We have invented so many different forms of escape that the whole purpose and meaning of Meditation is lost. If we are making an effort, if we are deliberately trying to concentrate, or going by some authority - then obviously we are sacrificing the freedom of mind and simply following something to reach nowhere.
Meditation is observation - to be aware - as such it does not require any cross-legged or lotus sitting or any incense or any music or a dark room or a candle or any absence or any presence…It can happen in your work place, even in a crowded train while traveling or at home - there is no fixed path to meditation - knowledge is never complete in any sphere - and as such anything which comes with guidance or authority… and tells us to make a conscious effort to meditate defeats the very purpose and meaning of meditation - or if you are making an effort to meditate you are not mediating - one cannot learn it from any scriptures or guide or advice or any form of authority - you cannot be within a box and think beyond it.
A mind which is meditating becomes absolutely quite -
quite to any form of provocation by knowledge or our thoughts or our preconceived ideas and experience - a meditating mind thus is totally beyond noise - it analyzes the various actions of the mind - the way we act, do something, the way we talk in a group or with someone, the way we think about others - our hate, our envy, our greed, our pains, our pleasures - and a silent mind can only be aware of such actions and how we act in life - so in effect the mind is very much active - but without the constant disturbance from knowledge - knowledge acquired yesterday. If you can find that stillness of mind where it can walk thru all our actions and feelings then we start meditating or become aware…
meditation is not analysis - for in analysis you need a reference.
When you follow any authority or guidance then you are constantly trying consciously to remain within the conformity of such rules - how can you have a free and silent mind ? This will only lead to noise - like when you concentrate on driving you are not aware of the journey. To go in for meditation is not like going into a trip - like a trance or a transcendental journey or any deep experience - then its just a form of escape
Meditation is like exploring the mind -
like when we explore the ocean - from depth to depth as we go down - we explore the many beauties - and finally after we have gone into great depth we forget the sense the depth or the measure of it- and then we see the beauty of it. This awareness has to come from within us and not thru the guidance or defined path. Meditation is a journey - but if you concentrate on the rules of making the journey then you will be bound by the limitation of such rules - and will never be able to reach the destination - rather there is no destination - its almost acting like a child in a forest discovering one flower after another - there is no direction, no method and no destination.
Its also a part of all our activity and where we hold on to our moral standards in all spheres of life.
But in today’s world we tell our kids about love and how much we love them and then we sent them to distant borders to kill people - even if as a soldier. All out thoughts are centered around us or our self - even when we observe a simple thing thought guides our perception. When we are truly able to shut off those preconceptions then we can really be aware. Meditation is difficult - it calls for a life of highest moral standards - not a discipline like following any fixed set of rules - it can be described as a freedom of mind - where the mind is free from jealousy, greed, hatred, envy and all the other bad things which leads to conflict.
A free mind can only guide you to be aware of all your actions and thoughts and to observe the complicacy of the human brain and how it acts.
Any advice which tells you to isolate yourself is thus wrong - you have to act inside your actions to truly be aware. As of now we live different lives - one life at home, one with friends and one in the workplace - we speak and act differently at all this places - we speak of love at home, we speak of peace at forums and in workplace we try to kill competition - funny indeed ! True Meditation is part of everyday existence not getting away from it or to chase something in isolation - those are all escapes!
Meditation demands intellect and a mature mind which can get rid from the knowledge as it constantly influences all our experiences - a mediating mind is a free mind which can touch on new horizons of thought.
Knowledge can lend only new directions for new sensations for some seekers but that is not meditation. It is not a way to seek happiness or pleasure - for thee are other ways to it - even you can simply buy it off the shelf… but again they come with sorrow and pain as they are product of knowledge. Meditation is in effect a way to complete freedom - where there is no observer with his bag of knowledge and there is no center, no choice and so no conflict- also in absence of observer - there is nothing to be observed and we truly become integral part of everything and perceive it in a totally different way. So it can happen anywhere, anytime, in any state and is a part of daily life.
If you are concentrating to certain rules and guides to have some kind of deep feeling or something then you are just playing with your find - and when you play music, burn incense or try to isolate yourself from the various problems and conflicts of surroundings for some ‘ vision’ - then it becomes an imaginary escape - you can as well buy a good DVD on some great love story, and maybe a bottle of wine and some good food to experience such things - it will sure help you to escape from the real world for sometime. It cannot be achieved in prayers which originates from self pity and chanting some nonsense words or controlling your breathing where you bind yourself and close your mind. When we think of meditation we think of controlling the body - the body has nothing to do with it - it is the mind which needs to be silent - as the mind with its notions, opinions, prejudices, judgment and opinions which arises from self-interest and our self-centered thinking.
The mind is a product of yesterday and can only think in terms of material pleasure and chase for more. Thought offers choice and conflict - but just a suppression of thought can only lead to more conflict - it can never seek new horizons as the mind itself remains locked in the past. A silent mind can be attentive and in that silence we can experience the freedom.
Imagine exploring an island for the first time - all alone - a beautiful beach of white sand ,
a few pebbles - and then you walk deeper among the tall trees - on the grass with light and shadow - new flowers blooming on both sides of the forest path - the smell of the soil with birdsong greeting you at every turn - a still lake with clouds reflecting on it - a gentle breeze and you feel all of it with all your being - you do not need any thought or any knowledge there - as the mind becomes completely silent you experience total bliss - you do not need any guidance or be isolated from your observation - you become a part of it.
This is meditation - to be aware - not to force your mind or running away from it - and there is no end or destination to it - you can start with one small step - just leaving your thoughts away. It is of much significance to understand our own self then to believe in something and closing our mind to truly understanding our own self and escape into some imagination.
There can be no authority, no directions no rules and no strictures for Meditation - its beyond rules, religion or any spiritual group or institution - only you can discover it yourself - its a wonderful feeling - a great journey and you can come across the most marvelous things in life.
veryheaven feature oct, 6th 2008 > www.writtenvoice.com
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