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What is Meditation? – A practice of gathering attention

What is meditation? There is a lot of confusion about this question in the world today, at least among the majority it seems. Some people view it as sitting quietly because that is what meditators appear to be doing, thus they think it is about relaxation. But to describe the external appearance of the practice is to miss 99.99% of it’s substance, which is the exact same thing we are doing with our understanding of reality.

The only true way to answer this question of what is meditation for yourself is through practice. But with that being said I will attempt to explore the true nature of meditation to heal any misconceptions so that you can practice with a better understanding of what you are doing when you close your eyes and appear as if you are sitting around doing nothing to all.

The truth of the matter is that you are doing far more with your life and with your time than those who are neglecting their inner world, the most beautiful and important part of themselves.

Meditation isn’t esoteric. That is the first misconception. It is a logical system designed to return us to our natural state of being. Through meditation we are returning to our state as masters of creation; children of the universe, eternal and infinite in every respect. It is amazing that we have forgotten such a powerful and essential part of our nature, and it is equally amazing that all it takes is a consistent daily practice of sitting quietly to return ourselves to such a powerful state.

As we practice this we train our attention, and gradually begin to experience who we really are, and the magnificence of the universe we exist in. As you progress your powers of attention will increase. This will naturally reduce the number of thoughts in your mind until eventually they shut off for extended periods so that you can experience what it means to just be; to simply exist as you are in your natural state of complete internal emptiness, yet energetic abundance.

As you empty yourself you are naturally beginning to identify with the universal mind (some call this consciousness God) which is your true nature. And as you let go of your individual identity over time, day by day, you begin to surrender to infinity and allow the energies of the universe – love, bliss, inspiration, passion, enthusiasm, kindness, understanding, gratitude, and receptivity – to naturally radiate from your being, transforming and healing you, your life, and the world.

Meditation isn’t esoteric, it just so happens that many of the experiences we have through the practice of meditation are esoteric simply because our rational mind cannot comprehend, explain, and define them, and because they don’t fit into the framework of our daily repertoire of experiences.

What is Meditation?

The main purpose of meditation is gathering attention. It is a process of gradually focusing all of our attention that is usually distracted and wandering aimlessly, and bringing it under our control. This is done through sheer willpower which eliminates distractions and keeps us seated, and concentration which keeps us focused on our silent awareness, and detached from our thoughts.

When we meditate we keep a slight tension in our consciousness, and it is this which we call attention. In the same way that a sprinter waiting for the gun to go off is neither relaxed, nor is he flexing, but in a relaxed and yet alert state of muscular tension. An elasticity like a jungle cat about to pounce: fluid, relaxed, and yet enormously powerful.

This is the quality of our minds when we meditate, and as that relaxed tension is practiced it grows stronger and more powerful because what that relaxed tension is is a vibration. You can feel it pulsing and oscillating within your awareness, for it is the very fiber of your being, the oscillating energy that is your existence.

That vibration is the very source of your being, and with meditation you can learn not only to sense and feel it, but also to cultivate it and increase it. The stronger your attention, the higher that vibration becomes until you are radiant and bright with energy.

By gathering our attention we increase our power in every way exponentially and perpetually because our powers of attention are infinite; for we are infinite beings of pure consciousness. When we gather our attention we increase our capabilities to channel the creative consciousness of the universe.

Think of creative consciousness as the light from the sun which gives life to the world, yet this light is infinite energy, invisible in the space all around us. Our attention is then like the aperture of a camera. When our powers of attention are small, it is like a small aperture which only lets a little light in. In terms of attention this means that we have very little energy and thus corresponding low energy emotions such as fear, anger, depression, hatred, and so on.

Strong powers of attention mean that we have a large aperture, therefore we can condense and channel large amounts of light energy from the universe not only into our bodies which manifests as ridiculous vitality, energy, focus, and enthusiasm (a magnificent combination), but also into our actions, creations, lives, and the world uplifting all those around us.

By gathering our attention and increasing the energy (level of consciousness) which we channel and maintain, we develop the ability to neutralize negative energy within us and in our world, making this practice of meditation not only essential for personal development, but the most important practice in order to heal, uplift, and transform the world.

If everyone had more control over their energy and had at their disposal the knowledge of meditation which empowers them to master and cultivate their own energy, the world would be a dramatically different place.

Ways of Gathering Attention

Gathering attention occurs only in meditation, but there are many forms of meditation. You can also do it through practices such as yoga, martial arts, or walking with deliberation. This is what is meant by Carlos Castaneda’s teacher, Don Juan, when he explains the concept of the right way of walking.

Basically the right way of walking is to walk deliberately with all of your attention on your body, concentrating on everything from the position of your fingers, to your form, to your feet, knees, thighs, head, and so on. By concentrating fully on the body, you give your posture every ounce of your available attention.

Because there are so many things going on, you become so entrenched in the awareness of your body that all of your attention is used up so that you do not even have any left to use on thoughts. It is an extremely effective, efficient, and simple method that all individuals can employ in order to learn how to shut off their internal dialog.

The benefits of doing this are innumerable, but a few of the more obvious ones are: peace, clarity, wholeheartedness, happiness, joy, bliss, increased feelings of love and connection with the Earth, the universe, and those around you, increased abilities, focus, health, well-being, and the list goes on, and as you can see they are not trivial.

It is this practice of gathering your att
ention with your body which also contributes to making yoga and tai chi such powerful practices for healing and spiritual evolution. This is also true for meditation. Whenever you sit down to meditate, focus all of your attention on your meditation posture, and learn how to perfect and maintain it. Eventually your thoughts will have no room to break through because you will be too focused, and your attention will become too powerful.

You would think that eventually we would get so comfortable sitting in this fashion (or walking, or doing yoga) that our attention would eventually have some free space, but that simply isn’t true!

Infinite Creative Consciousness

We live in a universe that is infinite creative consciousness. We are projections of that same conscious awareness as well, therefore we are infinite creative consciousness. Creation is time and space, time and space is energy, energy is consciousness, consciousness is awareness, and awareness is attention. Therefore we are infinite in all those respects. Infinite consciousness, infinite energy, and infinite attention.

The more attention that we gather by focusing it perpetually, the more attention that we cultivate, and the more attention that we access out of the infinite reservoirs of attention we have available to us. Thus as soon as we begin to gather our attention, the more we cultivate it which dramatically increases our level of personal mastery over mind, body, and spirit.

This is with the exception of inspiring intuitions and visions given to us directly from higher levels of consciousness which we connect to, for those thoughts are always welcome. In fact, those are the thoughts which we aspire to because “when we change our thoughts, we change our lives.”

When our attention becomes strong we increase our ability to wield the power of intention, the creative force of the universe. Our thoughts become like high energy lasers up to the point where everything that we see in our minds becomes reality. For when our minds are uncluttered and our thoughts are of an extraordinarily high vibration, there is no confusion on the universal end of what we desire to manifest.

Our attention is the most important part of our beings. Without it we could not do anything! We couldn’t think, speak, sleep, learn, act, or exist in any way. What are you doing in your life to harness, master, and cultivate your most precious asset? If meditation is gathering attention, then what is meditation but healing, personal power, spiritual evolution, and an increased ability to love?

What is meditation but the development of commitment, focus, intelligence, and self-discipline? What is meditation but the most important practice in existence? For all of these are the result of an increase in our level of energy which meditation has been proven to do.

Meditation is the practice of gathering attention, and it is the most direct way to connect to creative consciousness, and reclaim your power. Change your life today by learning how to meditate.


Written by Brandon West who is the creator of Project Global Awakening. A website dedicated to the research of a variety of scientific and spiritual disciplines, and applying that knowledge to help you live an inspired life and change the world.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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