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Fourteen years ago, I went to study a Buddhist meditation called Vipassana.

A quiet ashram. Silent trees wet and dark in rain. A circular meditation hall. Lit lamps. There must be about fifty of us. This is the fourth day of noble silence. We’re all sitting, experiencing pleasure and pain by mere sitting; we’re supposed to find the samatha, the balance in mind.

To a visitor, we could have looked like fifty perfect Buddhas. Erect backs, crossed legs, and closed eyes. I don’t know about them. But beneath my closed eyes, I was rolling among naked female bodies. Most of that afternoon, I was working on details of unimaginable intricate tangled poses with how many bodies I don’t remember now πŸ™‚ Wow, what a Buddha!

meditThe next year, I sat again for another ten-day rigourous Vipassana camp. I must confess that my metaphysical trips got launched by these sessions. But I could not stick with the practice. There was no bliss. No inspiration. Vipassana might be working for many. But I was a lazy bum looking for Ananda, and not for the logic of nothingness.

MEDITATION Β 

Since then, a few have asked me about meditation.

Let me put it very simply to you. The problem with our meditation is that we set out to do it. To do it, I mean. It’s like ‘oh I’ve to meditate every morning, so I am going to sit to meditate, you know..’ πŸ™‚ This is like checking your files. Or like chopping vegetables. Nothing more.

Commonly, most of us believe meditation is a clever act of arresting thoughts. Another misunderstanding is that meditation is concentration. Yet other bunch believes and even practices meditation to awaken themselves. The last and the most revered group among us meditate for ‘enlightenment’.

Let’s simply say that we got it all messed up.

One: enlightenment need not necessarily come from what is commonly believed as meditation. “Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes. The light is in them now. Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all.“*

Two: meditation is not necessary to awaken yourself. You can ‘awaken’ even while in a toilet.

Three: Meditation is not a daily exercise of struggles to not to think. Neither is it focussing of mind. Nor it is watching your thoughts.

The light came with you from your native home, and stayed with you because it is your own. It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your Source.”* This simply promises that you have the light in you. You don’t need to seek it with your ‘meditations’.

We try to ‘get away from the world’, to seek through what we call meditation. This is a complex error. “This light can not be lost. Why wait to find it in the future, or believe it has been lost already, or was never there?”*

LEAVING THEM ALONE

zenHere’s what I’ve found fitting for me: thoughts are neither to be watched or analysed. Thoughts are to be simply left alone.

Please listen to Jan Frazier:

>>”Thinking happens. It will probably always happen β€” on its own, as it were. The option is not ‘think versus decline to think’. The option is (to) see that thought is occurring…. Learn to see thinking as a phenomenon, just that. To stay outside of it and just let it do its thing, without your getting into the ring with it. You don’t have to humour every thought.”

>>NowΒ Frazier nails it perfectly: “The mind thinks up a thought, and the ego invests it with reality. That’s what we do. But there’s nothing that says it has to be that way. The mind could think up a thought and you could just leave well enough alone, declining to take that next step.”

When I tried this, the result was blissful. I felt thoughts filling. I let them fill up on one side. Thoughts are not mine! They are just a phenomena. Why the heck should I be relating to them? Why should you feel responsible for ‘your’ thoughts? For they are as much as yours as nobody’s. The more you claim responsibility for your thoughts, the more they will act like yours. So I strolled on another side never minding and I felt I was smiling for no reason then. A smile that rose out of my immediate deep peace. When I left the thoughts free to roam, I was also left free. I strolled free in my head, smiling.

Buddha helped us to use the body to get into mind. Then the thought was used to bring over thoughtlessness. Most of us found this to be too tricky. Thought doesn’t kill thoughts. Disowning does.

You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment.”* This is it. By stopping our associations with the thoughts that happen in us, we are ending their grip on us. Thus we cease to judge whoever and whatever surround us. This practice, we may slowly and naturally take outside our meditation sessions into our daily lives.

ENDING THE GUILT GAMES

My teenager son knocks on the door. ‘Appa, can I borrow your umbrella?’ I simply say from behind the shut door that I don’t have one. He leaves home. In a little while it rains. And I look for him from the balcony feeling bad. It took me a few moments to realise now this is my ego’s guilt game. Then I realise: these guilt thoughts are a ploy too. It serves none in anyway. Rather it destroys everyone, every moment.

Each time a worry hits you. Stop for a second. A worry is a thought. The thought isn’t yours. Voila! You are free. To me, this is perfect meditation. No watching. No focussing. No balancing. Just disowning your thoughts. Once you disown them, it will be easier to forgive them. And once you forgive them, they cease to reoccur.

This is a perfect ‘disinvestment’ plan for me. Try and see if it works for you.

As for the umbrella, better buy one. πŸ˜‰

 

 

*[All starred quotes are from *A Course in Miracles* ]

{ This piece was inspired by Michael Dawson’s ACFIP newsletter article, ‘Can We Stop Thinking?’ }

 

KNOW JAN FRAZIER }

Jan