The three stages of meditation practice as an art-form

The first stage is using meditation as an art-form to learn to calm the mind, overcome distractions and develop inner peace.

The second stage is using the inner peace and focus you get from the first stage in order to deepen your experience of concentration, awareness and insight.

The third stage is accessing and stabilizing the subtle inner abilities/gifts that you become aware of through stages one and two; understanding what they and learning how to apply them practically/creatively as a way of being of service to the world.

The first stage you could call the art of peace, the second stage you could call the art of concentration and insight, the third stage you could call the art of creative or spiritual service.

Let’s say you start meditating tomorrow, for twenty minutes a day for the next fifteen years. By the end of the first five years you will have probably become competent at stage one. By the end of ten years you will probably have become competent at stage two. By the end of fifteen years you will have a working knowledge of stage three. This will give you a foundation. 

Fifteen years may seem like a long time, but if you are persistent for the first two or three years, it may well be that you will have ceased being all that goal oriented and learned to simply enjoy the journey that the art of meditation offers to the human traveller.

As the practitioner of any genuine art form will tell you, there are no short cuts to genuine mastery! 

PS: Brief plug for the new series of meditation classes on “How to develop our spiritual intelligence and inner wisdom” starting this Tuesday 24th August, I guarantee it will be of interest to any meditator or aspiring meditator. For those not in Singapore it is available as a series of three recordings. 

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you must seek Toby’s permission first.

Related article: Is your meditation a form of therapy, and art-form or a spiritual practice?

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