The first question:
Please explain how I can meditate over something without using my mind.
Meditation has nothing to do with mind; meditation simply means a state of no-mind. The functioning of the mind is the only disturbance in meditation. If you are trying to achieve meditation through mind you are bound to fail, doomed to fail. You are trying to achieve the impossible.
A Zen initiate was meditating for years and whenever he would come to his master, whatsoever experience he would bring to the master, the master would simply reject: “It is all nonsense. You go back and meditate again.”
One day the master came to the but of the disciple – he was sitting in a buddha posture. The master shook him and told him, “What are you doing here? If we needed stone buddhas we have many in the temple! Just by sitting like a stone buddha you will not attain to meditation. Do what I have been telling you to do. Just by stilling the body, your mind is not going to disappear, because it is through the mind that you are enforcing a certain discipline on the body. Anything done by the mind is going to strengthen the mind. It is a nourishment for the mind.”
A year passed. The master came again. The disciple was sitting almost in a kind of euphoria, enjoying the morning breeze and sun with closed eyes, thinking that he was meditating. The master took a brick and started rubbing it on a stone in front of the disciple. It was such a disturbance that finally the disciple had to shout, “What are you doing? Are you trying to drive me crazy?”
The master said, “I am trying to make a mirror out of this brick. If one goes on rubbing it enough I think it will become a mirror.”
The disciple laughed. He said, “I always suspected that you were a little mad – now it is proved! The brick can never become a mirror. You can go on rubbing it on the stone for lives together; the brick will remain a brick.”
The master said, “That shows some intelligence! Then what are you doing? For years you have been trying to make meditation out of the mind; it is like trying to make a mirror out of a brick.”
And the master threw the brick in the pond at the side of the tree the disciple was sitting under. The brick made a great splash in the pond, and the very sound of it was enough to do the miracle. Something awakened in the disciple. A sleep was broken, a dream was shattered: he became alert. For the first time he tasted something of meditation.