Watching the movie of your life:
Meditation is a little uncomfortable. It’s not like watching a movie; you can watch an engaging two-hour movie easily, but to sit and watch your thoughts for two hours is extraordinarily difficult, because it’s reality. You’re watching the movie of your life and there are things that you don’t like. There are things that you don’t want to see.
You cannot completely detach yourself from what’s happening in your mind, so it’s painful, it’s difficult and it’s exhausting. That is why sitting quiet for 15 or 20 minutes or even an hour is an extraordinarily difficult thing. You have to confront your mind and your pain, and you have to confront your challenges. That is what growth is.
If you ask me, “What is the best way to understand life? What is the best way to make sense of my life and live the best possible life? The answer is very simple: The way to understand life is to forget about “the” life that is happening outside and simply focus on your life. The problem is there too much of “the” life happening. We are told “Life should be this, life should be that.” There is no such thing. There’s only one life that matters, and that is your own life – the way you look at things.
If someone were to capture all your thoughts, project them onto a screen like a movie, and show it to you every day for about an hour, at the end of two or three years you would know everything about your life. You don’t need any other knowledge. You don’t need to read another book. You don’t need a teacher. You don’t need anything. If your own life is projected onto the screen and you’re just sitting and watching it, you would learn from your experiences.
All that you’re searching for, all that you have gone through, is within you. Your entire experience of life is within you. Imagine that you’re watching this movie, whether you want to or not, and at the end of one hour you’re learning something: These are the mistakes that I made, and this is how I’m treating people. This is how I’m treating myself and this is where I can make some adjustments.
The problem now is that we don’t give ourselves that time to watch our life. We are too busy trying to create a life. We are too busy trying to become something else, and we are not giving enough time to reflect on the life that we have already lived. Just think about all the experiences that you have been through, and whatever you are searching for is already there. All you need is for someone to take all your thoughts and project them onto a screen and show it to you. That is what meditation is.
Meditation is not about the breath; it is not about listening to music. Those are just props. The real process of meditation is watching your thoughts. When you close your eyes and watch your thoughts, you are learning. Your life is being illuminated in front of you. Whether you want it or not, you are becoming richer in your experience and you’re learning so much.