There are many translations for the acronym KISS. In this instance, I’m using it to mean: KEEP IT SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD!
Yep! Keep your daily meditation simple and straightforward. Don’t complicate it with too many rituals. On the other hand, if specific preparatory and completion rituals help you feel good, or create a mood or mindset that is beneficial, go for it! There are no rules. Guidelines? Yes. Theories? Plenty. Specific practices and schools of thought? Abounding. They are all interesting, and some are more helpful than others because of the variety and diversity in theory and practice that they each espouse.
It all boils down however, to just finding a way to quiet your mind and choosing to focus deliberately and willingly – that means without resistance – on a chosen stimulus. That stimulus can be an object, your breathing, a sound, a phrase, or anything else. The words of Leonardo da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”, serve well here.
Of course, you will have days when you just can’t seem to quiet your mind. Be easy with it. There will also be days when the subject or the object of your focus proves irritating and provocative, rather than soothing and quieting. Be easy with it. You will also arrive at moments that feel like bliss – just an intense and satisfying silence that is indescribable! Be easy with it.
A simple ritual that I follow is to mentally prepare myself by imagining that I’ve collected all my thoughts and left them just outside the door, knowing that I can always pick them up after my meditation. It helps! Cultivate a gentle-but-strong resolve to stay with it because the emotional, intellectual, and physiological changes that ensue from a daily practice are inevitable and complex. Your work is to KISS.
Until next time