The Simplest Way to Meditate
I was at a class on meditation once.
The instructor started by saying that meditation was easy. That if anyone in the room was intimidated by the idea of meditating, he was about to tell us something that would make the process much more simple.
“Every thought that crosses your mind,” he said, “can be labelled as past, present, or future. Past thoughts are memories of things that have happened, and future thoughts are thoughts about what is going to happen. If you label the thought past or future, then it can be archived, like email that is no longer important. There’s no use dwelling on those thoughts since they’ve already happened or haven’t yet happened.”
“Present thoughts are about things that are happening right now. Usually, they’re objective. I feel an itch. The room is too bright. I can hear piano playing, etc. They are present and not past because you haven’t had time to judge them. It’s impossible to be in a present thought and judge it at the same time, because then it becomes a past thought.”
“Take the present thoughts,” he continued, “you just touch them to your face like a feather. Feel them if you need to. And then they become past thoughts. Label them and move on.”
That night, I went home and dreamt about a physical water-stream of time, flowing down a beautiful hill. And at the top were my future thoughts that I couldn’t see yet, down at the bottom in a well were my past thoughts, and I was running my hands through the water of the present moment.
I’m not sure I’ll ever feel what it’s like to be enlightened. But this dream may have come close.