Just had a conversation with a young lady who had attended
many of our classes over several years. She tried many
different techniques over the years and reported that she
finally "completed" this one after a decade of trying.
She reports she actually "hadn't tried at all" and it just
sort of came to her as she sat back and watched her mind do
the work and her "Witness witnessed it". Her suggestion is
to try it and see how well you do. She reports that this was
one of the most "informative" techniques she has ever done.
108 An Easy Hard Meditation Technique
Anything in life that brings you closer to inner peace can
be said to be "good". Anything that takes your peace away
is "bad". Of course, it is a given that anything that only
brings you momentary peace, like drugs, is not "good". To
really qualify, the peace must be everlasting. Very often,
good, and thus peace, doesn't come easily. For instance,
politically and historically, it has often taken a war to
bring about a lasting peace between enemies. An example of
this can be found in the relationships between America, Japan, Russia, and Germany. Deadly enemies during World War II, and
now close partners involved in mutual progress and at peace.
Within ourselves there is a similar inner world war-like
interaction going on between the mind, body, and emotions
that prevents us from knowing real peace. As the events in
our life take place, we react mentally, physically, and
emotionally, sometimes more one way and at other times more
in another. This slave-like reactivity makes our life seem
out of control, bouncing back and forth between joy and sorrow,
and without lasting peace. This anxiety and conflict filled
state can be witnessed by an inner awareness that is our Real
Self. This Witness to our life has always been there/here,
silent, non-labeling, non-commenting, non-judging, and is
present now. As you are reading these words, your Witness is
aware of your mind's mentations, your body's sensations, and
your emotion's feelings. If your inner chattering stops rambling
on, you can sit back in your mind's eye and Witness your
body/ego's reactions. It is at a moment when this occurs that
what has been called your higher intuitive center kicks in and
you will know, with a gut feeling, just what to do. You will
then be able to witness your mind, body, and emotions act, and
either cease the reactivity that has taken away your peace, or
start to do that which will bring about peace in your life. For instance, you may have been banging your head against the wall
for years, even though this caused you to suffer terribly. Your friends may have told you countless times that your life would
be more peaceful if you would just stop doing this foolish
activity. But, you never listened, or perhaps justified it as
worth continuing with for some silly and illogical reason such
as that it felt so good when you stopped. Witness yourself now.
Did you just see yourself laugh, or react in a "Yep! That's me!" embarrassment? Did your mind get angry and defensive and deny
that this concept could not apply to you? Are you witnessing now?
Just as it is unlikely that you would continue to keep banging
your head against the wall once you really recognized that you
were doing it, once you witness yourself reacting to life's
events inappropriately (in a way that steals your peace away
from you), you will stop doing it and thus allow peace to fill
and stay with you. The 108 Meditation technique is one of the
best at letting you witness your mind's activity.
108 An Easy Hard Meditation Technique
Relax yourself in the way you have found best prepares you for meditating. Focus your attention on your breath. Observe and feel
air come into the body, stay, and leave the body. Silently say
"One". Do it again and say "two". On and on up to 108. This seems
to be very easy to do, but don't be surprised, when you first
try this inner exercise, if you can't concentrate well enough
to get all the way up to 108 without being distracted by your thoughts, physical sensations, or emotions. Your mind has been
your master and you have been it's slave your whole life, and
it's not going to let you be in charge without giving you a very
hard battle for control. Your mind has caused you to fritter away your most of your life rehashing the past and fantasizing about
the future and will rebel if you try to live and control your life
as it takes place.
Your breath always occurs in the present moment. Thus, if you
are paying attention to your breath, you have the potential of experiencing reality, for it too can only occur now, in the
present. Inner peace is not something for the past or the future.
It is available and present now. We just must stop being distracted from it. When we do this technique, and we watch our mind take
us away from the object of our meditation, our breath, we must
not scold ourselves. If we see that we are concentrating very
well, we must not get too overjoyed. Both extremes are distractions. What is especially wonderful about this technique is that you
can become aware of what causes your distraction as well as what happens as a result of your distraction. For instance, you may
find that if you try to do this with your eyes open, something
may catch your eye and you will start thinking about it. But,
this is not necessarily "bad" because you may then have learned
that it is easier to do this technique with your eyes shut and
that this does bring more peace into your life. So, in a way, you
may gain greater insight from "failing" at maintaining your concentration than from paying attention.
Another benefit that this method gives us is that we can gauge
our progress over time. For instance, when you first try it, you
may only get up to the number 12 before your mind's chattering,
or your body's twitching, or your emotion's swings distract you. Then, perhaps a week later, you may find that you are able to maintain your attention up to 48. A 400% improvement!
Eventually, you will be able to silently witness your mind
obediently accomplishing the task you have assigned it and you
will get to 108 successfully. It will be then that you can be considered the master, and your mind, body, and emotions, the
slaves. They then can be used as valuable tools that will help
you attain the consistent inner peace that you have been seeking. Easily!
Perhaps the greatest asset this technique offers is that you
will become more and more aware of, and start identifying with,
the Witness within the pure, blissful, serene consciousness
that is your Real Self. You will then need no tools, techniques,
or concepts, and will live happily ever after.