Imagine a world where everyone walked around day and night but didn’t know what sleep is. Life expectancy would disintegrate, and health and immune strength would disappear. Productivity, accuracy, focus, and clarity would vanish. Memory, recovery, learning, creativity, performance and quality of life would abscond.
Imagine all of this suffering was so common it was considered normal, and peddlers were selling pills by the millions to treat the symptoms, and everyone wondered why there is no peace on the world.
Sleep is a natural and necessary mind state. But what if you met a person that did not know how to sleep? What would you say to them to help them learn? It would be quite difficult to describe the inner mind practice of falling asleep, it is quite subtle and intangible, and impossible to point to and say, “There! That is what I’m talking about. Follow that. It will lead you to sleep.” And yet it is so natural!
The surprise is that we really do live in this kind of world today, but instead of a lack of knowledge on how to sleep, very few of us know how to wake up, and instead of a world that doesn’t sleep, we live in a world that does not meditate–a normal and natural state of mind.
Imagine that this lack of meditation caused all illness and suffering, but all of this suffering was so common it was considered normal, and peddlers were selling pills by the millions to treat the symptoms, and everyone wondered why there is no peace on the world.
But how do you teach someone to meditate? There is no way to jump into their experience and guide them. Like falling asleep, the hardest thing about meditation is not meditating. It is just understanding and experiencing for yourself everything someone who knows is trying to teach you. To get to the experience of saying, “Oh! That’s what they meant! It’s so clear to me now!”
Falling asleep involves letting go of everything you know is real in favor of attaching to what you know is illusion at first, but soon forget, and you loose yourself in the illusion. Waking up, or meditation, is just the reverse. It is letting go of everything you think is real in favor of attaching to what you think is illusion at first, but soon realize that it is the only truth, and you find your Self in the waking.
Who would have thought that meditation was so powerful? First it has the power to bring peace to the world, then it has the power to destroy it? I find it quite amazing that doing nothing does so much!