneself. To other people, emptiness is tantamount to dying. Yet, it is said that “in dying we are born to eternal life.” The truth is that “no one wants to be released from his/her own self.” This is basically true considering the fact that it is unnatural for a person to want to empty oneself. Yet, all the sacred scriptures of the great religions tell us that the only way to enlightenment is through the emptiness of the self. The Empty Mind Meditation is best suited to a lifelong striving to attain enlightenment through self-emptying. This Technique enables us to develop that habit of self-denial which is radically necessary if we want to achieve a higher level of spirituality. For this reason, the continuous practice of Empty Mind Meditation Technique enables us to soften the Ego and helps us to inch closer to the most-sought after enlightenment.
The Benefits of Empty Mind Meditation – The Proximate Goals of the Empty Mind Meditation
For some people, the practice of Empty Mind Meditation helps them find some relaxation from the highly demanding and hectic lifestyle in which most
modern people find themselves. The mere practice of emptying the mind enables a person to free the mind from the anxious thoughts which clutter the mind throughout the day. Once one engages in the step-by-step process of Empty Mind Meditation, which entails the muscle conditioning and moderation of breathing at the start, and the tempering of thoughts later on, one finds oneself slowly in the alpha-relaxed state of the mind which enables a
person to free oneself of the stress which has built up all throughout the day. By achieving a relaxed state, one can de-stress the body and consequently achieve healing of some ailing body parts. This may be a secondary effect of the practice of Empty Mind Meditation which, in some way, is very beneficial to the practitioners. This is the main reason too why a lot of people engage in the practice of Empty Mind Meditation.