The Knack of Meditation

Meditation is a fascinating practice that can be described as a science, an art, and a knack. It encompasses a clear-cut technique that must be followed, making it akin to a scientific law. Yet, it also taps into the realm of art, as it is a practice that belongs to the heart rather than the mind. Meditation is not based on logic, but rather on emotions and love. It is not like other scientific activities; it is more akin to music, poetry, painting, or dancing. However, meditation is such a profound mystery that it cannot be fully contained within the labels of “science” or “art”. It is a knack – either you have it or you don’t. A knack cannot be taught or learned; it is the most enigmatic aspect of human understanding.

Allow me to share a personal anecdote from my childhood that illustrates the concept of a knack. I was sent to a master swimmer, a man who had an extraordinary love for water. He worshipped it and spent his days by the river. When I expressed my desire to learn swimming, he looked at me and said, “There is no way to learn swimming; I can just throw you in the water and then swimming comes of its own accord. It is a knack, not knowledge.” And so, he threw me into the water while he stood on the bank, not offering any assistance. Initially, I struggled and felt as though I was drowning. But with my life at stake, I threw my hands about with all my might. In that moment, the knack of swimming revealed itself to me. I could swim! I was exhilarated and realized that swimming was not about the technique; it was about harmonizing with the water element. Once in tune with it, the water protected me. Since then, I have thrown many others into the river of life, just as my master did with me. And almost nobody fails when they take the leap. Learning is inevitable.

While it may take time to develop the knack of meditation, it is important to remember that it is indeed a knack and not an art. If it were an art, it would be easy to teach. However, because it is a knack, it requires effort and practice. One Japanese professor of psychology has even succeeded in teaching small children as young as six months old to swim. He has since expanded his efforts to three-month-old infants, and even newborns. This success demonstrates that the ability to swim is innate within us; we simply need to discover it. Similarly, meditation is a practice that can be discovered with just a little effort.

So, I encourage you to make that effort. Take a leap into the river of meditation and discover the knack within you. It is a journey that may require patience and practice, but the rewards are immeasurable. The practice of meditation can bring peace, clarity, and a deeper connection to yourself and the world around you. Embrace the mystery and embark on this transformative path. You have the knack within you, waiting to be discovered.