Everyone wants more of the good things. Happiness, love, charisma, success – which is your desire? Maybe you chose all of them.
Don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you of the evils of desire. If you meditation long enough, you’ll either discover that truth for yourself or you won’t. Either way, me telling you isn’t going to help things. Instead, I’ll tell you something much better.
Those things that you want more of?
Meditation will help.
You’ll unlock greater energy, creativity, serenity and anything else you decide to want. Best of all, it’s easy. It’s as easy as closing your eyes.
Now, when I say ‘easy’, that assumes that you’re meditating regularly. That part takes discipline. Keep it up because here comes yet another benefit of the practice.
When you scan your body with your awareness, you surprise yourself. Your body hums with billions of signals that you consciously ignore. If you paid attention to everything, all the time, it would be a little overwhelming. With training, you can increase what you pay attention to, but there’s always something that vanishes from your awareness.
If you haven’t surprised yourself yet, give it time. Your body is a hive of fascinating activity.
As you scan your body, you find a few areas of discomfort and a few neutral regions. When you turn your attention in an accepting and perhaps forgiving way, the discomfort eases. Labelling the discomfort in a non-judgemental way soothes it too.
And neutral sensations often give way to other experiences. Perhaps what felt neutral was really a chaotic and intriguing blend of comfort and discomfort. Or maybe it was masking something new, something harder to classify.
What if the sensation is a pleasant one, though?
Well, the same rules apply. Observe it and accept it. Don’t rejoice in finding something comfortable, as this condemns the rest of you. But maybe you can allow a brief glimmer of satisfaction.
And if you’re looking for something in particular – joy or courage or whatever – then see if any is present here.
Be calm as you examine your sensations. You’re not a kid tearing apart his room as he looks for his favourite toy. You’re more like a swimmer trying to enter a lake without creating ripples. Use a soft touch – your thoughts are delicate.
Whatever sensation you want more of exists somewhere in your mind. If it didn’t, you couldn’t imagine it well enough to know you want it. And any sensation in the mind also exists somewhere in the body. So, with patience and finesse, explore your body and find it.
There are two ways to become stronger in this technique. One is to search without thought and effort. If you don’t find anything, there’s no disappointment because you didn’t lose or fail. If you find it, there’s no crowing over your triumph. The other approach is to look for what you seek in discomfort too. Perhaps your joy lies buried under a thin layer of unpleasant sensations.
You won’t know until you look.
The lazy way is to use your body scan to search for what you want. If you’re the sort of person who’d rather build than unearth, then I know a few tricks. They fall outside the realm of meditation but don’t let that stop you. Self-hypnosis is a useful gateway into your own mind, so read more about it here: