How to meditate and be free from ego

… peace …

Don’t try to understand meditation intellectually.

While there’s a place for that, it won’t really help you other than to convince you to practice.

Meditation is ultimately about freedom. We are “possessed” by our own egos — our conditioned thought patterns and ideas of who we are.

And so we relate to life through a veil of concepts instead of directly. Our thoughts become the primary reality of our life instead of the direct experience

So, thought and ego are the possessors from which we must regain our freedom.

Meditation is the most powerful tool to do that — although there are, in my view, lesser ways that can help, such as practicing mindfulness…

Thought and ego are so powerful that without meditation, you probably won’t make much progress. Meditation shows you just how bad things have got in your own mind and spirit…

It does this because when you sit to meditate, you decide to take back control from thought/ego. You say “I will now focus only on this one thing.”

What happens next tells you how far you are from having true freedom. What happens is a glimpse into your own truth — how distracted you get in thoughts that arise and sweep your attention away, until you get completely lost and forget you’re suppose to be meditating.

Meditation is the most wonderful thing. Freedom from ego is the best thing you can possibly get out of life.

Slowly, slowly magical things happen.

People say…

“Oh yeah I tried meditation and nothing happened, it was such a waste of time!”

But when you try to master any skill it takes time. Just because you can’t get into a car and drive after your first lesson, it doesn’t mean it’s a waste of time.

Meditation is amazing because it is both the simplest and yet the most difficult thing to do.

I would recommend finding a few minutes peace every day… At the same time and place, every day. Start with 5 minutes and build up to 30 minutes. Sit in a comfy chair, close eyes and just breathe.

Take four deep breaths and then for about a minute breathe in for 3, out for 3. After that just watch without trying to affect or alter your breath. On each out breath count 1, 2, 3…. up to 10 and then start at 1 again.

This is all you need to know. Read up about meditation if you’re curious but it won’t help :-) Only practice will help.

“What’s the point of this?”

Ignore that… just count breaths.

“What am I doing for dinner?”

Ignore that… just count breaths.

“How dare she say that to me! Grrrrr…”

Ignore that… just count breaths.

That’s it — anything that comes, look at it with curiosity, let it go and then carry on counting.

Never get into a mental “discussion” or follow any line of thought. Just keep counting.

After some time (maybe weeks or months), shifts happen that can feel scary. At first, your adrenaline can start pumping, so that session is more or less over. After a while you get used to the new shift and relax into it.

Don’t do more than 30 minutes a day, at least at first.

There’s nothing in life that’s more worthy of your attention than meditation… and if you start with 5 minutes and add 1 minute every 2 days, you’ll soon be up to 30. After that, just do it every day.

You’ll come to treasure knowing how to meditate more than anything else. Because nothing will make you happier, feel calmer or saner than those 30 minutes, and after a while you’ll CRAVE them…

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Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.

Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
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