Highlights from the Happiness and Its Causes conference - 15th June: Meditation

Published on June 16, 2011

Today I attended the pre-conference workshop in Brisbane, Australia as part of the Happiness and Its Causes conference conducted by B. Alan Wallace, who is an expert in meditation having studied and practiced meditation for 40 years.  He is able to meditate for periods of amazing lengths of time e.g. 8 to 10 hours continuously instead of the usual 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening.  But this is nothing compared to the depth and quality of his meditation compared to that of most of us who meditate.

One of the most useful insights I gained about how meditation works, or perhaps more accurately, should work, was provided by a metaphor Wallace provided.  He suggested that meditation was similar to how a falcon sometimes “kites” in the wind; it hovers stationary over a point on the earth’s surface below help up by the power of the wind.

However the metaphor helps provide even deeper understanding of the meditative process.  As the wind undergoes minor changes in its direction and velocity, the falcon must maintain its stationary position by gentle movements of its wings.  In the case of the meditator this involves adjusting his attitude between being too relaxed and being to active so as to remain still.  Wallace thinks that relaxation, stillness, and vigilance are the three main processes in meditation; the meditator must maintain stillness by developing the skill of not being too relaxed (sleeping) or too active (hyperactivity, hypersensitivity).  Wallace skillfully guided us through several mediations so that we could experience to a very limited extent the stillness and luminosity attained by master of meditation like himself.

Category(s):Mindfulness Meditation, Relaxation techniques

Written by:

Brian Scott

Dr. Scott is a clinical psychologist based in Singapore with three decades of counseling and psychotherapy experience in helping adults with many kinds of psychological difficulties. These include anxiety, depression, addictions (cybersex, love), and Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Adult ADHD).

Brian Scott belongs to Scott Psychological Centre in Singapore

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