Recently I was on an online meditation forum, and someone new to meditation asked for some simple advice for someone starting out with meditation. They said they didn’t want anything too complicated, because they didn’t want to learn lots of complicated instructions.
I replied with:
“Just sit and close your eyes.”
This prompted another member of the forum to criticise me. They thought I was being an idiot. They thought I was deliberately being awkward.
But I explained to them that it was a serious suggestion, that “Do Nothing” Meditation is well known as a valid meditation practice. In Zen Budhism it is called “Just Sitting”.
Actually, if you want the least complicated meditation practice there is, that’s it. It actually totally avoids the pitfalls of many other meditation techniques. There’s no technique to learn and get right, there’s zero effort involved, there’s no money to pay, there’s (hopefully) far less worry about whether you’re doing it right.
So, if you’re starting out in meditation, this is actually a great place to start. Before you even start to get sucked into all the other different techniques that there are out there to learn, it’s good to get a feel for what it’s like to just not have to even try.
Take 10 minutes now to just sit comfortable with your eyes close and do nothing. Don’t try to think anything, but also don’t try to think nothing. Just sit there and abandon all control.
If you do this for at least 10 minutes, at least once a day, you will feel the benefit, I can almost 100% promise you that.
Don’t have time for it? I don’t believe you! Watch less TV, spend less time on the internet, or do it while you’re sat at the bus stop or waiting anywhere. You DO have spare time. Almost everyone in modern western culture wastes a lot of time trying to keep themselves entertained or occupied in so many fundamentally unimportant ways.
You DON’T have to watch the news or the latest reality TV nonsense. It won’t improve your life. But sitting with your eyes closed will.