Seth Godin, the genius of marketing for businesses, recently wrote in his blog “Seth Godin’s Blog on marketing, tribes and respect” about the hierarchy of success:
Attitude | Approach | Goals | Strategy | Tactics | Execution.
It occurred to me that the same concept could apply to meditation. Seth and I begin at the bottom of the list with execution.
This is where most people place their focus – often by asking me “What is the right way to meditate?”
My answer is to tell them that any way is the right way for them at that time. There is no one right way to execute meditation.(Ouch! That is a poor choice of word here) It is their attitude of openness to stilling their mind and yet listening that is key to pursuing mediation in whatever form they chose to do it.
There are many (thousands I bet) ways to meditate, all different and depending on – you guessed it – the meditator’s belief or their instruction on how to execute it — the tactics. What’s meant, of course, is that people assume there is a technique to meditating that, if used, will produce a higher state of mind, or better experience, or whatever they associate with meditating. If only that were so, it would be easy. There are many tactical techniques available, and all do work. Finding which one or ones work for you and your reason for meditating will give you the tactics for your practice. Actually experiencing various techniques can be an exciting and fulfilling pursuit, I think, but hardly necessary. Whatever tactics work for you is all that matters. And, like in marketing, they may change over time or be replaced with others. As you grow so do your experiences in meditation. Yet, each time it is fresh and new.
Strategy is the manner in which the tactics are executed. In meditation this could be the environment you arrange in order to provide the best surrounding for a successful meditation. Usually silence is at or near the top of the list, yet soft background music or nature sounds might be more soothing for some. Other voices that can’t be controlled can be hidden behind music. There are many CDs made for just such a purpose. There are ‘white noise’ machines that give off a low hiss sound for the purpose of masking public noise while simultaneously not drawing attention to the noise. Therapists often place these in their waiting rooms.
Other strategies would include sitting with your spine up straight and bare feet on the ground or floor, sitting in a lotus or half-lotus position, palms up or closing your index finger to your thumb on each hand, burning incense, burning a scented or unscented candle, chimes to begin or end a session, and saying OM. Repeating OM out loud a few times is supposed to bring you to resonate at a higher vibration in your body/mind. It is especially powerful when a group says it together. Three times is the normal repetition. None or all of this matters.
Do what works and appeals to you. There are walking meditations, 1 minute to 5 minute meditations, guided meditations, and the list goes on and on. All kinds of artists talk about being in a heightened frame of mind, altered state, in the zone, when they pump out their best creations. Meditations can have a physical or visceral component sometimes, too.
I think that reaching the state of meditation is the goal. While in this state, whatever is supposed to occur to you or in you will, Thy will be done says it all for me. Prayer is different from meditation and may have a goal or desire within it. This is the differentiation I make. Both are powerful. Meditation is a receiving experience, sometimes accompanied by a sending out into the world what you have received, such as peace, love, harmony, forgiveness, energy, thanks to all natural, gratitude to God, understanding from a larger perspective, acceptance, abundance of spirit, good health and so much more, there aren’t words to describe it.
My goals (to use Seth’s word) are given to me and I follow the understanding I get in meditation and journaling, every day or more than every day. It’s a practice not a gamble. Developing your approach to understanding your meditation becomes much easier to grasp with repeated experiences with it. Your communication with God, or your guides or whatever language you chose to use, becomes easier to know, feel, hear, write, see with your mind’s eye, the more often you encounter it. It’s like anything else, establishing your approach brings you what you seek more often. I doubt anyone has a deep, inspiring, fruitful meditation 100% of the time.
Simply set up the right environment for you and assume the right approach for you that facilitate your receiving communication in meditation. This presents your attitude of desire to communicate with a Higher realm and thus sends a clear message to those realms within you and beyond you. If your desire to meditate does not include a spiritual aspect, then your attitude will be presented to your inner self that can answer questions for you and calm your physical functions for relaxation.
Meditation is a Gift you give your self.
Marketing and Meditation
Marketing and meditation share more than “m” as their first letter – they share a stepped multi-faceted path leading to a successful outcome. Marketing is to millions of people. Mmeditation is too, but it’s silent. Marketing is anything but silent, even when pictures tell the whole story without words. If no one sees your marketing, it isn’t marketing. When broadcasting love and peace to all of humanity through meditation, there is no sound known on earth of its broadcast. Yet it reaches around the world as you hold the space for the vision.
I receive daily messages from the great master Rumi, translated by Andrew Harvey in A Year of Rumi). Here is one for you to savor and perhaps use as a prompt.
There is no angel so sublime, He whispered,
Who can be granted for one moment
What is granted you forever.
And I hung my head, astounded.
– Jalal-ud-Din Rumi
If you would like to receive A Year of Rumi in Andrew Harvey’s translations, click on Daily OM
Does this article bring up questions for you? Leave them in a comment and I’ll answer them as I can. Keep in mind that my answers are just mine based on my understanding and experiences. Communication with many people is always advised in matters of the heart, mind and spirit.
Photo courtesy of johnnyberg, from Copenhagen, Denmark, www.hdrfoto.dk