Posts tagged: meditation

Apr 27 2011

Whilst Meditation Helps You, Thoughtless Meditation Advances You!

It goes without saying – meditation is the most effective practice that the spiritual seekers can follow. Particularly, if the vehicle of their choice is that of self-enquiry.
No amount of studies, reading, pilgrimages, bhajans, etc. can replace the moments spent in meditation, reaching into the deepest regions of one’s beingness.
Said Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: “This knowledge that you are the manifest must be opened through meditation; you do not get it by listening to words.”
It was the Buddha who introduced Anapana sati, the meditation on in-and-out breathing. Now used by countless people, not only those involved in spiritual practices, it appears to have a certain disadvantage. Did you guess it? Well, you’re concentrating on your breath – arguably the most important part of your body apparatus, something that your spiritual practice aims to disown. Later, expect a practical tip that hopefully will raise your meditation to a new level…

And whilst there are many definitions of meditation, from the spiritual perspective this one, given by Nisargadatta Maharaj says it all: “What is meditation? Meditation is to reject all experiences, to be in an experienceless state.” What does it mean to be in an experienceless state?
Put simply, getting rid of all your thoughts – it is your mind that communicates its experiences to “you” using thoughts. As because “something happens always”, you’re constantly bombarded by the countless thoughts. This is the body-mind system letting you know that it is, and hence you are.

Nothing however could be further from the truth. Your natural state is the no-mind state; and the body doesn’t even warrant a mention, as in this state: the Absolute, you don’t even know that you are.
We all know that it is impossible to experience the Absolute. However, by emptying your mind totally, you can get close… And an empty mind means a still mind.
Said Zen Master Huang Po: “Were you now to practise keeping your minds motionless at all times, whether walking, standing, sitting or lying; concentrating entirely upon the goal of no thought-creation, no duality, no reliance on others and no attachments; just allowing all things to take their course the whole day long, as though you were too ill to bother; unknown to the world; innocent of any urge to be known or unknown to others; with your minds like blocks of stone that mend no holes – then all Dharmas would penetrate your understanding through and through.”
And for those looking for tangible reward, Huang Po adds: “Once every sort of mental process has ceased, not a particle of karma is formed. Then, even in this life, your minds and bodies become those of a being completely liberated.”

Yes, it is all about emptying the mind of any thoughts whatsoever. Easier said than done…
That’s why students of spirituality are often instructed to settle for the second best – acknowledge the thoughts as they come, but refuse to give any importance and dismiss them straight away.
Now, the practical tip. To help with my meditation, I use a little “trick” found quite accidentally; I call it “the leading edge time surfing.”
You see, being in the now you can assume one of these two “edges” of any given moment in time:
1.    you are sliding from now toward the past, or
2.    you are advancing toward the incoming wave of time – i.e. you’re standing at the leading edge.

In the latter position, you are anticipating the next unit (wave) of time and welcome it, with its total emptiness. Like gliding on the leading edge of the time wave, standing on your surfboard – the consciousness.
When you practice this for a while, your mind will always be empty of thoughts; with its only activity being the hardly noticeable anticipation of the next unit of time, and next, and next…
And because they are all empty (nothing has happened yet, for you’re looking into the immediate future), no thought can arise. There’s no “substance” for the thoughts to be form from. That’s all.

Using this technique, you can empty your mind even in the most mentally challenging circumstances.
And the question inevitably arises: will there be an end to meditation, will there be a time when it is no longer needed?
Nisargadatta Maharaj answers: “You must persist in meditation until you come to a stage when you feel there is no meditation. When the purpose of meditation is gained it will drop off naturally.”
Till then, make it habit. Finally, when you’re meditating on the meditator effortlessly and continually, you’re close to realizing THAT.