Hmmm, what would that be like? Well, if you succeed in this discipline in trying to achieve non-trying, you will know what meditation is like. But don't try this for the sake of seeing what meditation is like or you'll never see what it's like.
From one project or thought to the next, just begin to notice that you're probably trying to get something out of most everything you do. Then, when you do actually succeed in getting what you attempt, it conditions you to try it again and again. When we fail, however, we also condition ourself with fears that underlie every endeavor. Therefore, our efforts always have potential negative or positive consequences.
We have created two poles from which we will spend most of our energies for the rest of our life oscillating to and fro. Do you realize how much energy this takes? Well, it can be realized if we know the opposite, if we know what it's like to experience this energy held within rather than constantly dissipated in constant oscillation.
Say you choose to meditate. The very choice implies trying to get somewhere, and yet meditation is largely about being totally at peace with where we are right now. Therefore, if we sit in meditation as an attempt to get somewhere we'll never arrive.
Herein lies the great hidden veil. Even when understood, it's still a veil, still hard to see through. Still hard to let go, still hard to stop asking yourself, "Am I meditating yet?"
We can't meditate. All we can do is create the right circumstances for the veil between common awareness and meditation to be lifted. Not even a basic level of meditation can be reached if another part of us splits off to keep asking the question, "Am I meditating yet?" or "Have I gotten anywhere with this meditation thing yet?"
Bliss is actually our natural state. But it's hidden by our very search for it, lost in the constant looking. It's the fruit we seek that leaves us continually hungry. It's constantly seeking Eden out in the world that's actually led us far away from the very paradise that already resides within ourself.
When you see this, you won't need to get anything out of it. You are it!
WILLIAM BRASHEAR is a yoga psychologist and owner of Cincinnati Yoga School in Blue Ash. He's been practicing progressive meditation since 1988 and gives lectures and instruction locally and internationally. Contact him at Will@cincyoga.com.