Through the years I received many questions regarding mind training as it is described in the book Feel like superhuman. Some think that the “how to” of meditation is very simplified and they are interested in the many details that are left out in their opinion.
First of all the term meditation is so broad it would be impossible to write a truly comprehensive book about it. I’ve read close to a hundred books on the topic of mind training/meditation and the longest one had more than 1000 pages and quite a few were over 500 pages long. But I could have found something lacking in each and everyone if I wanted to be very judgmental. Perhaps if you would combine all of them together you would get a comprehensive text but how many people would read it then? The main point of the book is just to give you some very simple starting guidelines for doing the meditation practice. And as always when we see the positive results of any practice we usually begin exploring the practice deeper and seek more knowledge about it. But that is beyond the scope of the book Feel like superhuman.
Second, meditation is in fact very very easy to do because it’s natural for us human beings. It’s actually our most natural state. But because our minds lean towards complexion we think that everything has to be very complex, hard and we have to put immense effort into something in order to work or to be worth our effort. People ask me do you meditate with closed or open eyes, do you sit with legs crossed or not, do you chant a mantra and what kind? The questions go on and on. They want to know everything but the truth is that all these details are very irrelevant for a beginner’s meditation practice.
The most important thing when doing meditation is your connection with the present moment. That is it! You do not need to sit in a special position or do something special in order to achieve that. You could simply go by the river sit on a camping chair and observe the river or a tree for instance. But don’t think about the tree. Just appreciate and observe the many details on the tree. Perhaps you will see something you have never noticed before because you were just in hurry to get by the tree. Let us say you focus on a particular leaf in that tree. It’s color, shape, movement in the wind and so on. When your focus stays with that leaf long enough you will lose your sense of self. We say that at that moment the object and subject become one. There is no you and the leaf anymore. There is not even a thought that you and the leaf are no more. Just the leaf remains. And remaining in that state brings a tremendous amount of relaxation and relief.
So such an informal meditation practice can take place anywhere simply by walking, dancing, cooking etc. I can cook for instance and when I’m chopping vegetables I can have a feeling like the vegetables are chopping by themselves. I am only observer of that chopping. Then I am progressing towards the right state for meditation. And when even that thought of chopping is gone and only enjoyment of the present moment remains that is the point where I have started meditating. It doesn’t matter much what you are doing. The quality you bring to the activity is what matters.
The problem is that many people, unfortunately, cannot sense their inner world and therefore cannot comprehend that there even exists one. They think that what they see is what there is. They see a man sitting cross-legged with eyes closed and then someone tells them that he is meditating. And they think: »So that’s meditation. Now I know.« They develop this wrong idea in their head about meditation and then they try to realize it. But it’s very difficult to teach such a person what meditation is or how to do it. That is why many people in the past have said something in a sense »unlearn what you have learned«. You cannot stack true knowledge upon false one. You have to erase or forget false first. If you think you already know then you are unteachable.