The skydiving analogy is an analogy for good preparation. Meditation like skydiving both requires diligent preparation. In fact, preparation is important for all spiritual practices.
A good analogy is a tool to help you remember things that are important. We don’t normally think of meditation and skydiving as being similar. This is why it is a good memory device. The preparation for skydiving is of utmost importance. Your life depends on good preparation.
How is Meditation Like Skydiving?
You wouldn’t jump out of an airplane … and then try to put on your parachute. Trying to put your parachute after you have jumped out of the airplane would definitely be exciting, but the outcome may not be desirable. Also, you’d want to know how to put on and use your parachute before jumping. Preparation is key to a good experience. This is how meditation is like skydiving.
So, the best way to get the best experience from meditation to learn how to do it first. Don’t jump out of the airplane and try to learn as you are falling. In fact, preparation is important for all spiritual practices. For instance, it is important to learn the theory behind the process. Learn what to expect and common troubleshooting techniques. You need to learn about the equipment, and how to use it (when to put it on). Most times this means learning about how the mind works.
Preparing for spiritual practice would involve exercises that help you anticipate the experience. For example, skydiving teaches you what it feels like to jump out of an airplane, what parachute opening feels like, and how to land and roll. Some jumping schools have antigravity updraft fans. Here you can learn to control your body in a situation similar to free-falling.
How is meditation is like skydiving? It’s all about preparation. Good preparation and training results are a good experience. The skydiving analogy reminds why we need prepare properly before we engage in practice. This is especially true for learning any new method.
Universal Analogy for Good Preparation
Every legitimate form of moving and seated meditation includes preparatory, learning, and post learning checkpoints. This is one way to tell if the process you are investigating is sound. We teach Japa Meditation. This is the generic meditative process from India. Transcendental Meditation (TM) by Maharishi Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the name given the process marketed worldwide. We teach the meditation like skydiving are best when we follow the right steps to prepare.
Both TM and Japa meditation are are identical. They have the same preparation, learning format and post learning checkpoints. This ensures the best learning outcomes and practice, which consistently yields the desired result.
The key to the best outcomes with this process is the preparation. You learn the best times to do it. You learn how to do it. There are routine checks during the learning process and afterwards to insure you are using the technique correctly. They reinforce the fundamentals that return the best outcomes. This is how meditation is like skydiving.
The Skydiving Analogy and Other Practices
Many of the seated and moving forms of mediation like Japa meditation or Thay Kek (moving meditation similar to Tai Chi) respectively are powerful awareness changing processes. They can be just as exciting as skydiving.
Many ancient traditions were developed over eons of trial and error. They developed a learning process that incorporated steps and guidelines to ensure the prospect is ready to learn, able to learn. Then, as they learn they exchange feedback. Afterward they meet to discuss post experience. The result is the best learning outcomes.
Unfortunately, many of the activities and processes surrounding these ancient techniques are viewed with modern eyes as nonessential ritual dressing. This is an error. When a technique is stripped from its context in an attempt to make it more marketable, you lose important elements. Those who don’t understand the process don’t know how they are degrading and changing the process.
When ancient processes are re-named, re-branded, and re-packaged, much is lost. If you don’t understand the tradition and culture, you may be removing or changing important aspects of the preparation and training which make the technique effective. So, the result is like jumping out of an airplane and trying to put on your parachute as you fall.
So, if you want to learn a spiritual technology, find qualified instruction from someone who knows and cares about the cultural context. Remember the skydiving analogy for good preparation. When there is doubt about the preparation, don’t do it.
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They result from generations of research by cultures around the world. These processes stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable and measurable. They do not require belief in religious doctrine. So, everyone who can follow a process can use them. We call the practice of these processes spiritual exploration.
You can list these tools in several ways. Some fall into more than one group. We like this simple method.
- Tools to enhance critical thinking. This study of basic logical reasoning along with spotting logical fallacies and logical axioms. Then we also use a comparative analysis. This is a step-by-step way of comparing beliefs between different worldviews. Above all, these tools will help sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction.
- The Enneagram Personality Profile. This is mostly an analytical tool. It provides insight into the mechanisms of ego, personality, and instinct.
- Seated meditation is often the heart of your spiritual practice. This includes a range from Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation through Japa Meditation and more advanced Siddhis of Patanjali.
- Moving meditation helps us strengthen the mind-body connection. It is also an important key to our health and wellness. This progression includes several methods of energy collection, such as Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi.
- Pathways for expanding and exploring awareness. This progression includes a range of processes from lucid dreaming, the Shamanic Journey and Guided Meditation to third-eye awakening and soul memory awareness. Practical tools to guide your path, a spiritual journal, and automatic writing.
- Healing practices are the final group. This branch includes Pe Jet, Reiki, and Shiatsu. Self-care is also a part of this group and is vital to our overall health and wellness.
What is interesting is that many of these methods share the same preparatory benchmarks and exercises. Our analogy for good preparation applies here. If someone is ready for Japa meditation, they will also be able to learn a moving meditation like forest bathing. This is because they share the same steps for preparation.
Meditation is Like Skydiving
We are going to hammer this point. This way you will remember this analogy. And, hopefully you will take the time to prepare before you meditate. Actually, the skydiving analogy is a good way to remember the proper steps for learning any new skill. Use it like a background script to determine the correct order of things. Then add the elements to this script. If you don’t know the exact steps, look them up. Use this process as a memory device to memorize the steps of any other process.
If someone asks, how is meditation like skydiving? You can tell them that if done correctly both are unforgettable experiences. Both are life-changing benchmarks. You will remember both your experience of skydiving and the first time you transcend awareness. And you can also tell them the analogy reinforces the need to prepare properly.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia