Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Contemplation of the Mind

Contemplation of the Mind
By
SAYADAW U JOTIKA

In all human activities, this meditation practice is the most important. (But note that when we say ‘without thinking about it’ we don’t mean absent minded.)

Let’s see why we don’t even use noting:

For example when we hear something and try to label: This is a ‘dog bark.’ To come to this conclusion we need a very complicated process in the mind.

First you hear the sound and recall from the past similar sounds that you heard, you put the two together, then the mind works very fast like a computer.

Recognises: This is the same as that, and then you recall what it was called in the past, and you remember that, that was a dog barking in the past and you bring that past to the present: This sound is a ‘dog barking’.

You go through four different processes, four steps, in order to get to that.
In this meditation you stop at the first step, no more.

Even to name something you go through many-many steps like when we hear one word, if the sound is one syllable you go four full steps, if it has two syllables we go though more than four, maybe six or eight sometimes and if the sound has three or four syllables we have to go through many-many steps to get to the conclusion. The mind works very fast very hard. In this meditation practice we stop all that process we stay with the first step. That simple.
But it’s not easy to do that because we have a habit of going through the whole process.
But as I said before if you practise it, you don’t find it very difficult either.

It is just the act of being, when you see there is just ‘seeing’ when you hear there is just ‘hearing’ when you have any sensations in the body, there is just sensations, when you taste there is just ‘tasting’ when you smell there is just ‘smelling’, when you think there is just ‘thinking.’
Not even ‘I’ experiencing that. Because that ‘I’ can make things become very complicated. Of all human activity, body and mind, this is the simplest.

The act of just ‘being’ in all it’s simplicity and naturalness with nothing added at all.
That is the most important point: nothing added at all.

It’s just the experience of simple ‘being’, experience of simple process. So in practicing this meditation do not expect anything to happen.

That is also another important thing.

Especially for those of you who have been meditating for quite a while, a long time and who have had good experiences before; whenever they meditate again they always want to get to that state as quickly as possible. They expect that.

‘I have been into that peaceful state before. Now I am going to sit and get there as quickly as possible’. The harder we try the harder it becomes. So don’t try, don’t expect. This is another paradox.

If you really don’t try anything at all you will find that you are there.
To be as simple as possible — nothing added — sit as comfortable as possible, without overlapping anything.

The most important thing is to be balanced and to be at ease. If you can sit full lotus it’s ok. I used to sit like that before but I don’t try it any more. It’s not necessary.


(From - Buddhist Meditation - Contemplation of the Mind)


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