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Monday, August 16, 2010

About Dhyana - Meditation

Meditation happens naturally as it is during a deep concentration or one-pointedness that will lead us into a state of stillness or oneness. We cannot force meditation to happen. Just like we can't make the mind to go to sleep, but we can prepare the mind to allow it to fall asleep by itself naturally.
It is letting go the identification with the body and the mind. It is the perceptive thinking faculty going beyond the modification of the mind and standing as a witness towards the state of the mind itself. It is non-attachment and observing the perceived reality and/or the truth  of names and forms as it is. It is a process of slowing down the thought waves and stilling the modification of the mind, to quiet the restless state of the mind. It is a purification process. It is direct experience of non-duality of namelessness, formlessness and attributelessness. When the mind is quiet and still, the thinking faculty sees the truth of names and forms as it is.

Meditation can be happening continuously through out every moment whether the mind is awake or asleep. The mind is being in the present moment, aware of the thought activities from moment to moment and without grasping onto the selfless modification of the mind or the random thoughts.

For some people who have a subtler mind will also have a higher sensitivity in their senses reception, their minds might be able to perceive subtler sounds, colours, lights, smells, tastes, feelings and sensations while during meditation, in dreams, or even during the time when they are not meditating. Their minds are also more imaginative and creative. Some unusual thoughts will be arising and passing away on the surface of the conscious mind. This subtle state of mind is also impermanent.

If the mind is being disturbed by all these subtle names and forms and become peaceless in daily life then it's pointless for trying to go deeper into the mind. But if the mind is determined and unattached, being undisturbed by all these subtle names and forms and remain equanimous towards all the gross and subtle modification of the mind, then going deeper into the mind can help the mind to purify itself realizing selflessness, namelessness, formlessness and attributelessness.

This ability of perceiving subtle names and forms is neither dangerous nor superhuman ability. It can be a problem or an obstacle in the path towards self-realization if the practitioner doesn’t know how to not attach towards all these subtler phenomena and is identifying with whatever the mind perceives through the senses.

Any names and forms (colours, lights, shapes, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, thoughts, feelings and sensations) that the mind perceives or experiences, are still modification within the mind and comes from the mind. Beyond the perceptive thinking mind, there are no names, no forms, no shapes, no colours, no sights, no sounds, no smells, no tastes, no touch, no feelings, no sensations, no thoughts. There are no differences between gross forms and subtle forms because they are just different layers of names and forms that the mind perceives through the different levels of consciousness.

And thus whatever the mind experiences or perceives during meditation, there shouldn't be attachment and just stands as a witness towards all these phenomena of subtle colours, lights, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings and thoughts. These subtle names and forms arise from the subconsciousness when the mind stops generating reactions at the gross level, or when the mind is calmed and concentrated. They are the past accumulated memories, imaginations, desires, cravings, aversions, fear, worry, pleasant and unpleasant feelings/emotions, and all kinds of inputs that the mind received through the senses either wittingly and unwittingly every moment, whether the mind is awake, asleep (dreaming) or in deep sleep (dreamless).

There are lots of subtle names and forms that are always there arising and passing away, but the impure mind cannot perceive them in the gross level. After going through persistant regular sadhana of purifying the state of the mind, it will become more refine and subtle, where it begins to perceive certain subtle names and forms that it couldn’t perceive in the past before.

All these subtle phenomena are always there within and without our body. It is nothing special. Just by being able to perceive all these subtle names and forms cannot give liberation from birth and death or be free from suffering or unhappiness. Just like being able to stand on the head, or being very good at physical performances do not determine whether we will be in peace and are happy in life. That’s why no matter how incredible or extravagant are the subtle names and forms that the mind perceives or experiences while we practice intense yoga sadhana, or concentration and meditation, we need to know that it is just another play of the mind perception.

Simplicity, appreciation, gratitude, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, acceptance, patience, forgiveness, courage, self-control, self-independence, self-discipline, cheerfulness, positive thinking, loving kindness, purity of thoughts, actions and speech, non-attachment and letting go are the qualities that will bring us unconditional true happiness regardless of how is the situation and condition in our lives and in the world that we live in.

The truth of names and forms is there when the mind is quiet standing as a silent witness towards the perceived reality as it is without any egoistic attachment, identification and desire of craving and aversion. When there is unpleasantness or pain in the body or in the mind, just being aware of it without generating aversion and this unpleasantness or pain will pass away sooner or later. When there are good feelings or pleasant sensations in the body or in the mind, just being aware of it without generating craving and these good feelings and pleasant sensations will pass away sooner or later. when the mind is not being affected or determined by all these selfless changes, it will be at peace. Pain, decaying, weakening, aging and death is there as it is. Suffering exist when the mind generates aversion towards the truth of impermanence, and desires to runaway or to escape from the natural phenomena of selfless changes. If the mind respects the truth of impermanence being what it is, there is no suffering.

There’s no meaning if we tell ourselves and others that we would spend many hours practicing asana, pranayama, concentration and meditation everyday, but in daily life, we have no sufficient awareness, understanding or self-control towards the modification of our own mind, of countless actions and reactions, and have no peace, being disturbed by the mind perception of names and forms through the senses.

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