The GOTO of Meditation

I try to meditate on a regular basis. There was a time when I meditated for an hour every day, but now a days if I get 15 mins I am very thankful for it. Anyhow, what I realized recently is an analogy to programming headache. A GOTO statement in computer language is an instruction to the compiler/processor to jump to a particular line of code. It was invented long time back (I am guessing in FORTRAN) to make the computation easy. As it’s easier to jump the control anywhere you want to. But, this turned out to be a nightmare at later stages of programming where some applications may have millions of lines of code. There rose a criticism of the GOTO statement and you can read about it online.

There are many kinds of meditations available. Especially with the globalization, all kinds of meditation practices has been transported to America’s latest YMCAs (checkout Kalidasa @ Berkeley YMCA). But the whole premise or principle of meditation stays very simple. It’s like whoever/whatever created us wanted to have some fun, so he/she/it installed a ‘mind’ between our ears and hence begun the struggle over the control of thoughts. Our thoughts are streamed at much higher rate than any twitter system imagined. They are always chained. One thought leads to another and to another. By the time you become aware (if at all you can become aware) you are far away from where you started.

lake yoga

So, the principle behind any meditation technique is to not to follow this crazy route taken by our thoughts. They ask you to close your eyes, to reduce one more sesory system mis-leading you into distraction. Almost all kinds of meditations involve following something and doing it repeteadly. It could be your breath, a lamp or the train of thoughts itself. Like the weight loss programs, a meditation methodology is unique to each person. You need to try a bunch of them before you stick to one. The one I use is to follow my breath. I watch myself inhaling and exhaling, it’s not easy but slowly I get into a flow and then I am able to feel whatever people usually feel when they meditate.

But the mind is so cunning or distracted that I keep forgetting that I need to keep my focus on my breath and lose myself in the stream of thoughts. But then when I remember, I gently come back to watching my breathing. This reminded me nothing but GOTO statement of meditation. It’s like when I am lost in my stream of thoughts I remind myself and issue a GOTO to go back to watching my breath. So, please be my guest and go ahead and use GOTO exhaustively in meditation. It’s not considered harmful in meditation. 🙂

Author: akbar

Ramblings on Ideas, Creativity, Technology, and Spirituality.

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