Mark: So what is meditation?
Alec: Hmm..good question. Well meditation is a huge variety of techniques that are used to move people into the moment…or to use a cliche, the “here and now”.
Mark: Hm-mm what kind of techniques? For example, can you give me an example?
Alec: Well…yeah…there are Buddhist techniques. There are many different types of Buddhist techniques but some of the main techniques are to do with using your breath so that you are focusing on your breathing and you’re bringing your mind, your thinking mind – what they call the aahm…what is it…the crazy monkey, is it?…or the mad monkey? The mad monkey mind…and you are bringing that… redirecting that…commanding the attention of your mind…your thoughts…and bringing it to the breath, focusing on the breath.
Mark: Focusing so like…controlling your mind and focusing on the breath.
Alec: No you don’t control your mind. That is impossible…you just have to gently redirect it…continually redirect it…towards focusing on your senses. So in a way…meditation – a big part of meditation – is using your senses to go…what do they call it?…beyond your senses.
Mark: And how long have you been meditating?
Alec: Since I was a teenager…and in my early twenties, you know. I started to meditate…I got hold of this…
Mark: So that is a hundred…
Alec: That is a thousand years ago.
Mark: Ha ha ha…
Alec: You know, several lifetimes ago. No, I was really into trying to work out what the hell was going on…because I…I had a lot of hang-ups…still do I suppose, but I can work with them much easier now.
Mark: You went to India, is that right?
Alec: No, no, no, I will just explain. I went to India very recently by comparison. When I was about twenty…ninteteen, twenty, I was reading one particular book I remember which really influenced me was by Alan Watts who wrote a lot of books about West meets East…
Alec: …which was very big at the time…it still is, you know…that…a lot of people were looking into the mystical philosophies of the Eastern way and I remember reading this and practicing it just sitting. I remember choosing…my first try at meditation was choosing various comfortable seats. I had my back straight and I was very relaxed and then focusing on parts of my body for example my hands…just to focus my attention just on how my hands felt…the sensation in my hand…or my whole body sometimes…and to focus on what occurred and by working on that…on a continual basis…it is a very transformational thing.
Alec: So meditation is very very transformational.
Mark: You have done guided meditation with me before. What do you think we go upstairs and you take me through a guided mediation?
Alec: Yeah, ok, that would be great.
Mark: (Do) you want to do that now or later?
Alec: Whenever you want to because really aah…
Mark: Let’s sit here and talk a little and we will do that a little bit later.