Skydiving is a good analogy for diligent preparation. Meditation like skydiving requires preparation. In fact, preparation is important for many spiritual practices.
An analogy is a tool to help you remember important things. We don’t normally think of spiritual practices and skydiving as being similar. This is why it is an excellent memory device. The preparation for skydiving is of utmost importance. Your life depends on good preparation.
Skydiving is a Good Analogy for Meditation
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. Good preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable experience. This is how meditation is like skydiving.
So, the best way to get the best experience in 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 essential to the success of many 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 in a positive experience. The skydiving analogy reminds us why we need to prepare properly before we engage in the practice. This is especially true for learning any new methods.
Good Preparation is the Key
All effective spiritual technologies have preparatory, learning, and post-learning checkpoints. This is one way to tell if the process you are investigating is sound. For example, we teach Japa Meditation. This is the generic meditative process from India known as Transcendental Meditation (TM). There checkpoints throughout the learning process to ensure proper learning. This process of meditation, like skydiving, is best when we follow the right steps to prepare.
Both TM and Japa meditation are identical. They have the same preparation, learning format, and post-learning checkpoints. This process is a quality check. This ensures the best learning outcomes.
The key to the best outcomes with this process is preparation. You learn the best times to do it. You learn how to do it. There are routine checks during the learning process and afterward to ensure you are using the technique correctly. They reinforce the fundamentals that return the best outcomes. This is how meditation is like skydiving.
Skydiving is a Good Analogy for Other Practices
Many forms of mediation have built-in checkpoints. Like Japa meditation or Thay Kek, moving meditation similar to Tai Chi. These are powerful awareness-changing processes. They can be just as exciting as skydiving. They depend upon being prepared to learn.
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, some fail to see the value in all the cultural preparatory activities. They are viewed 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 can be lost. If you don’t understand the tradition and culture, it is easy to remove or change important aspects of the tradition. Sometimes these activities are essential for proper learning and execution of the technique. 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 any of the following spiritual technologies, find qualified instruction. Look for someone who knows and cares about the cultural context. Remember the skydiving is a good analogy for preparation. When there is doubt about the preparation, don’t do it.
What is interesting is that many of these methods share the same preparatory benchmarks and exercises. So good preparation is the key to many other processes. For instance, if someone is ready for Japa meditation, they will easily 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 will hammer this point. This way you will remember this analogy. And, hopefully, you will take the time to prepare before you meditate. The skydiving analogy is a good way to remember the proper steps for learning any new skill.
Use it as 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.
Sky dividing is a good analogy for many spiritual practices. If you prepare correctly, you will have a positive experience. Both meditation and skydiving 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 principle, good preparation is the key.
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 path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia