OK! you guys asked, and i have listened to your wishes. that is, in trying to dream up as best i can, a guide to help one in their meditations. so here it is. i should note that in presenting my opinion, i may wish to draw upon sources more knowledgeable than my own, to drive my original point home a little more properly.
*before you begin, i ask one simple thing of you, and i hope that you take it seriously. please read this sober.
a thing that i'd like to have understood before any further progress is made here, is obviously, what i think meditation really is, or how i view meditation. this is rather opposed to the classical belief that one must sit down and close the eyes, and going further memorize a number of poses, mudras (hand positions), or mantras (rhythmical sayings). no no, that is not to say that these things are not useful, but i do not believe that these things alone, at their core, ARE meditation. quite the contrary. these are EXERCISES that one may wish to perform while meditating, yet these are not meditations in and of themselves.
in order to understand the word meditate, and also the way that i view it, we must draw upon etymology(study of origins of words) to get a better grasp on the implications of the word. we must dissect the word into digestible pieces. med-i-tate. the main part of the word being med. med, in latin, meaning to measure, limit, consider, or advise. "meditate" or a meditation, around the time of the 13th century, meant something along the lines of "discourse on a subject" or talking or giving a lesson about a subject, or to be knowledgeable of a topic to the point of being able to properly wield the information of a particular topic.
so, now we are starting to get a bit of a view of what the word meditation means, but still not a complete view. but from what we have gathered so far, the WORD meditation deals pretty much explicitly with thought, as it relates to knowledge. to med-iate in a discussion is to be the judge or referee, to be the one who declares the way things are. but wait, this sounds strange doesn't it? we came here to meditate, right? not to judge and to think... this seems odd doesn't it? especially the word "med" being so versatile as to mean "to measure", as well as "to limit", and also "to advise"...
well, that is the first hurdle. what can be gathered from this is that words do not truly, accurately convey anything, at least not how we perceive that things really are. in trying to dissect and analyze and measure things, we distance ourselves from the real world. an apple tree doesn't grow in increments of "inches" anymore than it grows in increments of "centimeters", which means neither are accurate evaluations of reality. useful, sure! we need to be able to communicate in order to work together. but does this really help anyone truly understand the world they are in? no! it only adds to the confusion. this is not to say however, that one should abandon all of the various systems we use in daily, because, even though they do not really relate to reality, they do still have a funny way of getting the job done. like this instructional, for example. to some it may come across as enlightening (i'd be humbly flattered), but actually very little of it so far has anything at all with the actual practice of meditation itself. if anything, it's more about what meditation is not. and naturally so! how can one tell the foreground without the background to contrast it?
(one can skip the intro by going to 0:55)
think parallel (on your own) of other systems now, and see that this same principle applies to ANY system used to describe, measure, quantify, explain reality. they are all practical systems, but none of them help you understand anything REAL! they only help you understand more things inside of the given system. but that's not what we came here to do is it? we want to meditate! which so far, is looking very different from the general first impression of meditation.
so now that you have a basic example of, why one should not always trust the map as the territory, or rather you have a better understanding at least, of the relationship that is shared between the map and the territory, we can begin to get deeper into, what is implied when we say something like "meditation" or "to meditate", and most importantly, how we can actually begin to meditate practically, as well as incorporate what we really want into our lives.
in order to do this, we must begin with thought. if one has the "power" to transform their thoughts, or rather, the awareness to view their thoughts with a certain clarity, to begin to understand where thoughts come from, then they have the power to change their relationship with the thoughts, and also the manner in which they perceive and interact with these thoughts. which ultimately turns into the manner in which they perceive and interact with the universe.
to do this, one must find their true identity, or rather, in doing this one is finding their true identity. which is a process mind you, NOT a prerequisite. so dont be alarmed by thoughts of failure. instead do the opposite, keep your mind OPEN and clear, and, to do this, you must begin by ceasing the associating of yourself with the thoughts you have. you must know that the thoughts are not what you are. you are not the things that you think. one only becomes the product of their thoughts if they associate very strongly with their thoughts.
well i hope that my text and that video shed some light on this matter, or at least gave a fresh perspective for viewing this matter, because i wish nothing more than for the entire world to one day find liberation from these feelings; the loaded archetypes, daemonic archetypes, or adverse "entities" as tolle put it. they're not a necessity, we can all live perfectly normal, happy lives without really having to change anything physically about ourselves. and once it begins, the effect snowballs, becomes contagious. once it gains momentum, the inner peace can begin to penetrate every person on this planet. even people whom others might judge as "evil" or "corrupt" or "parasitic". we can transcend these inherently BROKEN mindsets, we just have to know how. which really brings the discussion full circle now, to the act of meditation itself. sitting with the eyes closed is not a requirement, it is simply an easy way to direct ones attention to oneself, that is all. so long as these ideas are present and one sees their thought, lets it come, then as soon as they are aware of it, lets it go, then they are meditating, taking the middle path. neither over-thinking a situation before or after it happens, nor are they entirely thoughtless. as a situation arises, it is addressed with the necessary amount of energy, no more, no less, and that is that. after all one can only do what they can do, so ones attention is always best directed there, not to the things we cannot.
i hope that from this, you have now gathered, that what you are really looking for is a state of mind, and not necessarily something to do, in the classical sense. this from which, inner peace and satisfaction can radiate. this mode of thinking and acting has several names, but for the sake of discussion, i will call it Tao, or Zen. Tao, if looked at etymologically (careful!) means something along the lines of means roughly "the way" or "to go". but remember, that there can never be THE way, because in dissecting the word, you have merely dissected a system, which we now know is not the same as reality.
in conclusion, i'd like to wish you all the best. i hope that this has been enlightening, or at least offered as fresh perspective to such a popular yet elusive topic. i hope that you may all find practical ways to integrate this into your lives. thank you for taking the time to listen to my words, and the words of the people who have dedicated their lives to the topic.
(original post edited and amended for ease and clarity)