by Charles B Crenshaw Jr. M.S.
Meditation is more than you think, literally. Science has studied it, mystics and yogis practice it, and no one can really explain it satisfactorily to the common person. Meditation has gone through its new wave conceptions but its mystery is beyond words, beyond thinking. It begs the question, what is thinking?
Meditation is purported to introduce us to ourselves, and understanding thinking would be a big part of that. Meditation masters of all strips, yogis, Buddhist and others tell ask us to bring the mind under control and see the beauty of our true nature. Controlling thinking, controlling the mind, is controlling the brain. How can the mind control thinking? Are the mind and the brain the same thing? These are perplexing questions for the average person.
Meditation masters, of no greater renown than the Buddha himself, say that the mind is thoughts. The mind is not the brain. This relationship is the great mystery that meditators go about solving. One yogi, Swami Rama, made this grand statement about the relationship between the mind and the brain/body: All of the body is in the mind, but all the mind is not in the body.
If what he said is true then the work at controlling the mind (thinking, the brain), involves a bit more understanding than just sitting quietly for a few minutes in a yoga class and chanting OM. Neither is meditation simply some philosophy that is nice to consider while sipping a latte at Starbucks. When asked about philosophy, one famous meditation master explained that he was not a philosopher, not a lover of wisdom, not a lover of knowledge. Philosophy was very conducive to discussions around the coffee table, but Philosia, on the other hand, was different. It was the love of seeing, of being, the direct experience of the silence beyond thinking, and that was his interest.
Meditation introduces you to yourself, and those who have mastered the art have moved beyond the seated posture that's usually related to beginning practices. A fully accomplished meditator, a true master need not sit to experience the nature of reality, the silence beyond thinking. Hence meditation is truly more than you think.