Since year 2009, I was exposed to Buddhist meditation. I wasn't a diligent meditator, and I still remember in the very first sitting meditation session, my knees started aching within...just five minutes. Ouch..!
However over these years I have been practising meditations infrequently, joining meditation classes every once in a while and recently one-week retreat every year.
I was just back from a Theravada meditation retreat in December 2014. I met great meditators there, one of which makes me determined to practise meditation every day.
Although not a diligent meditator (now trying to be), the benefits of meditation is numerous. This is why I never give up on meditation and even though i just practise once in a while, I could experience the huge benefits each meditation session gave me.
Honestly, my meditation experience was not a smooth sailing one. A seemingly simple technique - just to stay focus on the breaths and count the breath as we go on, I seldom can bring myself down to just - count the breathes - because most of the times i will be having too many things in my mind flashing through, or i was counteracting uncomfortable feeling of the physical body, or, i fell into a sleeping state. The breathing technique is easy for a simple mind. For a complicated mind like me, it is hard and after years I still feel that I am like a beginner.
However, only by the time we sit down closing our eyes and distance our heart from all the external stimulations, only we started to see into ourselves within. The figures started to pop up, or flashing through. It can be a sound, a thought, a picture.. Meditation isn't all about closing eyes and peace automatically appears. For beginners like me, it is more to realising how distracted I am and how i collect my mind back from different things. It is very hard to realise how distracted one can be, without meditation. Just like I always thought I am fully focus in daily life, but my belief was shaken when I meditate. I am NOT that focus as I thought.
And through meditation, day by day, we know ourselves a little more. This is a journey inwards, to understand more what thoughts or feelings that I have been thinking or having most of the time. For example, I found out that when I am worried about something, the thought of this unfinished / uncompleted task can come up in my mind for up to 5 to 10 times in a day! After realising this, I decided to finish that certain task quickly instead of hanging it in my mind, or write it down on a paper so that my mind don't keep thinking about it. I remembered one day my colleague wanted to find her supervisor for assessment but the supervisor was not certain if she was free. In the whole morning, my colleague mentioned about the supervisor for almost 6 times when she was working with me.
Out there there are a lot of meditation techniques. However in Buddhism the purpose of meditation is just one - to train our mind to be concentrated and focus enough to see the truth of life. We practise meditations not because we want to get some supernatural power or to dwell in some meditative state for sustained happiness.
EHIPASSIKO - This in Buddhism means come and see yourself. You have to come and experience yourself.