The first yoga class I took was hard. I walked in wearing ego, confident-knowing "yoga was a piece of cake." I soon had
The vast majority of spiritual teachers have built caves full of noise. They're echo chambers, looping incessant advice and guidance. What is better, what is wrong, what works, why their system is better than the next, and all ultimately for either direct or indirect personal gain and prestige. It is a bizarre competition between qualifications, who has spent the most time sitting in a cave, depriving themselves, or who has studied under which guru or spiritual leader for the longest, who has read the most and best spiritual texts and understands them. In fact, if they think they have benefitted and have found "the way" and can show you the path, they might be just deceiving themselves.
I am, admittedly, reiterating the opinion of many. I haven't an original idea myself, and cannot utter a single significant insight or enlightened thought that I've gained in my own meditation or experience. There is no point because they are just that, my own experiences and meditations. When Krishnamurti said, "truth is a pathless land", he was in my opinion, very correct. Uttering those words, he was inadvertently providing crystalline guidance although he meant not to muddy the pond with anything.
One doesn't meditate to find anything, obtain anything or achieve anything or there will be a defined and presumptive result, and more importantly, the desire for results will create conflict. But that is our nature. We pay excessive sums of money to gurus because we want the prestige, the "credentials" to spread our version of what we've learned to others, but it won't make the path any clearer for anyone else. We don't, as a society, understand the idea of not to want a result, not to want an outcome or a positive benefit.
Unless we approach our spiritual lives without any of this, we're walking someone else's path, carrying out another's agenda, teaching or philosophy. We're sowing inner conflict because we are chasing the result someone else has fashioned for us. i've looked at many spiritual teachings, books, quotes and methods. Often, there is value, there is insight, but for us to move to our own level of inner peace, understanding, and so forth, it cannot be interpreted by another and taught to us. Then we are just listening to and digesting more instructions, interpretations and ideas. The noise loop continues.
The most intelligent and insightful approach I've ever heard of regarding meditation is this: it is nothing. If you want to know what it is, look at the bark on a tree. You might say, "well then, what is the point of meditating if I'm not going to astral project, levitate my mind, achieve bliss, etc.?" The point is to sit, want nothing, do nothing, chant nothing, repeat nothing in your head. Wait for nothing to happen. In fact, don't even wait - for that implies you're expecting something to happen.
We can have hundreds of techniques, methods, and voices guiding us prior to meditation. Ultimately, when we go inside ourselves, we should do so alone, and like the bark on the tree, sit and only look, leaving everything alone in the universe. Once there, we aren't meditating at all. We are truly being.