Saturday, March 24, 2007

Meditation

'Meditation is meaningless if it does not bring about a complete
transformation, if it does not purify your thought or alter for the better
your whole approach.' Because, 'True meditation helps you go beyond like and
dislike, craving and aversion, to awaken in you a state of dispassion.
Meditation which fails to develop equanimity is no meditation'. And those
who merely seek such meditation from some meditation center but return the
same as before, it is 'no more than sleep or unconsciousness'. It is like an
evildoer while harbouring evil inside, 'but outwardly at least he does no
harm while asleep'.

After giving these valuable (and many more) tips, Acharya Mahaprajna, in his
article 'Meaningful Meditation, Greater Understanding' (The Speaking Tree,
The Times of India, Bangalore, Feb. 20, 2007, p. 16) concludes by saying,
'The approach is all important. And inculcating the right approach, you must
go into what thought is and what transcends thought'.

The way he criticizes seeking meditation from some meditation centers,
without aiming for 'complete transformation,' is noteworthy. These
meditation centers are 'limited by time and space;' beware, those who seek
readymade and instant solutions through meditation, yoga etc. in some
commercial centers. Meditation is meaningless unless it is implemented in
practical life. Because 'equanimity' (stitap prajnata) comes from a stable
mind. When you are in a meditation center, as you are focused without much
outward disturbance, you may feel that finally you have attained it. But the
real testing ground is what you are when you began to rub shoulders with
people again.

But what exactly to meditate on comes to my mind when I read any article on
meditation. Considering the fickleness of our minds, giving some formulas in
the form of mantra, slogans, chants, etc., may discipline our brain for some
time, but the mind, as the center of our personality, needs to be trained by
reflection and analysis of our thoughts and works as often as possible to
asses our progress towards that transformation.* Because transformation is a
continuous process which involves many factors. Without considering these
important factors, mere meditation even with 'right approach' and going
'into what thought is and what transcends thought' won't help much. However,
as Acharya Mahaprajna says, one must take meditation seriously rather than
merely seeking it without aiming for transformation.

Dayanand,

*.in ordinary, normal conditions the mind is master of itself-perceives
justly, reasons soundly, acts rationally-behaves, in every respect, as a
sane mind should. The question is not, how will the mind act in the absence
or disturbance of the appropriate brain conditions? But, how does it act
when these appropriate conditions are present, and reason is securely seated
on its throne?- - James Orr, God's Image in Man, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1948, p. 76.

1 comment:

Bungi said...

I agree with the aspect that we can be 'transformed' when in the secure environment and even feel that we have changed for the better when we meditate in such environs. However, the effect of it is tested truly in the real world.

Also, the whole aspect of what to meditate on is something that often goes unnoticed when people talk about meditation.

Meditation is seen more as a quickfix to problems.

While there are people that use meditation without seeking for transformation, i also think people sometimes seek meditation for the 'fringe' benefits only - like destressing.