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What Meditation Is Showing Me

I started practicing meditation in September of 2020. Since then it has become a daily part life like breakfast or sleep. I am by no means a master of this, just a regular practitioner trying to be a better human being.

I practice two forms of meditation: 1. Following the breath 2. Sending loving friendliness to everyone. The first form is as basic as it gets. Focus on the breath, take note of any mental distractions as they come and disappear, then return to the breath. The second one is sort of a mantra but instead of a phrase that you repeat over and over, its the exercise wishing everyone a happy life free from mental torments and any form of suffering. I alternate on these forms and both lead me to another state which I can describe as the state of pure focus. It's like when concentration is at maximum and you get into the zone. But instead of the traditional "zone" where the focus is on a singular thing, this one focuses on everything at the same time. As if you are aware of that you are aware of everything.

Here the boundary that separates me from everything else is unrecognizable. Sometimes, when I hear noise from outside like a sneeze, a cough, or a truck passing by, there is no distinction between them and there's no feeling or thought that these noises are coming from someone or something else. It is as if, I am making them too. In the beginning, I thought this was confusing. But after reading books and articles about this phenomena, it's actually a state of clarity. These are sound waves after all that are basically air vibrations that belong to no one and caused by everything: atoms vibrating, energy converting, air moving, etc. It happens everything in the physical world every millisecond. Millions of things causing things to manifest, disappear, and manifest again. A cycle of causes and effects. Prior to meditation, these noises are quite distinct to me: the sneeze of my annoying neighbor, the cough of my ailing landlord, the truck of an inconsiderate driver. But after meditation, the labels and judgements are not there. They are just what they really are: sound waves.

This level of understanding takes away what my mind usually adds to the sound waves, which then causes me to feel things like being annoyed, being worried, and being angry. Without these "colors" or "mental add-ons," I experience things more clearly and I become free from mental and emotional suffering.

While this clarity happens in a meditative state, continues practice will result in continuity into the wake state. Hopefully by then, a person walking on a sparsely-lit street is no longer Jack The Ripper but a person walking on a sparsely-lit street. The sales person with a constant frown is no longer a terrible and annoying human out there to piss me off, but a person with a facial reaction as a result of whatever is going on that I have no idea about.

Meditation shows me that nothing is really about me. My mind makes it about me.

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