Bored of Meditation? Try Islamic-Style!

Nothing. 

If you have been taught much about meditation, you may have noticed a common theme: nothingness.

We are told to isolate our existence into a focus of nothingness.  We are told to clear our minds from all things and to just be.  To do nothing.  To think of nothing.  To feel nothing.  To ignore any feelings, emotions, thoughts, and to release them into a state of nothingness.

For some, this may be a perfectly logical way to re-focus, to re-coop, to re-charge.  But for the rest of us, all this “nothingness” may make us acutely aware that meditation (in this manner) leaves us with something missing.  And to miss, to lack—this isn’t the goal.

This should not be the goal of meditating.

So, if you’re feeling bored of focusing on nothing, try this—hear me out: 

Muslims have been meditating for over fourteen hundred years plus, although we may not call it the same thing. 

But there is a trick to our meditation that may make all the difference for you.  You’re welcome.

What should the real goal of meditation be?  It’s realizing that you’re never alone.

And that you shouldn’t be alone.  And that you don’t have to focus on yourself as an individual, but instead to see yourself as a beautiful creature reconnecting with its Divine Creator.  God is the source of your sustenance, so why do you choose nothingness over Him and expect to reap benefits via honing in on misguided spiritual pathology?

Instead, do this:  Sit down deliberately anywhere you choose.  It can be indoors or outdoors, quiet or loud, comfortable or not.  Your atmosphere actually shouldn’t matter, although some people prefer peaceful solace initially until they get the swing of their meditating. 

Now, clear your thoughts of all worldly things.  Release anything from your thoughts that you won’t take with you when you reunite with God. 

Now, breathe.  In, and out.  In through your nose, and out through your mouth.  Only, you are not focusing on your breathing.  You are focusing on, through your rhythmic breathing, elevating your spirit towards Him.  I’ll show you how.

Whisper words (or simply say them inside your heart).  With every inhale, we whisper, “There is no deity worthy of my worship except One, True God.”  With every exhale, we reaffirm our belief in all the Messengers of God, by stating, “Mohammad is his [final] Messenger,” which confirms all that came before him (peace and blessings upon him).  If you’re not at that last part of your journey yet, simply reiterate the first phrase twice—both inhaling and exhaling (until you are ready to view all Prophets as one and the same thing, regardless of race, language, or modern stigmatization).

With every inhalation, as you whisper these powerful and meaningful words, imagine a dark spot inside your heart—whether it is pain or sin or attachment to things that shouldn’t matter—and vision it disappearing.  With every exhalation, imagine a source of inner light sent to you as a gift from God replacing that old, rusty spot inside your heart.

The goal is to remain in this state, peaceful, connected to Him, until you have seen and experienced all of your sins being cleansed from your heart and instead find your renewed heart as a source of bright, continuous light—illuminating both your own way as well as the path for those around you.  Because truly, if your meditation is actually working, it won’t only benefit you.  It will benefit all humans who come into contact with you, as your light will now transcend through your heart and into theirs in the form of joy from the radiating positive energy of God which you have reconnected with.  It’s a gift, so use it.

And quit with this “nothingness” crap. That’s not meditation; that’s futile falsehood which only benefits in the same way a placebo will benefit the spiritually unaware.  Wake up, and welcome to your new meditation routine.  I hope one day our lights can connect and together we can experience true celebrations of the Divine. 

Dena AtassiComment