Lesson 4

Objective: to learn in detail how to do Natural Meditation based on your experience.

Welcome back!

You should have meditated once during Lesson Three yesterday and at least once again later in the day and maybe once already today. If you have not meditated since Lesson Three, then postpone this lesson until you have done at least one. The knowledge of meditation must be woven with theory and experience from here on.

Time all your meditations and be consistent in the time. Use 20 minutes unless you have significant reason for doing shorter or longer times.

You will meditate again as part of this lesson using the Guide Cards. Go get the cards now if you did not bring them with you. Remember to use something like the Sitting Record to keep track of the times you meditate. It gives you four weeks (Sunday to Saturday) to record the date, time and a brief note for each sitting.

This lesson is long. You may do it on two consecutive evenings if you wish. A good place to stop for the day it is right after you meditate.

Now you have experienced Natural Meditation. You may be a bit unsure about it, though, and that's why there are two more lessons. Very commonly at this stage students have questions about how to meditate and whether they are meditating correctly—or even at all. These questions spring right out of the fresh experience with the sittings. So, hang in there. Things will settle in place pretty easily, but it takes some time and further attention on your part, especially in this coming week. The very next idea (#14) will address this common concern.

In this lesson we will present finer grain details on how to meditate. Missing these details and not weaving them into your meditation is the only thing that you can do to miss the boat at this point. These are not hard ideas, even though they are presented as serious intellectual fare. From here on, the ideas weave into your mind and life along with experience gained from doing meditations. This weaving of ideas and experience makes the fabric of knowledge.

The text book chapter you will be reading is called "Getting the Details Right." That title might be a bit against the grain for you. But it is true, Natural Meditation does require getting things correct. So, slow down. You will never have another first week of meditating. Savor it.

One great advantage of learning from the written word is that you can go over these ideas as often as necessary. So, don't struggle with anything here. Just study it, keep on meditating and come back to these Ideas (especially Chapter 4) a few times during the first half year.

The topic sentence for the next Idea says that meditation is gentle, easy, restful and relaxing. Of course, the concepts in the first lessons fully imply that meditation should be easy and relaxing, but that was "textbook." This is "lab." This could be the beginning of really considering what "easy" should mean in navigating a mental discipline.

If you don' t think your meditation was in fact easy, take it easy. It is understandable that you could have that feeling at this stage. A common reason for having difficulty is that this is new and the student has a strong desire to see results. This can lead to trying to make the meditation happen. And that won't work. In any case, pay attention to the ideas in Chapter 4 and give your mind time to ease into the process.

So, start in now on Chapter 4. Reading Ideas 14 through 17 and then do a guided meditation using the Guide Cards.