Allan Watts meditation – Ideapod

Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:43 pm


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Have you ever tried to meditate?

If so, youve probably tried to focus on your breath, or repeat a mantra.

This is how I was taught to meditate, and it lead me down the completely wrong path.

Instead, I learned a simple trick from Alan Watts. He helped to demystify the experience and now its so much easier.

From meditating in this new way, I discovered that focusing on my breath and repeating a mantra affected my ability to achieve true peace and enlightenment.

Ill first explain why this was the wrong way for me to meditate and then will share the trick I learned from Alan Watts.

I should clarify that while this approach to meditation didnt help me, you may have a different experience.

Once I learned this trick by Alan Watts, I was then able to experience my breath in ways that put me in a meditative state. Mantras also became more effective.

The problem was this:

By focusing on the breath and repeating a mantra, meditation became a doing activity for me. It was a task that required focus.

Meditation is meant to happen spontaneously. It comes from remaining unoccupied with thoughts and from just experiencing the present moment.

The key point is to experience this moment without thinking about it. However, when I began meditating with the task in mind to focus on my breath or repeat a mantra, I had a focus. I was thinking about the experience.

I wondered whether this was it, whether I was doing it right.

By approaching meditation from the perspective shared by Alan Watts below, I wasnt so focused on doing anything. It transformed from a doing task to a being experience.

Check out the video below where Alan Watts explains his approach. If you dont have time to watch it, Ive summarized it below.

Watts understands the challenge of placing too much meaning on meditation and recommends beginning by simply listening.

Close your eyes and allow yourself to hear all the sounds that are going on around you. Listen to the general hum and buzz of the world the same way that you listen to music. Dont try to identify the sounds that youre hearing. Dont put names on them. Simply allow the sounds to play with your eardrums.

Let your ears hear whatever they want to hear, without letting your mind judge the sounds and guide the experience.

As you pursue this experiment you will find that naturally find that youre labeling the sounds, giving meaning to them. Thats fine and completely normal. It happens automatically.

However, over time youll end up experiencing the sounds in a different way. As the sounds come into your head, youll be listening to them without judgment. Theyll be part of the general noise. You cant control the sounds. You cant stop someone from coughing or sneezing around you.

Now, its time to do the same with your breath. Notice that while youve been allowing the sounds to enter your brain, your body has been breathing naturally. Its not your task to breathe.

While being aware of your breath, see if you can start breathing more deeply without putting effort into it. Over time, it just happens.

The key insight is this:

Noises happen naturally. So does your breathing. Now its time to apply these insights to your thoughts.

During this time thoughts have entered your mind like the chattering noises outside your window. Dont try to control your thoughts. Rather, let them continue to chatter away like noises without passing judgment and giving them meaning.

Thoughts are just happening. Theyll always happen. Observe them and let them go.

Over time, the outside world and the inside world come together. Everything is simply happening and youre just observing it.

Heres what I learned about this approach to meditation.

Meditation is not something to do or focus on. Rather, the key point is to simply experience the present moment without judgment.

Ive found that beginning with a focus on breathing or mantras set me down the wrong path. I was always judging myself and that took me away from a deeper experience of a meditative state.

It put me in a thinking state.

Now, when I meditate I let the sounds enter my head. I just enjoy the sounds passing through. I do the same with my thoughts. I dont get too attached to them.

The results have been profound. I hope youll have a similar experience.

If you found this approach to meditation useful, then I think youll love Hack Spirits new e-book on mindfulness. They cut through all the jargon and break down exactly what mindfulness is in the modern age and how you can embrace it. Hack Spirit is a partner of Ideapod and we only recommend products we love. Check it out here and let us know what you think.

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Allan Watts meditation - Ideapod

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Written by grays |

April 12th, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Posted in Alan Watts