Here are three more meditation tips to help you to get more from your meditation practice.

Meditation Tips No. 4: Instant Enlightenment
Good teachers are incredibly useful to you, especially when starting out with your meditation practice. Thereafter, they become guides who help to keep you on track, and help to point out options that you may not have thought of on your own.

The 'gurus' to avoid are the characters who promise instant or guaranteed enlightenment. In our age of instant food, instant love, 24/7 entertainment, communication etc., we have become conditioned to expect and even to demand, instant service and gratification. So why not demand 'instant enlightenment' as well?

There are at least three serious flaws with this type of thinking:

1. A Demanding Ego
Instant enlightenment smacks of the ego's endless 'I want' dramatization. This is what the corporate marketing boys and girls are only too happy to gratify, but which isn't going to be given the time of day by a genuine meditation guide.

Through meditation, you are initially looking to broaden, deepen and to understand your ego, so it becomes strong enough and mature enough, to be transcended. However, you are not there to indulge it.

2. The Maturation Process
Enlightenment is more of an expression of being, rather than a personal event. Sure, you can have awakenings, big and small, but these events themselves are left behind sooner or later. The stream of consciousness, which you are an expression of, moves on and evolves more.

As one of the great Zen teachers, Shunryu Suzuki, kindly pointed out for us: "Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity."

3. Already Enlightened
One fundamental flaw in any approach to meditation and the spiritual life where a 'guru' or a teaching promises some future enlightenment, is that we are already enlightened beings. So all striving, all searching and all efforts towards enlightenment, are in plain denial of the truth of our enlightened nature.

Meditation Tips No. 5: Being Present.
Whilst your mind and your attention may wander, the body has a wonderful quality of always being in present time. And, as such, it can provide an important grounding quality to your whole being.

So while you, as conscious awareness, may still be indulging yourself mentally in an argument which finished two hours ago, fortunately your heart is beating, your lungs are pumping and all your other myriad of bodily functions are all still happening in real-time.

This is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to include your breathing in at least some of your meditation practice. There's no actual need to try and alter it, simply observing your breath whilst it rolls in and out, or matching a mantra with the breath cycle, works fine.

And if your mental attention wanders off, mesmerised by some new thought, you can simply and effortlessly bring it back to now, by re-focusing on your breath.

So, by using your natural breathing in this way, your body gradually grounds your mind in the present. Without having to tie yourself in mental knots trying to 'be here and now'.

Meditation Tips No. 6: Paradox
A paradox can be defined as any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.

Meditation and many other spiritual practices, and hence their teachings, are highly paradoxical in nature.

We learn the skills of meditation and diligently practice, so we can ultimately let go of it all.

Often we're trying to discover or attain some other state of being, that we're are already in.

Whatever we do think we have attained or realised along the way, becomes something else that have to let go of.

We think meditation is all in our mind, when it turns out to be primarily down to our heart.

We yearn for healing enlightenment, yet our liberation lies in compassionately embracing our darkness.

And in the end, the only time you can practice pure meditation, is when you know you no longer need it anymore.

We search for our dearest love in the rarest of experiences, only to find our true love was right here all along under our noses, here in the most ordinary of things.

Does this all mean that meditation and spiritual practices are a waste of time? Hardly. For it is only by going through these transformational processes, that we arrive at the simplicity of our natural awakened self.

© David R. Durham

Author's Bio: 

I am a spiritual healer with a passion for spirituality within the rich diversity of our human experience.