Meditation: An Uncommon Perspective.
Meditation is commonly thought to be a practice or method, rooted in some mystical-spiritual-religious tradition or philosophy with the purpose of disabusing us of delusional notions about the nature of self and reality.
Meditation is likewise defined as a path to enlightenment or self-realization — a set of steadying training wheels that helps us ride the bike of our innate essence, to pedal our way towards the inherent clarity, wisdom, and compassion of our true nature.
Meditation thus implies a means of becoming, an action or process that leads from here to there, a catalyst that produces an effect not already in evidence. Even if one believes that meditation is the expression of our inner being, the intimation of becoming is still there, the implication that we must do something special to become or demonstrate what we are.
I don’t particularly dispute this notion of meditation, but I have noticed that almost all of us, while claiming we want to go to heaven, don’t want to die. In other words, we don’t want to trade the traveling for the arriving, the doing for the being, the future promise for the present reality. As long as we are traveling, doing and believing exotic promises, our separate self can persist.
Our egocentricity is like a cockroach — it’s almost impossible to get rid of it. We will find some way to subvert the supposed means of radical and irreversible transformation — meditation — into another game of our egoistic foolery.
I think there is a better way around the tireless sentries of our self-centered thinking and living. I have, as perhaps you have too, experienced a spontaneous awakening into a life out of time, place and category. In this awakening, one finds oneself solidly on the summit of awesome, selfless living — a summit unreachable because it is already reached, unattainable because it is already attained.
This is meditation — this standing on the already-conquered summit of superb views and immaculate air. To say it this way is to click our heels together and wake up in Kansas, where we have been all along. No traveling, no becoming, no awakening is really necessary. As long as we remain where we have been all along, not as a concept or memory but as a living fact of our personal and transpersonal existence.
Meditation is not a means to realize our desires,
to become more effective, or to develop psychic abilities.
Meditation is not a means to anything.
It is the end of all such becoming
as our simple-minded flesh and bones could want.
When we reach this end that is meditation, a new life begins.
It is not our life,
not the life we used to name with our name
and carry around like a trophy of rare achievement,
but life itself, flashing through what used to be us.
Meditation is life without name, without form.
Meditation comes first
Meditation bookends all becoming
with its fiery finality.
We can’t understand this;
we can only burn the trophy case
and then live gloriously in the new life that is meditation.
Grammatically, to meditate is a verb.
Realistically, this is not true:
meditation is not a verb.
Verbs imply time.
Meditation is timeless.
Verbs imply doing.
Meditation transcends doing.
Verbs imply becoming.
Verbs are conjugated.
Meditation is undivided, unchanged, all-embracing.
The heart of meditation is
eternity without center or edge,
pure lovers braided and blended
by other lovers we can never meet.
Concentration is a useful skill,
a manipulation of attention and energy.
Concentration helps us realize our desires,
become more effective, and develop latent capacities.
Meditation is not a useful skill
and it doesn’t help us the way concentration does.
Concentration is to meditation
as a pilot light is to the sun, as a droplet is to the ocean.
Meditation means to be transcendently awake.
When we are this wide awake,
the little world disappears
in the same way sleep does
when the alarm clock goes off.
When the little world disappears,
the ocean, the sun, and the wide-awake world
come into clear focus.
Meditation means to be so wide awake
that nothing need ever be said.
Robert Rabbin began his professional journey in 1985, after spending 10 years living and working with meditation master Swami Muktananda. Since then, he has developed an international reputation as a radically brilliant speaker and public speaking guru, as well as a distinguished self-awareness facilitator, leadership adviser, and personal mentor. Robert is the creative source and director of Speaking Truthfully, through which he offers masterclasses and private mentoring in authentic self-expression and public speaking. He has published eight books and more than 200 articles on authentic living and public speaking, leadership, self-inquiry, spiritual activism, and meditation. In January 2012, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, and was told he had a few months to live. However, in keeping with his contrarian nature, he continues to thrive past the predicted use-by date. He lives in Los Angeles, and can be contacted via his website.