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What is Meditation?

--by Vimala Thakar (Sep 26, 2016)


"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.

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On Oct 5, 2016 madhur wrote:

A summary from the circle of sharing of 3 of us is as follows: Meditation is about being aware of our own selves, our mind and bodies, what is happening & why and what is our thought process behind it all. 'Vipassana' technique and retreat are awesome , life changing experience in this regard. Yoga also helps to remain aware of breadth and silent within while doing actions on outside. Experiencing that silence is so wonderful and needs an initial effort to reach that state and then happens once in a while.  Being aware while eating food , as per naturopathy is another technique to practice awareness and also have a better digestion. I is difficult initially but very rewarding practice of mindfulness. A story was shared tha during a meditation retreat , 'sambhar' was so watery day on day that this lady got extremely angry and wanted to slam the plate. However, she was able to calm her mind in couple of minutes with meditative practice and had completely accepted the food  See full.

A summary from the circle of sharing of 3 of us is as follows:

Meditation is about being aware of our own selves, our mind and bodies, what is happening & why and what is our thought process behind it all. 'Vipassana' technique and retreat are awesome , life changing experience in this regard. Yoga also helps to remain aware of breadth and silent within while doing actions on outside. Experiencing that silence is so wonderful and needs an initial effort to reach that state and then happens once in a while. 
Being aware while eating food , as per naturopathy is another technique to practice awareness and also have a better digestion. I is difficult initially but very rewarding practice of mindfulness.
A story was shared tha during a meditation retreat , 'sambhar' was so watery day on day that this lady got extremely angry and wanted to slam the plate. However, she was able to calm her mind in couple of minutes with meditative practice and had completely accepted the food along with an awareness of her anger by the time lunch was over.
Another session of sharing wisdom, loved it....
 

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On Sep 27, 2016 Michael wrote:

What the author seems to be talking about is having the mindfulness of a third person view in your daily life.  And to be mindful to control to your actions instead of just being reactive.  This also reminds me of the Buddha - How to Get Clear Water story: Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.” The disciple walked up to the lake.   When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.” After abou  See full.

What the author seems to be talking about is having the mindfulness of a third person view in your daily life.  And to be mindful to control to your actions instead of just being reactive.  This also reminds me of the Buddha - How to Get Clear Water story:

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.” The disciple walked up to the lake.
 
When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.” After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake.This time too he found that the lake was muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same.
 
After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha. Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said,” See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be…. and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water. Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

Source: https://1000petals.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/one-buddhas-story-how-to-get-clear-water/

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On Sep 27, 2016 Barbara Keller wrote:

What the author refers to; I notice in moments when I see and hear myself in interaction with others without judgment or comparison of the inner voices within me. Without feeling the need to push or pull or change the situation/interaction in a given direction. I just observe all reactions, with me being able to stay calm, not identified with the situation. It is amazing how much limiting beliefs, assumptions and other thoughts have shown themselves. It made me so much more aware of the twists and turns of my inner voices of fear, judgment, anger.  Thank you for sharing your article. With kind regards, Barbara Keller 



On Sep 26, 2016 Sunil,Bangalore wrote:

CAN WE PLEASE DEMYSTIFY MEDITATION SO SIMPLE FOR EVERYBODY? ATTENTION AT THE MIDDLE OF BOTH THE EYES(THIRD EYE/TENTH DOOR..) ON THE FORHEAD.DETACH FROM THE PLEASURES OF THE WORLD NOT BY SUPPRESSION OR FORCE BUT BY ATTACHING TO THE SUPERIOR/SUBLIME PLEASURES OF OUR LIFE FORCE BREATH CONNECTED TO THE SOUL FULL OF NATURAL LOVE-POWER-PEACE-CONTENTMENT.EARNEST-REGULAR PRACTICE WITH THIS FIRM UNDERSTANDING IS REALLY EXPERIENCING MEDITATION. CHEERS,


On Sep 26, 2016 Abhishek wrote:

 I love the link between meditation and freedom - indeed, ever-present watchful awareness seems to be a pathway to having atleast some degree of choice in our reactions and responses.

For me, meditation from sitting to carrying it with me through the day has been a practice....it leads to some pauses and silences at times that others may wonder about, but it is typically me checking in with my body, breath and location of where I really am in the moment.....

Easier said then done of course, but actions springing from inner states, and meditation / awareness as a way of cleansing that inner state means that access to the way I act lies in the space of awareness



On Sep 25, 2016 david doane wrote:

The awareness of which the author writes I think of as mindfulness.  For me, mindfulness is a detached observance of feelings and actions as they are occurring while I am involved in a situation.  Mindfulness is a kind of being in the world but not of it.  I think of meditation as my stopping or at least slowing down my mental activity by being silently aware of my internal experience in the moment as it/I am happening, holding on to nothing.  I think of meditation as silent internal awareness, and mindfulness as silent observing of my external behavior.  Both ultimately result in more freedom.  For me, in awareness or mindfulness I am observing my behavior and reactions, and my being detached gives me the freedom to make choices about if and how I will behavior including if and how I express my internal reaction.   A personal example is when I have felt angry, in being aware or mindful of that reaction I can choose to not express it in any conscious  See full.

The awareness of which the author writes I think of as mindfulness.  For me, mindfulness is a detached observance of feelings and actions as they are occurring while I am involved in a situation.  Mindfulness is a kind of being in the world but not of it.  I think of meditation as my stopping or at least slowing down my mental activity by being silently aware of my internal experience in the moment as it/I am happening, holding on to nothing.  I think of meditation as silent internal awareness, and mindfulness as silent observing of my external behavior.  Both ultimately result in more freedom.  For me, in awareness or mindfulness I am observing my behavior and reactions, and my being detached gives me the freedom to make choices about if and how I will behavior including if and how I express my internal reaction.   A personal example is when I have felt angry, in being aware or mindful of that reaction I can choose to not express it in any conscious way.  Meditation  has helped me be less angry and more compassionate overall.  The practice of meditation has helped me bring mindfulness to the vast field of consciousness.  (I assume you mean "field of consciousness" and not "fiend of consciousness," which is an interesting slip.

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