You can’t understand meditation because meditation is nothing to do with understanding. Understanding is something completely different, it has a place, but it is not meditation.
Meditation happens when you are not understanding, meditation is a state of awareness that arises when your mind is quiet, when you are not thinking; understanding is just more thinking you see. You can’t rationalise meditation because if you do you’ve killed it and even if you were successful in figuring it out, your answer would not be meditation.
This is the challenge with your mindfulness practice. Your mind will want to understand, it will want more techniques, something more to learn. It will want to read books, form theories and conceptualise. It will try to put your practice on a box, to label it and make it the focus of study, division and comparison. But none of that is mindfulness.
It might seek expertise through formal qualifications and look to validate its self with the illusion of rigorous intellectual understanding. You can be certified and registered and put letters after your name, and that might be very interesting and important, but it’s not mindfulness.
You don’t need a master’s degree to be a master of mindfulness; in fact no true master has ever needed one! It is possible of course to both be both a master of mindfulness and also to have a masters degree, but they are not the same thing.
Here’s your challenge. Keep your practice simple. If it’s complicated it’s not mindfulness. There are only really two steps to mindfulness.
Step 1 – breathe, walk and feel the breeze, bring your best attention to where you are and what you are doing right now, be fully present in the moment. Look, touch, taste, listen and smell. Experience the here and now through your body as intensely as you can.
Step 2 – repeat step one
Practice mindfulness without understanding, just practice for the sake of practice, practice without even knowing why and the knowing will come. Because when understanding is absent, there is a knowing; a far deeper knowing than you ever imagined.
Don’t believe me either, please, please don’t believe me, because a belief is just more thinking too. Please don’t try to figure out what I’m telling you, because if you do I have failed.
This is your challenge with your mindfulness practice, to practice without understanding. Your ego will seek to understand; it will construct theories and opinions and read lots of books. It will put mindfulness in a box, label it, and dissect it and kill it.
Just feel yourself breathing as you read these words. That’s all there is too it.