On Meditation

For me, the meditation is a constant, continuous, ultimately uninterruptable state of mindfulness and awareness. There is nothing mystical or complicated about it. You do need to control your breath to achieve it, but over that, it is not supposed to be more complicated in any way.

I remember being at Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany, where students and young researchers, including me, were given a unique opportunity for several days to meet and socialise with the laureates of prestigious awards: Abel Prize, Turing Award and ACM Prize in Computing, Fields Medal as well as Nevanlinna Prize. There, I asked many of those laureates, “Why does the Universe exist?”, as I have been genuinely curious and wanting to find an answer. The answers from the titans of science were interesting and varied quite a lot, but all were simple and wise. The general message was that it is a too broad question to ask. One compelling answer from one of those achieved scientists was that we shall not expect to find an explanation because the God did not create us so different such that only few of us are able to find a sophisticated answer to such complicated question. He said that it is the opposite, the life should be simple and everyone can easily comprehend why and how the world exists.

While I still ask the question myself about the Universe sometimes, as for the meditation, I believe that the primary practice of it is straightforward: you just smoothly make your best effort to be mindful, all the time, but without overdoing it and exhausting yourself. Naturally, over time, the practice of awareness makes it perfect, and the enlightenment comes. Of course, it might not that simple as it sounds, but I still believe it is pretty simple. The path is supported by reading, talking and thinking, and a good mentor really helps, but my firm belief is that the root of the practice is in the focused state of mindfulness.

An exercise could help to improve the awareness in a relatively simple, effortless way. You could say yourself the contrary: “I don’t want to be mindful and aware. I don’t want to be enlightened. I am okay without mindfulness. I don’t need awareness and ignorance is fine with me.” Since those statements are quite contradictory to what you would like to achieve, the brain and conscious start questioning whether you are really okay with those statements. By questioning whether you are indeed okay to continue being not mindful, you, surprisingly, start being more aware. This is a “lazy” way which could be repeated to start practising it. Of course, it is important to be careful about it, for you might convince yourself subconsciously that “you don’t want to be aware”. An alternative might be in asking yourself one of the following questions: “Am I mindful? Do I want to be mindful? Could mindfulness help me? What if I am mindful today; what might happen because of that? What if I am not mindful today; and what might happen as a consequence?”