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Quick guide to Meditation – an excerpt from "Friendship with God" (1999) Neale Donald Walsch, publishers – Hodder & Stoughton

The following guidelines to meditation are take from Friendship with God (see details above). They work for me and you can integrate that detailed below into your spiritual routine or daily experiences. A major problem for many people who begin to meditate is to how to still the mind, what to ‘look for’, what to ‘expect’ and what the ‘experience’ may bring. These are all valid thoughts and it is ironic that in the very attempt at doing something e.g. meditation, you alter that very state you attempt to create. The bottom line – get out of your mind.

Meditation is a state of being and awareness.

“Now here is the great secret. You can choose a state of beingness before something happens, just as you do after something happens. Thus, you can create your experience, not simply have it. You can have your cake and eat it. Yet, you cannot be totally awake while you are thinking. Thinking is another form of being in a dream state. Because what you are thinking about is the illusion. It is okay. You are living in the illusion, you have placed yourself there, so you should give it some thought. But remember, thought creates reality, so if you have created a reality that you don’t like, don’t give it a second thought.”

“So every once in a while, it might be a good idea to stop thinking all together. To get in touch with a higher reality. To pop out of the illusion. The first step is to be quiet. After this you will notice your thinking at least slows down a bit. Now start to think about what you are thinking about. Start thinking about where your thoughts are going. Then, stop your thoughts from going there. Focus your thoughts. Think about what you are thinking about. This is the first step towards mastery.” This is the first step towards leaving your mind behind.

“In the state of mindlessness, you have quite literally taken leave of your senses. The mind is your sensory input analyser, and you have stopped analysing all the incoming data. You’ve stopped thinking about it. Instead, you’re thinking about what you’re thinking about. You begin to focus your thoughts and soon you will focus on nothing at all.”

“How can you focus on nothing? First, focus on something in particular. You can’t focus on nothing until you focus on something. To focus on nothing, you have to stop all this mental noise. So, in order to focus on nothing, start with something e.g. a flame from a candle, your in-breath, a mantra, the wall, a photograph etc. See what you notice about it, stare deeply into it. Be with it. Don’t think about it. Be with it.

“After a bit, your eyes will want to close. They will be heavy, fuzzy. Go with the flow and let your eyes fall shut. This will happen quite naturally. You are now limiting your sensory input. This is good. Now begin listening to your breathing. Focus on your breath. Especially, listen to your breathing in. Listening to your Self, stops you from listening to anything else. This is when great ideas come. When you listen to your in-breath, you are listening to your inspiration.”

“Now, focus your inner vision. For once you have inspiration, it will bring you great ‘in-sight’. Focus this insight on the space in the middle of your forehead, just above your eyes. The so-called third eye. Place your attention there. Look deeply there. Don’t look expecting to see something. Look at the nothing, at the no-thing. Be with the darkness. Do not strive to see anything. Relax, and be content with the peace of emptiness. Empty is good. Creation cannot come except into the void. Enjoy, then, the emptiness. Expect nothing more, want nothing more.”

“If your mind keeps filling with thoughts, just watch that, make it okay. As the thoughts pop in, just step back and observe that this is happening. Do not think about it, just notice it. Do not think about what you are thinking about. Just step back and notice it. Don’t judge it. Don’t get frustrated by it. Don’t start talking to yourself about it, like, ‘well, here we go again, all I get is thoughts’. When a thought pops in, just notice it and bless it, and make it part of the experience. It’s part of the passing parade. Let it pass.”

“Do the same thing with sounds or feelings. You may notice that you never hear as many sounds as when you try to experience total stillness. You may notice that you never have as much trouble feeling comfortable as when you are trying to sit totally comfortably. Just notice this. Step back one level and watch yourself noticing this. Include all of this as part of your experience. But don’t dwell on it. It is all part of the passing parade. Let it pass. Say to yourself ‘there is nothing for you to do here, just let it be’. In this, you will find great peace. What a relief. Nothing to want, nothing to do, nothing to be, except exactly what you are being right now. Let go, let it be. But keep looking. Not anxiously, not expectantly. Just… keeping a gentle watch. Needing to see nothing… ready to see anything.”

“Now, the first time you do this, or the tenth time, or maybe the hundredth or the thousandth time you do this, you may see what will look like a flickering blue flame, or a dancing light. It may appear in flashes at first, then steady itself in your sight, stay with it. Move into it. If you feel your Self merging with it, let that happen. If that happens, nothing more will have to said to you.”

“This dancing blue flame is the centre of your soul. It is that which surrounds you, moves through you, is you. Say hello to your soul. You’ve just found it, at last. You’ve just experienced it, at last.”

“If you merge with it, if you become One with it, you will know a sublime fullness of joy that you will call bliss. You will discover that the essence of your soul is the essence of Me. You will have become one with Me. For just a moment, perhaps. For only a nanosecond. But that will be enough. After that, nothing else will matter, nothing will ever be the same again, and nothing in your physical world will match it. And this is when you will discover that you need nothing and no one outside of yourself.”

To summarise, meditation is nothing more than letting go of what you think you know about yourself so that you can enter the void of what is the true essence of you and me. Meditation merely points us back to Source, i.e. the All That Is. There are no special ways to sit or anything else you need do. We approach meditation in a million different ways but they all lead back to the same place. If you are happy doing meditation in a yogic position, sitting on the floor, on a chair, whilst walking, playing sports or listening to music, go with it and just be it rather than think it. I am quite happy meditating with a friend, group or by myself. I do not meditate at set times, nor do I do it on a daily basis. It is an integral part of me but it is not the reason for being here.

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