From a talk given 12/14/10 Aharata Meditation Class
The essence of all meditation is the same – we choose a single meditation object, and focus upon that object. All meditation begins with choosing an object. The object is like our goal. It is what helps us know when we are on target and when we are off. It gives us perspective so we can see our thoughts and not be caught in them. It helps us to see the larger picture.
All major religions and wisdom traditions speak about being detached. What does this mean? Does it mean we must empty our entire lives so that we can be detached from all things? Not so, this teaching points to learning not to depend upon that which is constantly changing for happiness. That this is the cause of all our problems. If we forget this then we suffer.
How does meditation help us? It helps us to focus our minds steadily upon a single focus, and learn how we get distracted from achieving our goals. Ultimately the highest purpose of this is to focus upon God or the deepest Truth within us, and be able to penetrate all the way to the source without being distracted in all the moving colors, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and mental imaginings. To see what remains unchanging & true among all these transitory things. To see how deeply in this Inner Truth we can live our life without getting swept along in the continuous flow of the world.
Traditions speak of how Greed is the root of our suffering. Greed is also the cause of the idea that there is an I. It is the creator of all movement of “I want”, & “I move” either away or towards an idea that I’ve created. This is the essence of Greed, Hatred, and Delusion.
There is a continuous flow of change, in the world of the 6 senses, and the process of the mind. These things happen, they are natural in the conditioned material world. It is our greed that keeps us from seeing the Truth – our bundle of programmed reaction called the personality. You see, everything is just happening, its nature taking its course… EVERYTHING! The creation and destruction are all part of Nature. The greed / personality is what says things should be different, it says I like this and dont like that. And its OKAY for the personality to do that, this is its nature. But when we associate with any part of this our experience, we are caught in believing things should be different, and this ongoing eternal cycle of becoming.
Our attention has shifted from Realizing Truth, to another Purpose or desire. So that purpose becomes our new quest, that we will do BEFORE we reach PEACE… You see the Truth is uncreated, it is eternal, and it is immediate. Therefore if we seek Truth in anything created it immediately masks it. The Truth is to be realized inside ourselves as the source of our being here and now. Through our own efforts we focus upon realizing this, and step by step find this peace is more and more of our experience.
Its not through eliminating thought, disease, distraction or any sort of pleasure or pain that we realize Peace. These things will always be part of existence. A Master Teacher who realized this Truth for himself called the Buddha explained that the cause of this distraction and lack of contentment is Greed. So simply see how this greed is causing all sorts of problems in our lives. Greed isn’t the best word to translate. But the feeling is bundled up in – not seeing how this process works, continuing to chase or run away from something – therefore we are blindly moving here or there, never stop to see.
By practicing meditation we are walking the path of enlightenment, the path to the deepest truth & source of our being. All benefits that come from meditation are ultimately qualities of progress towards purpose. A healthy, happy life, is a natural outcome of deep wisdom.
3 Major Purposes:
We see the nature of the mind, jumping around from one thing to the next
We understand how the mind is a natural process, and by paying attention we learn how nature works
We see how we have been trained ourselves, and what our thought patterns are, how we interact with situations – more self aware
We see how it is not the content but the reaction that creates pain
We collect our minds to be focused upon a single object
We train our minds to be content resting with a single object
We feel more present, our energy is focused upon whatever we choose
We stop looking for happiness in unstable objects
We find contentment in stillness
We find the power in stillness
When we use our minds it is direct and single pointed
It can stay on a single object and be content
Other Benefits – qualities of Truth begin to shine through your very being
Inner Power, Strength, & confidence
Deeper and deeper awareness