What is your favorite meditation technique?

What is your favorite meditation technique? –@AndyLiebs

First you have to ask yourself: what is the goal of meditation? Because I think in most cases, meditation is very bad for the brain despite scientific evidence showing that Tibetan lamas are more relaxed when meditating. Those are Tibetan lamas that have been doing it for fifty years. Not people who work all day and then collapse exhausted by the end of it.

How can meditation be bad? Isn’t it supposed to be relaxing?

Not really. In most theories of meditation (whether its from Buddhism, Zen, Yoga, etc) the idea is to separate out the “I” from the “ego”. Not to relax from a busy day.

And yet, when most people meditate – its all ego. You sit down, totally unprepared, and all you think about (all I think about) is “he did this, she did that, they did this ten years ago, I need to do this, I want to have sex with her, intrigue, me thoughts, money, worries, more worries, fear, etc” for a half hour. That’s no fun. That’s not meditation. No relaxing happens. No separation of “I” from “ego” happens. What does it even mean to separate “I” from “ego”.

It means nothing so don’t even worry about it.

I’ve written before about my favorite technique for meditation. It involves two seconds but can occur throughout the day.

Meditation is simply practice. It’s stopping yourself in the middle of “I can’t believe she said this to me” or some other similar thought and saying, “this is not a useful thought for me”. This happens to me all the time. The other day someone left a comment on a blog ABOUT meditation to me that I thought was insulting to Claudia. So during the day yesterday I was thinking, “That guy is an asshole. I should respond by saying, this, this, or that.” But really the best thing (meditation) is to stop myself and say two things:

A) This is not a useful thought. I’ll replace it with one that’s useful. For instance, I’m glad I’m not that guy and it’s too bad he felt the need to attack Claudia for no reason.

B) I need to apply the “Crappy People” technique. Mastering that, and mastering honesty, is much more important than (or it can be viewed as a several year long preparation for) meditation. If you don’t master those then meditation is useless (you can call it “mad attention”) because too many things in the ego will cloud the spare time you have to clear your mind.