“Life is an adventure in the experience of being conscious. To meditate and to be a meditator is to engage in this experience full-bloodedly, with the intention to get the very most out of the opportunity”
Dear Integral Meditators,
To be a meditator can be considered in a number of different ways, in the article below I outline two ways of thinking about being a meditator that I hope you will find enlightening!
If you enjoy the article, then do consider joining in my latest class series, An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice that starts on 16/17th August, and can be participated in live, online or using the recordings.
In the spirit of adventuring,
Adventuring with attention (What is a Meditator?)
What is a meditator? Why do you meditate? Here are two definitions of what a meditator is or can be, and some simple practices relating to them.
Definition 1: An adventurer in consciousness – Life is an adventure in the experience of being conscious. To meditate and to be a meditator is to engage in this experience full-bloodedly, with the intention to get the very most out of the opportunity that we have been given, both in terms of enjoyment, and in terms of our potential to achieve worthwhile goals that are congruent with our inner and outer values.
Definition 2: A practitioner of the primary life-skills of awareness & attention – A meditator is someone dedicated to the practice of conscious, intentional awareness & attention. If you want to get good at anything in your life, the art of being aware and paying attention is a foundational pre-skill that you need. Said another way, if you know how to be aware and pay attention well, you can learn almost anything. Learning a sport, taking care of your health, being a competent professional, looking after relationships all require good quality attention and awareness. Meditation and mindfulness are the art of paying attention and being aware. If you get good at these, your chances of being successful in your chosen endeavours in life increase substantially.
Practices based upon these definitions:
Position 1 – Adventuring with confidence: To be an adventurer in life and in your consciousness is to be fundamentally confident. Adventurers don’t shy away from life; they open themselves to it and to the possibilities that it offers. Experiment with simply sitting in a posture that describes confidence, and that helps you to feel confident. Some features might include:
- A tall crown, an open chest, shoulders relaxed off the neck
- Relaxed hands, arms and hands
- A relaxed face and warm facial expression
Sit with confidence and just hold the experience of it in your body mind. Let it become a part of your fundamental way of engaging life in the moment.
The quote by Dion fortune is quite a good contemplation for this position “Life may be difficult, but it is not bewildering. Meanwhile we have to endure.”* A meditator sits, stands and holds her/himself with confidence that endures in the face of life’s ups and downs.
Position 2 – Heightening awareness & attention: As an illustration for this practice, consider this Anthony De Mello short story entitled ‘Spirituality’:
‘Even though it was the Master’s Day of Silence a traveller begged for a word of
wisdom that would guide him through life’s journey.
The Master nodded affably, took a sheet of paper and wrote a single word on it:
The visitor was perplexed. “That’s too brief. Would you please expand on it a bit?”
The Master took the paper back and wrote: “Awareness, awareness, awareness.”
“But what do these words mean?” said the stranger helplessly.
The Master reached out for the paper and wrote: “Awareness, awareness, awareness
Try simply being 10-15% more aware, either as you sit, or as you go for a walk. You can actually be practising this in any activity you like, but it is good to set some time aside just to sit and be aware as a meditative exercise. Simply notice what is around you, what is going on within you. For the duration of the practice, try to stay merely with awareness and attention, nothing more, nothing less. The proposition would be that, if you start to notice what IS in any given moment, your chances of making effective choices around the situation are increased the more you are paying attention!
I hope you enjoyed these two definitions and their attending practices; this is the first of two (or maybe three) articles covering this subject of what is a meditator, see you next week for the second!
*The Magical Battle of Britain page 8
In case you missed my previous article: Dealing mindfully with worry and anxiety at work – Five positions
Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practiceOverview: Life is an adventure in the experience of being conscious. To meditate and to be a meditator is to engage in this experience full-bloodedly, with the intention to get the very most out of the opportunity that we have been given, both in terms of enjoyment, and in terms of our potential to achieve worthwhile goals that are congruent with our inner values. This is a dynamic meditation course that covers…read full details
Saturday August 13th, 9.30-12noon – Zen deep-dive mini-retreat
Session overview: These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart…read full details
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Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (East Coast)
Saturday August 13th, 9.30-12noon – Zen deep-dive mini-retreat
Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice
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