What is Meditation?
"This awareness of the so called outward and the inward movements of life, is meditation. The simultaneous awareness of the total movement is meditation. If I am aware of the nature of my reactions, and movement of my reactions, naturally that awareness will result in freedom from the reaction. I cannot stop the reaction, because the reactions have been rooted in the subconscious, in the unconscious. I cannot prevent, I cannot renounce, I cannot check them. But if I am aware, simultaneously of the objective challenge, the subjective reactions and the causes of these reactions, then it results in freedom. Then the momentum of reaction will not carry me over with it, but I will be ahead of my reactions. I will not be a victim of my reactions, but I will see them as I see the objective challenge. That for me is meditation. All inclusive attention while moving in life. Meditation does not involve any mental activity at all."
"Minimizing in daily life the frequency, the duration and the field of mental activity and living in silence, acting out of that silence is meditation. This meditation, this silence, has got a tremendous momentum of its own…You do not have to do a thing. You are not there: the ego, the mind, is not there. What happens in that silence? How does that silence move? It is something to be experimented with."
"Meditation is watching the movement of mind in relationship. If you try to force the mind into silence by withdrawing from activity, you will never understand what silence is…There is a great beauty when one discovers what silence in action is. Meditation is a new approach to total life, it does not demand of you any isolation."
"Meditation is a state of total freedom from movement, to be there, and then to move into time and space, words and speech, feelings and emotions, to move into them out of the totality, out of the wholeness."
"Freedom or liberation is not something to be cultivated. It is not different. It is not different from the bondage. One has to look at it, understand it and that very understanding explodes into freedom. They are not two different events, and we have to look at these not in isolation, not sitting somewhere in the corner of a room, but from morning till night to be in the state of watchfulness, in the state of observation, without condemning what is coming up or without accepting what is coming up. Just observing it, seeing the speed, the momentum, the electronic speed with which thoughts come, watching the intervals between the two thoughts."
"Meditation is something pertaining to the whole being and the whole life. Either you live in it or you do not live in it. In other words, it is related to everything physical and psychological… Thus, from the small area of mental activity, we have brought meditation to a vast field of consciousness, where it gets related to the way you sit or stand, the way you gesticulate or articulate throughout the day. Whether you want it or not, the inner state of your being gets expressed in your behaviour. This co-relation of meditation to the total way of living is the first requirement on the path of total transformation."
Excerpted from "Mutation of Mind" by Vimala Thakar.
Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the author's observation that awareness of the objective challenge and the subjective reactions and the causes of these reactions results in freedom, even if we are unable to renounce or prevent the reactions? Can you share a personal story of a time you experienced silence in action? What practice helps you bring meditation to a vast field of consciousness?
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