Skydiving is a good analogy for meditation because both require proper preparation. Fact is, preparation is essential for many spiritual practices. Come and see how to apply this principle to your practice.
An analogy is a tool to help you remember important things. We don’t usually think of spiritual practices and skydiving as being similar. However, it shows the parallels of preparation that are important in both. That is what makes this analogy an excellent memory device. The preparation for skydiving is of utmost importance. Your life depends on good preparation, and we can say the same for many spiritual practices.
“Skydiving isn’t really about jumping out of airplanes. Flying through the sky is great fun, but it is what the act represents that is important. It is about Freedom.” ― Brian Germain, Transcending Fear: The Doorway to Freedom
How is Meditation is 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 an aircraft would 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, and this is how meditation is like skydiving.
So, the best way to get the best experience in meditation is to learn how to do it first. Don’t jump out of the airplane and then trying to learn as you are falling. Preparation is essential to the success of many spiritual practices.
For instance, it is crucial to understand the theory behind the process. Learn what to expect and standard 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 will involve exercises to 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.
Managing your expectations is a crucial part of meditation. You prepare for how to deal with issues but at the same time practice without a plan. For example, it’s essential to know what to do when you can’t keep thoughts or distractions from interrupting. On the other hand, it’s just as important not to have unrealistic expectations that every meditation session will be without flaws.
“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
So, this is how is meditation is like skydiving. It’s all about preparation. Good preparation and training result in the best possible outcomes. The skydiving analogy reminds us why we need to prepare before we engage in the practice. It’s especially true for learning any new methods. When you are learning, you have no previous experience to gauge what will happen. So, executing the technique with knowledge of what to do if you run into issues is essential.
Good Preparation is the Key
All effective spiritual technologies have preparatory, learning, and post-learning checkpoints. These checkpoints are one way to tell if the learning curriculum is sound. For example, we teach Japa Meditation; this is the generic name for the meditation technique known as Transcendental Meditation (TM). There are checkpoints throughout the learning process to ensure proper learning. To ensure the best learning outcomes, one should always follow all preparatory steps. So it is just like skydiving.
Both TM and Japa meditation are the same processes. They both have the same preparation, learning format, and post-learning checkpoints to achieve the best learning outcomes. This process is a quality check. It ensures the best learning outcomes.
“A well-trained skydiving instructor can’t save one from a broken parachute.” ― Bryan Way
The key to the best outcomes with this process is preparation. You learn how to do it and the best times to do it. There are routine checks during and after the learning process to ensure the best learning outcomes. They reinforce the fundamentals that return the best results. And, this is how meditation is like skydiving.
Skydiving is a Good Analogy for Other Practices
Many mediation forms have built-in checkpoints, like Japa meditation or Thay Kek, moving meditation similar to Tai Chi. These are awareness-changing processes. They can be just as exciting as skydiving. They depend upon the proper foundation, which comes from preparation.
They developed many ancient traditions over eons using trial and error. They created a learning process that incorporated steps and guidelines to ensure the prospect is ready to learn, able to learn. Then, as they are learning, they exchange feedback. Afterward, they meet to discuss post-experience. The result is the best learning outcomes.
Unfortunately, some cannot see the value in all the cultural preparatory activities, and they view them as nonessential ritual dressing, which is an error. Taking a technique out of its proper cultural context can lose essential elements that ensure safety and effectiveness. Those who don’t understand the process don’t know how they are degrading and changing the process. All they care about is making it more marketable.
When ancient processes are re-named, re-branded, and re-packaged, much is lost. If you don’t understand the tradition and culture, it is easy to remove or change critical aspects of the teaching. 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.
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, skydiving is a good analogy for preparing to learn any spiritual technology. When there is doubt about the preparation, please don’t do it.
These processes are a collection of proven methods for exploring consciousness. We call them spiritual technologies. They help us expand awareness and unlock the gifts to reach higher states of consciousness.
These tools differ significantly from religion. They do not require faith or belief in any religious doctrine. Anyone can use these processes to develop their full potential. All you need to do is follow the process, and it’s just like following the recipe for baking a cake. If you combine the right ingredients in the right way and you get something delicious.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning method. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. They are repeatable processes, and several produce measurable effects on our physiology. These changes include increased brainwave coherence, lower heart rate, and increased skin resistance. Changes like this prove these partitions of consciousness differ significantly from waking, dreaming, and sleeping.
We divide these tools into four major categories:
Everyone can use these methods to create their unique spiritual path, and you can start with any of these methods. The more of them you use, the faster your progress.
Many of these methods share the same preparatory techniques. Good preparation is the key to many other processes. For instance, if someone is ready for Japa meditation, they will quickly learn a moving meditation like forest bathing because they share the same preparation steps.
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 an excellent 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 actions 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 first experience of skydiving and the first time you transcend awareness. And you can also tell them the analogy reinforces the principle, and good preparation is the key.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia