This question is one I am often asked. It prompts my left brain thinking mind to want to come up with a technical analysis and plan, a “how to” manual on meditation. If I did such, perhaps I could call it, “The Right Way To Meditate. I'm being a bit tongue-in-cheek, and irreverent perhaps; I do not mean to put down meditation. Nothing of the sort. Meditation, and many of its diverse offerings, has been something I've explored since I was eighteen, and is a topic I've read about, tended retreats for, etc. for many years, and I learned much from all of it, I might add.
I do want to dispel a mythical, but wide-spread, belief that says, “Meditation has to be done a certain way, or it does not work” which then swiftly becomes, “… and I must not be doing it right, because it's not working for me.” Sound familiar?
Often, we start off on the wrong foot, by thinking that meditation is a ‘doing.' It is not. It is not something we do. It is more like something we “un-do.”
Of course, there are ‘doings‘ that are helpful. There are LOTS of techniques that can provide support as we move towards becoming ‘vessels' or “containers” for that state we call, “meditation.”
For instance, any of the following can help us to align and prepare for that state of inner quietness we seek: yoga, pranayama, qigong, prayer, chanting, mantras, all these – and including zazen meditation, which is to sit in complete stillness. These are powerful ways to align the physical and the emotional with the spiritual and Source; they are tools for alignment.
Even still we do not come to the inner space we seek with just these alone.
There are other helpers too, worth mentioning; tools such as, visual mandalas, imagery, music, sacred dance, and candle light. These things can serve to set a tone, to create an environment, for our “un-doing.”
This inner place we seek, although we may not know it in the beginning, is found through our willingness to surrender our independent, fear-driven selves to That with which we have intentionally aligned. We align physically and clear mentally, (whatever stands between us and the unimpeded Flow of the Source Current or Holy Spirit), so we can come to a complete state of rest in Source. Only our willingness to implicitly trust that Source is eternally Loving (God is Love), allows the let-go described here. To trust that completely requires we first surrender the fear-based stories that hold us captives in a scary world. (The process of clearing story is a meditative act.)
Once we have 'emptied,' once we have “undone” the angst provoking chatter of the limited-story mind, then we arrive at the inner space we seek. We become relaxed as sleeping newborns, but consciously so; we are in the aligned relaxation that we can find only in the arms of Source. It is physical rest so complete that no mental noise is heard. We arrive to the sweet melody of silence.
Not until we let go, mentally, emotionally, physically, into that state of complete rest (you may find, as I have, that the body cannot fully relax until the mental chatter ceases). Through alignment, clearing the mental chatter, and surrender, a merger occurs.
Having become empty of limiting story, we are more like light hollow reeds in a pool of shimmering Goodness, being buoyantly carried along by the Light Current of Source, that flows in, and around, and through, us. We are transformed; inch by inch, moment to moment; we are transmuted into the same Light and Goodness of the Flow that carries us. We become That with which we choose to align.
Through daily connection with Source, we are alchemically altered. Through that everyday surrender we are made anew. The old story of a limited, inadequate, self no longer exists. We become instead, a higher version of ourselves. We become a Self that chooses Source, and we no longer need the world's approval.
We see Source actively supporting us through our day, and we experience the shining approval from Source that we previously sought through others. Nothing else is needed, except that daily Connection.
Spending regular time with Source takes care of all our needs, so the argument that we, as ego's often like to use, of being too busy or, of having too much to do, to spend precious time with Source, is laughable, once we realize the total rejuvenation and on-the-ground support that Source provides through these times alone together, just the two of us, Source and a fully surrendered Self.
But you will never know these things first hand unless you go there. Find that inner sanctuary, that secret garden, where the Messenger, your Inner Beloved, Source awaits. Once you find it, wild horses cannot drag you away.
This Living Intelligence that is Source walks, not beside us, nor does it lead – Source Current fills us, and flows through us; it carries us on it's Current to (always) Higher Ground.
May these thoughts serve to encourage your visits to that inner space.