Most meditation workers (myself included) will tell you to direct your attention inwards. But here's the thing – where's the fun in doing the same thing each time? There are no wrong approaches in meditation, only those that are less likely to work. So why do not we try to do the opposite of what everyone recommends?
If you struggle with meditation, then listen closely. The opposite of common wisdom might be exactly what you need.
I'm being a little dramatic. There are meditation coaches who recommend this technique. What I find interesting is that it's more common in the self-hypnosis community. Most things that work for one, work for the other, but the two groups do not share notes as often as they should.
When you combine the best techniques from self-hypnosis and meditation, you access your mind in a whole new way.
What is this technique that's the opposite of what most coaches teach?
Instead of focusing inwards on yourself, focus outwards.
Choose vision or hearing. Place your attention here. Use your mind to discern the shape and pattern of everything you're aware of. Focus on everything you see or hear. Open your mind, lower your defences and let the information pour in.
Once you lose yourself in the outer world, it's as if you lose yourself in your inner world.
And the best part?
You can meditate with your eyes open. You can do it while walking around. Heck – although I do not recommend this – you can do it while driving. The environment is rich, so drink it in and lose yourself among it.
Enter a trance by really seeing color. Journey into your mind by following specific sounds. Let your consciousness dissolve as you gaze up at the clouds.
In other words, ignore your mind and you will enter it.
This process goes some way towards countering a common concern. Some hard-core meditators disengage from the world. The outer world can no longer compete with their inner experience, so they withdrew.
It's a shame and a waste. A good conversation with an experience meditator can literally change your life. The more you explore your mind, the more you see things differently. And what could be more valuable than a new perspective?
Paying attention to your surroundings, as a way of entering the meditative state, ties the two together. You can enter a trance and experience the world at the same time. And, in fact, you should.