I remember a passage from Way of the Peaceful Warrior in which Socrates asks a hippie, "Do you meditate?" like it was a dirty secret. It always stuck with me because it seems like this is how 90% of people treat meditation: as a dirty secret, done behind closed and locked doors, out of sight of other people.
The approach of pre-meditation techniques and adrenaline rush disturbing meditation? They're wrong-headed thoughts. That is, if you're having that much trouble, you're not meditating!
Adrenaline rush is a response to fear; the endorphin rush from exertion is different, though the feeling is similar. There are only two things that people really fear: what happened in the past (depression), and what they believe will happen in the future (anxiety). In this very moment, there is no time to be afraid. We are alive in this moment, we can not change the past, and we can not control the future. So of what on earth is there to be afraid?
In this very instance, ask yourself these questions:
- What is going on?
- Where are you?
- What time is it?
It was amazing, but these three stupid questions were all it took for my life to take an entirely new meaning. What's going on? There's always something happening, there's always something going on; everything and everywhere, there is life happening all about us and we are simply one small part of that overall world; there is never nothing going on. Where am I? I'm right here; my body may be at my desk, or going through some rote activity, but I am right here, living and experiencing what is around me. What time is it? It's now; I can't change the past and I can't control the future; the only thing that matters is what's happening this moment.
Once you can see those same conclusions in your own way, you'll understand meditation. It's not some event, your mind doesn't need to be quieted. It just is quiet, and you just are experiencing life. The more amazing part? Harmony. The same silly concept everyone was prattling on about in zen groups and buddhist clubs since high school? It's the simplest thing on earth – care, but don't be consumed.
You don't need meditative techniques or tricks. Just let go. Be always in a meditative state and you won't need to clear your head; it simply will be clear.
I heard a story once:
A monk walks by the side of a river. From nowhere, a stone is thrown and strikes the monk in the side of the head and he collapses to the ground. A moment later, he gets up and without looking around or tending to his wound, he continues walking in the direction he was headed. A man who witnessed the whole thing runs after him and asks, "Why did you not try to find who threw the stone at you?"
The monk replied: "The stone is in the past."