Yoga & Meditation

The Three Pillars of Meditation

Meditation is an excellent apply, filled with confirmed advantages. We all know it’s good for our well being, emotional well-being, and efficiency. However so that you can have actual advantages from it, you might want to develop the Three Pillars of Meditation.

We all know that meditation reduces stress, helps us cope with anxiousness, boosts constructive moods, and provides us higher sleep. We all know it decreases the danger of a number of coronary heart and mind ailments, helps with ache administration, and strengthens vanity.

Sure, meditation may help you loosen up, relax, and get extra readability and contentment.

Sure, meditation helps you develop 4 Superpowers, and may change your life in some ways.

However there’s a lacking piece.

Perhaps you’ve gotten tried meditation, hoping to expertise a few of these advantages, however gave up. Chances are you’ll be pondering that “meditation is just not for me” or “I’m not good at it”.

Or possibly you’re a meditator, and expertise among the advantages of the apply—however not as a lot as you’d hope for.

It’s due to the lacking piece: The Three Pillars of Meditation.

In the event you don’t have the lacking piece, you may be lacking peace. 😉 

[Note: This article is also available in French (independent translations).]

Here’s a stay speak I gave on this subject some time in the past (and that is the web page I used to be referring to within the video):

The Three Pillars of Meditation

In my years of educating meditation, researching and writing about it, I’ve seen many individuals wrestle with this. It was painful for me to observe, as a result of as a long-term meditator I know what meditation can do for you, for those who study it nicely and apply it correctly.

After some time doing this work, I spotted what the lacking piece was. I name it The Three Pillars of Meditation.

When you’ve got these three pillars in your life, your apply will flourish, and you’ll expertise the advantages. However for those who don’t, if even one among them is lacking, then that may restrict your apply, and the way a lot you’re going to get from it.

The three pillars are: behavior, method, software.

In brief, you might want to apply meditation each day, with the optimum method and strategy, after which apply the abilities you bought from meditation into your each day life.

It’s like every other ability you need to purchase.

Different meditation lecturers additionally use the metaphor of the “three pillars” to convey different concepts they discover to be important to the apply. A few of these variations are:

  • mindfulness, alertness and modesty
  • attentive listening, conscious seeing, cautious testing
  • curisoity, skepticism, humour
  • proper meals, proper motion, proper sleep

I personally discover that, whereas these concepts may be useful for the extra superior meditators, they don’t seem to be the true “pillars” of the apply—as a result of none of them issues except you’ll be able to have a each day apply, with the fitting method, and apply it to your each day life.

Let’s now unpack what every of those three parts imply.

Pillar 1: Behavior

Meditation is just not like bodily train, that you would be able to get away with training solely two or 3 times per week. It’s really the form of factor that you might want to do each day—similar to consuming, sleeping, and brushing your enamel. It’s in that class of actions.


Since you are uncovered to emphasize each day.

As a result of your thoughts could also be bogging you down with unfavorable ideas and attachments each day.

As a result of your ego is working each day. 

So you might want to meditate each day too.

In any other case it will likely be very troublesome to reverse unfavorable sample of ideas and feelings, and get in contact with deeper states of consciousness. Ideas are spinning in your head continuous, and anxiousness doesn’t go on trip. 

Would you like meditation to be

really transformative for you?

There is just one manner: apply it each day.

What occurs for those who meditate solely as soon as per week? 

There isn’t any doubt that you’ll expertise some advantages. Proper after the meditation, you’ll possible really feel extra calm, centered, and centered. Chances are you’ll instantly really feel extra clear and current. However that received’t final—as a result of as soon as per week is just not sufficient so that you can get actual momentum within the apply.

Suppose that you just need to boil water. It’s essential go away your kettle on for five minutes, so water will boil. However as a substitute you permit it on for two minutes, then flip it off, and are available again to it the next week to show it on for extra 2 minutes…

Chances are you’ll try this for all of the weeks of your life, however water won’t ever boil. As a result of within the following week the water doesn’t proceed from the temperature it was on the finish of your 2 minutes; reasonably, it has now utterly cooled down, so you’re ranging from zero once more.

In a manner, meditation apply is like this. And that’s the reason it’s important to apply it every single day—even when for less than 5 to 10 minutes a day. In the event you try this, you’ll have some continuity in your apply, and it’ll develop.

The each day behavior is what makes a distinction between having a apply that feels good once you do it, and one that may really remodel you and your each day life.

You don’t must make it laborious for your self. Meditation doesn’t must take half an hour, contain troublesome postures, and be a battle together with your thoughts. However it does must occur each day.

Pillar 2: Method

The second pillar is the proper method, and the proper strategy.

The “proper method” doesn’t imply that there’s one fashion of meditation that’s superior to all others, and that you must apply that one. That’s simply narrow-mindedness and dogmatism—sadly a kind of nonsense that I see in some meditation teams/lecturers on the market.

Proper method means the method that’s most optimum for you, at this second in your life. There are a lot of types of meditation, every of them with its personal style and distinctive advantages.

The perfect meditation method is the one which works greatest for you, at this level of your life.

When most individuals consider meditation strategies, what involves thoughts is both watching the breath, or repeating a mantra. These strategies are nice, and so they do work for some individuals—however not for everybody.

Perhaps these practices even “work okay” for you, however till you experiment with quite a lot of types, you’ll be able to’t know if there isn’t a simpler method on the market for you.

The excellent news is that meditation is an extremely huge and versatile apply. There’s a nice number of strategies developed by totally different contemplative traditions over greater than 3,000 years. They had been developed not as a result of the monks had been bored, however as a result of totally different individuals have totally different wants and temperaments.

Some strategies…

  • could make you’re feeling too passive, whereas others could energize you
  • make you’re feeling extra centered, whereas others make you’re feeling extra spaced-out or indifferent
  • will raise your vitality (good for these with despair), whereas others will floor your vitality (good for these with anxiousness)
  • are extra suited to enhance work efficiency and focus; others could also be higher for exploring the non secular aspect of meditation
  • are simpler for people who find themselves extra visible by nature, whereas others go smoother for people who find themselves predominantly auditory or kinesthetic

So there is no such thing as a “one measurement suits all” in meditation. But that’s the manner it’s typically taught. Most lecturers and programs educate you just one or two strategies.

Actually, it’s protected to say that there are as many meditation strategies as there are several types of sports activities and diets. Now think about the issue if everybody is barely taught both basketball or operating… Or if everybody was given the identical sort of meals, no matter their tastes, blood sort, and allergy symptoms… 

Whereas most meditation strategies share a large number of widespread advantages, there may be nonetheless a giant distinction between training a method that works for you and training a method that’s optimum for you. Similar to there’s a massive distinction between an “okay job” and your superb job, or an “okay residence” and your superb residence.

The underside line right here is: study multiple fashion. Experiment with totally different strategies and philosophies for a while, and see what resonates, and strikes the needle for you probably the most. That may rely on what are your objectives with meditation—so beginning by clarifying these is a good suggestion.

The second side is the proper strategy. That is about having the fitting attitudes in relation to your apply. I name them The 4 P’s of Meditation:

  • Function. Apply with intention and curiosity. Don’t let meditation grow to be mechanical and boring, simply one thing you might want to “tick off your to-do listing”.
  • Pleasantness. Attempt to get pleasure from your meditation. Make it straightforward for you, and nice. This contains not criticizing, shaming or blaming your self for getting distracted through the apply, or for not “doing it proper”. 
  • Perseverance. Domesticate the dedication to proceed meditating every single day, it doesn’t matter what. It additionally means to proceed to study in regards to the apply, particularly once you really feel caught.
  • Persistence. Don’t be in a rush, and don’t anticipate an excessive amount of too quickly. Self-transformation takes time. As a result of it’s price it. 

Meditate with these attitudes, and you’ll preserve at it for a very long time. Someday you’ll look again, understand how a lot you’ve gotten modified, and be grateful that you just picked up the apply and stayed with it.

Pillar 3: Software / Transformation

For many of us, our objective is that meditation might be not solely a pleasant expertise and stress-free time, however one thing that truly adjustments us, and impacts our each day life for the higher. So right here is the place the rubber meets the street…

It’s true that for those who apply meditation each day, with the fitting method for you, that over time some issues will mechanically begin to change. The best way you see the world, the way in which you see your self, the way you react to individuals round you—all will change.

However this course of may be enormously accelerated for those who do it on purpose. And that is what the third pillar is about: making use of the insights and qualities that you just expertise in meditation to the remainder of your life. It’s taking meditation past the cushion.

Your each day life needs to be an extension

of your meditation.

There are a lot of methods of how the applying of meditation expertise can occur in your life. There are a lot of expertise that include meditation, and an entire guide wouldn’t be sufficient to cowl all of their functions. And solely after we apply them is that we actually have the transformation that we’re searching for.

However let’s get one among them for example the purpose: the ability of “zooming in, zooming out” (which I name one of many superpowers of meditation).  

Throughout meditation, we apply zooming in and zooming out with our consideration. In most types, we’re instructed to give attention to one object—just like the breath, a mantra, a visualisation, part of your physique, and so forth.—and to maintain our consideration on that object for so long as we are able to, going deep into it (zooming in). 

We’re then instructed that we’d like to pay attention to our thoughts, in order that when our consideration wanders into ideas, we discover it, let these ideas go (zooming out), and convey our thoughts again to the meditation object.

Like that, we apply the power to zoom in and zoom out with our consideration a number of instances (dare I say a whole bunch of instances?) every time we meditate. That is without doubt one of the expertise that include the apply.

So how do you apply that meditation ability in each day life? 

A technique is noticing when our thoughts goes to locations we don’t need it to go. Locations of concern, pointless worries, and replays of traumatic recollections. Locations of negativity, jealousy, and ego journeys.

After we discover that our thoughts has gone there, we then have the facility to zoom out from that rabbit gap, and zoom in our consideration into one thing extra helpful or productive—just like the sensations within the current second, or the following step we have to soak up our life.

The ability of zooming in, zooming out, that we develop in meditation, must be utilized to our each day life. It must be used for the sake of our work, relationships, household, well being, and funds. If not, then we’re training meditation, however not making use of it. We’re half-baked meditators.

The identical occurs with many different “expertise” we develop via meditation, comparable to:

  • pausing
  • witnessing (being a impartial observer)
  • self-awareness (trying deep into oneself)
  • letting go
  • acceptance
  • managing emotional states

To take meditation past the cushion does take a bit of additional coaching, and pointers from a great guide or skilful instructor. At its highest level, it’s about seeing your each day life as an extension of your meditation, and your meditation as the muse of your each day life. 

Your Subsequent Steps

Meditation works. Even a single session may be good.

However when you’ve got The Three Pillars of Meditation working for you, then it actually works. That’s the lacking piece for many people. That’s the subsequent step for you.

Right here is my suggestion: do what you might want to do, however make certain to develop these Three Pillars, so you’ll be able to have a powerful meditation apply.

It’s completely price it!

If you are able to do this by yourself, nice! Might your efforts be blessed with success! 🙏🏻

The problem is: only a few individuals can develop these Three Pillars on their very own. It will probably take a whole lot of effort, trial and error, examine and self-discipline.

In the event you really feel that that’s simply too laborious…

In the event you would admire assist on this journey… 

If you would like a easy step-by-step system that you just simply must observe… 

If you would like a shortcut a extra mentored strategy…

Then I counsel you be part of the Limitless Life Membership. It was created precisely for this goal: making the Three Pillars as straightforward as doable for you. And it additionally contains entry to all my different programs.

If, as a substitute, you need to be skilled in methods to educate the Three Pillars of Meditation framework to others, then study our online meditation teacher training program.

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