“I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about.”
― Oscar Wilde
I have a confession to make.
I didn’t meditate much at all last week.
The cycle of not wanting to meditate happens to me once in awhile.
Sometimes after a few months of daily meditation, I want a little break. And sometimes after a year or so.
Anyway, I didn’t feel like forcing myself to meditate either.
What was most interesting was the change in my general outlook with less meditation.
I was definitely a bit more irritable.
The guy who worked at the local coffee shop started to annoy me a bit. The feeling of annoyance actually surprised me!
Also, I didn’t feel like going to some of the meetings booked in my diary. That’s less surprising!
I also ended up spending far more time than usual watching comedies online.
A bit of light entertainment is fine, but after a certain point, I felt worse rather than better.
....something shifted on Sunday morning.
I suddenly decided, I wanted to do nothing.
Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
I sat in my room and decided: no more phone, no more computer, no more movies, no more work, no more screens.
Even no more meditating.
But a strange and lovely thing happened. As I rested, my mind naturally began to relax and let go.
At first this turned into an afternoon nap, but after that, just a calm sense of clarity and presence.
And since then I’ve returned to enjoying my morning meditations, as usual.
And this all got me thinking…
What is the ultimate form of meditation?
So I did some research and reflection...
Here’s who I consider to be amongst the best meditation or spiritual teachers in the world:
The Dalai Lama
Thich Nhat Hanh
They all teach many different types of meditation…
But what’s their ‘ultimate’ meditation?
I’m gonna share with you an approach to meditation that is more simple and easy that any other meditation technique.
In fact, it’s soooo simple, you probably won’t believe me when I describe it. And yet all the top meditation teachers point towards this approach.
So simple, it’s not even a technique.
Krishnamurti calls it ‘Choiceless Awareness’.
Mooji calls it the highest form of meditation, for beginners and the most advanced practitioners.
Ajahn Brahm calls it ‘The Rolls Royce of Meditation’.
Here, I’m calling it the ultimate meditation.
Here’s how it goes.
The Ultimate Meditation
- Do nothing.
- That’s it.
Is that it?
Ok, I know that’s not easy to do.
Remember, doing nothing doesn’t mean you don’t think or feel, or move.
Here, do nothing means you can watch your mind think, your heart feel and your body shift around.
But you don’t do anything.
Essentially, you stop controlling and let life unfold.
You step back and take the role of a silent witness. A passive observer.
In some ways it’s an advanced form of meditation. But in another way, it’s the simplest, easiest and most effortless way of meditation too.
Remember - You probably spend so much of your time doing something, that you struggle to realise that doing nothing, or being, is a deep joy, pleasure and wonderful way of rejuvenating yourself. Meditation is essentially an excuse to actually just do nothing. To let go of this constant cycle doing and achieving that you may be….doing!
Here’s some more instructions, if you need it.
The Ultimate Meditation
- Sit or lie down. Any posture you like is fine.
- No need to set a timer unless you have to do something in particular.
- Take a few deep breaths to help relax your body.
- If you like, start by imaging you’ve been carrying two heavy bags - one representing the past and one, the future. Then imagine gently put both those bags down.
- Set your intention to simply be. No need to do anything.
- Notice what arises in your awareness and let the experience be.
- Your mind will naturally wander off, and come back. Just notice that.
- Let the meditation unfold in its own way. No need to do anything.
- No need to control your thinking. Let your mind think whatever it wants to think.
- The meditation will naturally come to an end when you feel like stopping.
Tip - If you’re a super busy person, it’s okay to do this for just a minute. Try it for as little or as long as you feel comfortable. No rules and no need to force anything.
Remember - You can’t do the ultimate meditation wrongly. There’s no such thing as a bad meditation. If your mind wanders a lot and you feel upset afterwards, being aware of that was your meditation. Well done, either way!
Just like there’s no bad weather. Weather is weather - sometimes it rains and sometimes it shines! We as human judge the weather as good or bad, but really it’s just weather, dependent on air pressure. The same goes for your mind in meditation. It’s all just weather, depending partly on mental pressure! Sit back and enjoy the weather.
Guided Meditation (4 minutes)
Here’s a short guided meditation on choiceless awareness. You can try this to explore what the ultimate meditation means to you.
There are many different forms of meditation taught by many different teachers.
Perhaps highest form of meditation is also the simplest: do nothing.
If you find yourself getting too frustrated by this approach, you can try the more traditional meditations like awareness of breath or the body scan meditation.
But once you get used to meditating, you will probably enjoy coming back to this simple yet profound, relaxing and blissful approach to meditation.
And if you find meditation too hard, or find yourself stuck in the rut of a particular technique, try simply doing nothing and let whatever happen, happen. You may surprise yourself at how much you enjoy it.