There are lots of interpretations of meditation, so I am going to share mine.
Meditation is a practice to increase awareness.
Awareness is a transitive word: it has a direction. Awareness of what? And therein lies the mischief when people use the word.
Awareness is always directed.
When some of my students meditate, they go into la-la land... they literally become unconscious. Although after a long life of busy mind that is blissful, it is not useful.
Awareness, and therefore meditation is useful.
Normal, everyday life is much like moving in a tunnel of awareness: you are only aware of what you are aware of: not much. Your attention, mostly, is attracted by what is moving, what is threatening, what needs to get done, what should be done, what has to be done.
The rest of reality: it's a blur.
When you only "do" everyday life, then we can say that you wear blinders, like a work horse.
In normal, everyday life those things are non-existent, non-relevant, non-guiding to you.
It is possible to live the whole life in that tunnel with occasional "experiences", and most people do. Even "meditators".
But when you can open up your awareness, intentionally, consciously, to aspects of reality that normally get lost in the shuffle, you get guidance that otherwise you wouldn't get.
Awareness is THE crucial the difference between lower and higher vibration...
or we could also said: awareness is what raises your vibration.
With that said: meditation is not necessarily that forced artificial, sitting cross legged on the floor activity where you are struggling to get out of your mind, or you watch your breath.
To fully master awareness you need to bring it into your daily "normal" life as well.
But it begins with distinguishing what awareness is, how you can direct your attention, your awareness, how you can be gentle with yourself, how you can accept what is.
Without developing those capacities, there is no meditation, there is no higher vibration... there is only the hubbub of the ordinary life.
PS: Everyone promotes meditation because it supposedly makes you peaceful. It doesn't. If you are doing meditation for that, you will experience everything else... If you are doing meditation for the peak experiences, you can do better with drugs.
Meditation itself is just a word, meaningless... unless you use it for what it's good for.
Is there a posture that is better for meditation?
yes. You need to be "erect", straight back, and activate your power center by keeping your sacrum tucked in, instead of slouching. Whether you are walking or lying on your back, or sitting, if your sacrum is not turned on, you'll drift. It takes tremendous power to wrestle back your attention from the mundane, the moving, the worry, the thinking, the ordinary, what you know.
Is there a trick I can teach that makes the whole effort go easier, smoother, and faster?
I have found that expanding your cone of vision, so you can see what you are looking at, but consciousness can see 170 degrees, so there is the possibility of awareness of the 170 degrees.
It has three parts:
- the capacity to see with consciousness, to even be interested. This is an intangible capacity. Without this capacity you'll continue walking about in a tunnel.
If it is true that awareness is the most important factor in being worth a damn, then your number one concern should be to increase your awareness. Because in life you cannot get more than what you are worth... Want to get more, be worth more. Get more awareness.
- The second part is restoring your eye's ability to see wide angle. Most of us, because of fear, have been narrowing our cone of vision... so our eye muscles don't work any more... or we don't know how to work them.
- The third part is humility. If you live like you know what is important, what is true, what is relevant, what is worth your attention, then your awareness factor is low, and you are deserving only very little...
Your "worth a damn" factor can't increase if your humility doesn't increase.
The capacities and the practices for this come in a bundle. It's called Big picture-humility bundle.
You can get it. You need to be ready for it: it will take a lot of practice, and you'll need to remember to use it. It's not automatic.