Origin of Meditation – Why Meditate?

Origin of Meditation – Why Meditate?

Meditation is an ancient science that holds the key to finding the real you and figuring out this mystery called “Life”. Really, there is way more to life than what we’re experiencing.

In this article, Avi explains, in great detail, the mystery of meditation and how it is imperative that we learn how to build our lives around a meditative and mindful lifestyle. It’s not complicated; we’ve just got to be willing to listen and learn.

The Science of Meditation

Meditation marks the beginning of a new quest in man to know himself. Meditation is the science of knowing oneself. It is a systematic way of using our own consciousness, our own awareness, to understand the phenomenon of life that is happening right here and right now. The science is so pure that it does not use any external instruments; it does not use any external objects, and it is not about going somewhere. It is not about the external reality at all.

As far as meditation is concerned, the universe is the individual. If there is space somewhere in the universe, that space is within the individual. If there is air in the universe, it is within the individual. If there is matter, it’s within the individual. If there is gravity, it’s felt by the individual. There is absolutely nothing that exists in the universe that is not experienced by the individual. Light, darkness, solid, liquid, good, bad; everything is experienced and perceived by the individual.

Meditation is the science of knowing what is this perception, and why are we perceiving the world the way we are perceiving it?  Naturally, just like experiencing the benefits of knowledge, when we know more about something, we can use it better. It’s the same with meditation. Meditation gives us the keys to unlock the doors of our minds and bodies.

We have a body and we have a mind, but the mystery of how they function is hidden behind these closed doors. We have to explore our inner space to know how we function; the connection between the simplest of things. What is the connection between my desire and my thoughts? What is the connection between a thought and my body? Who leads who? Who is the master? Who is the servant? What is control? Where do I get control from?

Is Society Sucking the Life out of You

Now, anything you want to accomplish, even in the worldly sense, if you want to attain to any kind of success, any kind of life that you are desiring, you need to direct this mechanism, the mind and the body, in a particular direction. How would you be able to do it when you’re not sure about how it actually functions? Unlike all other systems of knowledge that are simply external, meditation is knowledge one acquires by experience. We know the difference between information, knowledge, and wisdom.

Information is available everywhere.  A 20-year old can read a few books and he can feel that he knows the entire world. When it comes to understanding life, dealing with failures and negative emotions, unless that individual has gone through experiences where he has fallen down and got up, where life has knocked him down several times and he has learned how to pick himself up, he has not developed his emotional strength at all. He simply has intellectual strength which is useful only in times of absolute peace and calm.

Now, when we talk about education, society, politics, religion; none of this is created for the individual. Everything is created to create a straw to suck the juice out of the individual. Everything is a straw. You go to school, you go to college, you go to work, you get into anything that is created by the social system. More than you getting something out of it, your energies are drained from it. Only a few individuals can push through all these experiences and realize very quickly that this whole system is there for selfish purposes.

The moment an individual figures this out, then he would learn how to draw from other individuals. Ninety-nine percent of the population of the world is living in darkness; absolute darkness. We don’t know why we are here, we don’t know what is the purpose of education, we don’t know what is the purpose of our government, we don’t know who is there to help, or who is there to hurt. We are living in total darkness. Meditation is the light that one can use to illuminate, firstly, his life. To understand how somebody else is taking advantage of his mind and body and how somebody else is taking advantage of his ignorance.

Questioning the Education System

If you are being used, the worst thing is to not know it. Just simply live and die in that system where you are used thoroughly and discarded. The second-worst thing is to know it and not do anything about it. What you need to know is that this is the purpose of the system.

What subjects did I study in my school? What were the benefits of these subjects? How much am I using these subjects for my personal happiness? Now, was there even a consideration about my personal happiness and my personal wellbeing, or was it just about trying to fit me into a system? Does this system even look at me like a human being or does it look at me like a resource?

See, the world is still a jungle. It is still a place where the strong feed upon the weak. It is still the same. We have moved from the rawness of physicality to a more intellectual jungle, but even here it’s the same. It’s a strong mind that preys upon the weaker mind. The weaker mind is always an ignorant mind.

Every individual who comes into this world has to first face the demons of these strong minds. They’ve created the system; they’ve already set the path. To question and understand, if that is the path, if that is the way that can lead to my happiness, if that is the path to my personal salvation and liberation, then meditation is not required. We all know; we have taken those paths. All of us have been a part of the system.

How did we lose Meditation?

Most of us have been educated through the formal system and we have worked our entire lives in it. What have we gained at the end of it? In fact, we have become slaves to the system. Society is our making. The systems are our making. Everything exists because this individual is searching for some happiness; this individual is searching for some peace. If this individual is forgotten, then what system are we talking about? What society are we talking about? There’s no meaning in any of this.

In all this, in the entire intellectual endeavor of man, there is no mention of meditation. In the formal education system there is no mention of meditation. It just baffles me. When you think about it, meditation is the only tool that you can give an individual guidance and say, “Here is the key to know yourself.” It’s not one person’s ideology that can transform you. The key that you’re looking for is the ability to explore and experiment with your life.

To say that one book–whether it’s the Bible, or the Gita, or the Koran, is the answer for all your life’s questions is absolutely ridiculous. If you actually analyze those books, they actually talked about something within us and finding a way to it. In fact, those books actually talk about how you should not attach yourself to those teachings. You should learn from it but use your own light. I mean, which religious teacher has not spoken about finding your own light, finding your own source of wisdom?

Buddha himself says, “Don’t follow me, don’t accept everything that I’m saying, unless it falls into your consciousness and unless you can reason it and understand it fully. Don’t believe anything people say, including me.” This was his message, but the Buddhist message is totally different. “Follow everything Buddha says, don’t use your brain, just follow everything.” I’m not condemning religion but I’m just saying that the true purpose of religion has become way too diluted.

This was the same message of Jesus, “You are the light. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” But the message of Christians is “The Kingdom of Heaven is with Jesus. He’s the Savior.” He lived and died teaching,“You are your Savior.” We are clinging to one idea, that he’s the Savior.

Breaking the Shackles of our Minds

Amidst all of these things, we are completely trapped in our ignorance. We don’t know who we are. To know who we are requires observation, clarity, and clarity of perception. It requires the ability to push away all the unwanted things that are there in our mind, and to see life for what it is. At the end of the day, life is what you make of it. Life is your definition. If you want to spend the rest of your life struggling and suffering, it is your own choosing.

We have given permission for someone to put on the shackles that bind us. Those shackles can have nice beautiful names: Education, society, religion, whatever they might be. When we connect to individuals, it’s a totally different experience. With individuals, we can feel love and compassion. Overall, as a society, everything simply remains an idea.

Look at the way we talk about eradication of poverty. What are you talking about? I mean how do you eradicate poverty? You have to talk about how you are going to transform that one individual’s life. Politicians talk about eradicating poverty, and getting people out of poverty all the time. How would you be able to do it when you don’t give that individual the key? You don’t need to bring anybody out of poverty. You don’t need to bring anybody out of darkness. Just tell them the Truth. That’s all. Meditation is the Truth.

For me personally, it is the Truth. It has been the Truth that has made all the difference. Here is the key: Sitting quiet and watching your breath. Meditation really cannot begin with a very casual purpose. You will never have the intensity or the courage or the willpower to pursue meditation if you don’t really see how much you need it.

If knowledge is power, without meditation we are totally powerless; we have zero power–zero! We are simply living somebody else’s dreams, desires, and ideologies. We are living in the past. If we are to live in the present, then we need to acquire the knowledge: Knowledge of the self, knowledge of the body, and knowledge of the mind. That’s what meditation is. Beyond this, how it works is all a deep process.

Walking the path of Meditation

As you begin to walk the path, as you begin to inquire, start questioning, start learning, start reading, start exploring, and start finding people who can teach you meditation. Don’t worry too much about what meditation is, because when you ask the questions, “What are the benefits of meditation? What is meditation?” your mind is actually waiting for an answer that it doesn’t like so that it can say, “Okay, it will not work for me, I don’t need any benefits.”

People have been talking about meditation since the beginning of time. Somewhere I see a common connection. Every culture has spoken about meditation: “What is this thing, let me give it a try.” Who cares about benefits? May be that word itself comes from some external purpose. For me there is really no benefit. It is about a deeper experience of life. Maybe the purpose of meditation is not to reach somewhere, but to be in meditation; to simply sit quiet, take a break, rest, relax, and experience life. Maybe meditation is just a way of saying, “I am going to stop running and I’m going to experience life at least for that one hour or at least for those couple of hours.”

Again, we should not bring in the mind in terms of, “What is the purpose of meditation? Will it help me to get a job? Will it help me to pay my bills?” You’re asking the wrong questions. Meditation will give you a lot more than just helping you to survive. It will teach you what life is.

As of now, we are crawling on the floor like snails carrying the shells that we call our education, our knowledge. That shell is useful though, it protects us when there is danger. You can just go inside it. Meditation is a process that will help you develop wings. That snail that is crawling on the floor will someday be able to fly. That’s what meditation is. Once you decide to fly, you don’t need that burden. You can let go of all that and move into a totally different way of experiencing.

We are living in a place where we need a lot of protection, so that’s why we have created the mechanism of the mind.  Our mind does not even allow us to rest for five minutes. Our mind is the shell. It says, “You cannot sit naked.” When you sit quiet, the mind makes you feel like you’re naked. You have to constantly be fighting with the mind, and that’s the protection, that’s the shell.

Once you realize that you’re not that snail, you can fly. You have wings. Somehow you have tucked those wings in. To know that you have wings, you need meditation. So, trying to explain to a snail what it is to fly, is stupidity. It’s ridiculous. If I were to tell you that these are the benefits of meditation, the snail would say, “I don’t even need it. I’m already perfectly fine.” If I were to tell that snail, “See, you can jump from that tree to this tree,” the snail will say, “Why? I don’t have to jump. I’ll slowly climb up this tree and then I’ll move to that tree somehow.”

What’s going on in my Mind?

It’s the same way. Unless you meditate you will not know the uses of meditation. Unless you explore your inner life and see the kind of treasures that are hidden within you, will not know the use of them. When you dig deeper and you find a diamond, that is when you will think, “Oh, what can I do with this?” As of now, you’re not missing the diamond. You don’t need it because you’ve created a way of life in which everything is just going about. To know, to even know how deep we are in darkness, we need meditation.

I have tried to explain meditation in as many ways as possible, but really, it’s impossible to explain the benefits of meditation unless you have tasted it. Unless you have gone through it, it is impossible to know. At the most basic level, meditation helps you to understand your thought process. It helps you to gain control over your thoughts.

As of now, your thoughts control you. Meditation reverses that process: That’s the first benefit. Then as you go deeper into it, meditation will help you to understand your emotions, which are the foundation of all your thoughts. By being aware of your emotional states you can have 100% control over how you act: Somebody else cannot make you angry, and somebody else cannot make you frustrated, once you know that it is your own emotions that are responsible for all the chaos and confusion. Once you can get to that level of understanding, then you have much better control over your life, and much better control over your present and future.

Success in Meditation = Success in Life

When you go one layer deeper, you can even reduce the physical pain and stress of the body. You can experience deeper states of bliss. Bliss cannot be explained. Bliss is not happiness. Bliss is a deep state of feeling connected with yourself, with life, and with existence. Only when you experience it will you know. Beyond that, there are a hundred more things that you can experience. They are all things that cannot be put in words. Somewhere, you’ve got to begin.

So, instead of worrying too much about the benefits, just dive in. Believe in yourself that you can understand meditation, that you can figure it out. It might take some time, but don’t give up.

If you succeed in meditation, you succeed in everything. If you fail in meditation, then life is an absolute uncertainty. It will always be uncertain. Meditation is the last struggle. The only struggle. If you are able to struggle and understand what meditation is, from different perspectives, from different angles, to use your mind, your creativity, and your wisdom; if you’re able to get the hang of it and you get one drop of the actual taste of meditation, you will know for sure that this is what you need.

You need that one glimpse, that one absolute understanding, that, “Yes, meditation is relaxing me, it’s relaxing my mind.” You have to be very scientific in understanding it. You cannot be prejudiced. You cannot be partial. When you are very honest you can clearly see how it is benefiting you. Then, nobody has to tell you how to meditate or what are the benefits. You just keep on figuring out different ways of transforming every experience of life into meditation. What you are looking for is a moment of decision, a moment of commitment, a moment of courage, to say, “I want to give this a try.”

Once you experience what meditation offers you, then you will know the benefits. You will know there’s so much more to meditation than just what I’m seeking from it. What meditation offers you is much beyond, and it’s something that you cannot even ask for. You don’t even know that what you’re asking for is coming from your mind. What meditation gives you comes from existence. To even know what to ask existence you’ve got to be in a certain state. That’s why you need meditation.

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In Search of Love

In Search of Love

The invisible thread that connects us to everything, and everything else to us, is love. There is no meaning and purpose to life without love and yet how many of us really understand the real meaning of the word love. Love is unfortunately mistaken for so many other emotions that have absolutely nothing to do with it. Love is not just another emotion; it is a transcendental feeling of connectedness. Love has to be the language of the universe.

We need love because it is the only way we can make any sense of this experiential dreamlike state called life.  Without love, we are just wandering spirits of the wilderness of life, moving without any meaning or purpose, motivated by a few worldly purposes we have picked up along the way. Love is important because it is what we are searching for. Without love, life is simply pointless.

Now, what exactly is love? How can we be sure that what we have found or what we are looking for is love and not just another emotion? The first thing to understand about love is that it does not stand independently; there is no such thing as an objective love that is independent of you. Love is a difficult thing to find because its most important part is hidden within you; what you are searching for on the outside is simply a reflection of what you already know within you. The starting point of your search for love is always you.

When we forget ourselves in our pursuit of love, we miss the most important ingredient that makes love possible – Us. The first step in finding real love is diving deep into the recesses of our mind and heart to know who we are. It is a continuous process; the more we know ourselves the easier it is to find love. This might sound a little strange, but it is a fact. The one who knows himself/herself better has the best possible chance of finding true love.

Remember, there is no such thing as “The Love” there is only “Your Love”; there is only your definition of love. If you cannot define what exactly love is to you, you will never be able to find it. This is probably why most people keep searching for love all their lives, never to find it. For most, life is an endless pursuit of love because they have not made a sincere attempt to know themselves.

This is why there is such a deep connection between love and spirituality. The more spiritual we are, the more capable we are of finding true love. If love is all that we are searching for, then spirituality is simply a way of looking deeper within us to understand the true nature of this love. There is only one place where love finds its perfect match; when it is found within you.

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Are you Emotionally Intelligent?

Are you Emotionally Intelligent?

When we talk about emotional intelligence, we’re talking about a higher form of intelligence. It is not only higher when compared to other animals, it also has a hierarchy within the human race itself. Most people actually don’t exercise this ability to watch their emotions and direct them in a certain way. When you are in control of your emotions, when you are observing your emotions, when you can direct your emotions in a certain direction, you can see the impact of emotions on your life.

Emotions are the glue that binds two thought processes together. Two thoughts have no relationship with each other except through some emotion. If you take away emotion, then two thoughts are simply random thoughts. If you don’t connect the clouds and the rain with the body, there is really no emotional connection at all.

All these are random processes: Someone is mowing, a flower is blooming, a bird is singing somewhere; life is happening all around us. If you were to take away the emotional glue that connects you to this process, everything is simply a momentary process: There’s no life here. Life is a connection. If you take away connection, then it’s just a painting with no meaning. That’s what life is: It’s colorful, it’s changing, it’s a three-dimensional painting and everyone is painting, but there is no connection to the painting, and there’s no relationship to the painting.

Emotion is what binds everything. Emotion is what gives us meaning. Emotion is what helps us to reflect on our place in this whole scheme of things. Most people don’t even know that they have all these emotions. Most of us think that We are victims of our emotions; we don’t have any control over our emotions. When anger takes over us, we simply have to react in an angry manner. We don’t have the choice to stop that anger. Emotional intelligence is the power to exercise your choice to stop an emotion and channel it in any direction you want.

This is not a totally alien concept, because a lot of us actually know what this is. Some of us actually use it but a lot of us know what it is. A situation happens, you get angry, and immediately some other force subsides that anger; it helps you to control that anger, and immediately a sort of intelligence comes in–a sort of thought process comes in–where you say, “Oh, I’m getting angry. Why am I getting angry?”

The moment you start interpreting your emotions, you are choosing to be intelligent. Because emotion is a force, it just happened to you. When you are able to pause that emotion, when you are able to say, “Now I’m getting angry, now I need to do something about it,” or “I want to see why this is happening.” Whatever it is that you do with that moment of anger (except for totally bursting out in anger) is a sign of emotional intelligence. When you burst out in anger without exercising any control over it, that is the sign of lack of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is a fancy term we use, as if it is something totally separate; as if it is something that we need to acquire. It is within us. We are all emotional creatures and we think we are right. We actually think that logic and reasoning and systematic approach is our whole life, but in reality it isn’t. In reality our life is shaped by our emotions. Knowing how to direct these emotions in a certain direction is emotional intelligence. 

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Mind & Sleep

Mind & Sleep

All of us at some point in time have had trouble sleeping. No matter what we do, the body wants to sleep, but the mind says, “No way!” Why does this happen?  Sleep is our birthright!

Sleep doesn’t just happen (or not happen) during the night. How you sleep is affected by what goes on during the day. If your day involves constant thinking, jumping from one thing to another without any rest, then guess what? That’s going to continue into the night.

We need to understand that life has no upper and lower limits. We can work ourselves to death, we can think ourselves to death and we don’t realize it. We think that, “Oh, it’s just thinking; it’s wonderful, it’s nice,” but you can go crazy, you can go mad just by thinking. There’s really no upper limit since the mind is not a limited phenomenon. It’s only the body that is limited; the mind is totally free to imagine whatever it wants to imagine. It can go deeper and deeper into layers and layers of thinking where you can get totally trapped.

Our minds are like the engine of a car that we never shut off. We leave it running continuously, day after day, year after year, letting it just go crazy with thoughts. We need to learn how to shut the engine off when we’re not using it so we can get some rest! The way to do this is to incorporate “conscious rest” into our daily routines.  Conscious rest is simply to sit quietly and watch your breath. Each hour, if possible, sit for 10 minutes and just watch your breath. When a thought comes into your mind, just let it go; don’t entertain it. The monotony of watching the breath can magically keep thoughts at bay because your mind can only handle one thing at a time; if you’ve got it tied up watching the breath, then there’s no room for any imaginary trips of horror into the future or depressing dramas from the past.

This is going to seem impossible at first, because the mind has never been approached like this–it’s had free rein to think whatever it wants, whenever it wants. To gain control, you’ve got to be persistent. Just think: If you work for 8 hours per day and are able to sit 5 or 6 times during the day (and a little after work as well) and practice watching the breath, after a week or so you’ll start getting the hang of it. Then, the next time you lay down to sleep and your mind says, “I’m going off on a tangent now,” you can say, “No way–I’m watching the breath. You be still.”

And sleep will come.

           

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Slow Down

Slow Down

Life is not all about how far we go, how many things we do, or how much we achieve; life is simply a measure of how deeply we live. This is why there are as many ways of living as there are people on this planet. There is no one right way of living and there certainly is no one definition of life.

Rarely do we talk about the experience of being in the moment. Most of the time we are so busy skimming off the surface of life, darting from one point to another, we simply forget that there is enormous depth to the present moment. The present moment is a single moment only from the point of view of the past and the future. From the point of view of the present, this moment is eternity. It has a depth beyond comprehension.

Our fears, worries and anxieties are simply a result of not knowing how to experience the depth of the present moment where life is brimming with joy and completeness. Happiness is not an experience; it is simply the depth of our being. The deeper we are able to get to the depths of our being, the happier we will be.

One of the easiest ways to reach the depths of the present moment is by learning to slow down. Yes, the simple act of slowing down tremendously increases our ability to experience the present moment. Just a conscious choice to slow down will make an ocean of difference as to how we perceive and experience life. Slowing down doesn’t mean that your life has slowed down; slowing down means you are more aware of and alert to what is happening around you.

Just reflect on this for a moment; aren’t all our daily frustrations a result of our mind racing fast, hop-skipping from one thought to another, not knowing how to slow down, pause or stop? We know this from experience; the faster our thought process is, the more agitated and disturbed we become. There is a direct correlation between speed of thought and stress, isn’t there?

Contrary to the understanding that slowing down will not allow you to complete important tasks in time, slowing down, in fact, increases your ability to complete your tasks in time. In the name of finishing something fast, more often than not, we make a lot of mistakes which make it more difficult to finish the task in time. Slowing down and doing things more consciously will not only add more meaning and depth to your life, it will also help you to avoid unnecessary mistakes, avoid doing things again and again, and you will be able to enjoy life as it comes, moment-by-moment.

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The Secret of Inspiration

The Secret of Inspiration

Why is it difficult to stay inspired and motivated all the time? What is it in the nature of life that makes it so hard to keep our motivation going? Let’s try to understand the science of motivation. More importantly, let’s try to understand why we lose the ability to stay motivated as we grow up.

There is no debate in the argument that we were a lot more motivated during our younger days. Irrespective of our age now, we can all reflect back on the time when we had more energy and enthusiasm. We can all recollect a time from our past when we were a lot more inspired and motivated.

One important reason it’s difficult for us to stay inspired as we grow up is our changing understanding of life. As we grow, our understanding of life changes and so does our attitude toward what inspires and motivates us. Since the very definition of “growing up” is a process of changing, staying motivated is a big challenge

The trick to staying inspired most of the time lies in our mind. If we are able to understand the nature of our minds clearly, we will be able to learn how to keep ourselves motivated.

As far as the mind is concerned, motivation is simply a state. In fact, our mind doesn’t understand motivation at all. The main thing it understands and recognizes is different states of our mind; positive and negative states. Being in a positive state of mind corresponds to being motivated, and a negative state of mind corresponds to demotivation and lack of enthusiasm.

It is amazing how much time, money and effort is spent in trying to motivate people. Most people understand motivation as a surge of energy; hence they fall into the age old trap of instant energizing, only to lose their energy all too quickly.

We cannot approach our personal motivation in this manner. Rather, we need to understand it as a way of keeping our mind in a positive state of mind. The biggest secret to motivation is knowing the difference between a negative and a positive state of mind. When we know what triggers a negative or a positive state of mind, it becomes possible for us to control our motivation levels.

The easiest way to stay motivated is by listening to the continuous conversation of our minds and not encouraging negative conversation. This sounds too simplistic to work, but it works brilliantly. Just by listening to our thoughts we can weed out negative and unnecessary conversations and cultivate an internal atmosphere of positivity and energy.

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What is the Connection Between Stress and Creativity?

What is the Connection Between Stress and Creativity?

What is the connection between stress and creativity? Let’s first understand what exactly stress is. Stress is a fight or flight response of the mind triggered because of fear. This fear can either be real or perceived. When the mind is gripped by fear, it can race faster than normal, making it extremely difficult to stay focused and relaxed. In a way, stress is the absolute destroyer of our sanity.

Throughout the day and even during the night our mind is constantly in stress. Our mind is constantly chasing something (worrying about the future) or trying to run away from something (thinking about the past). This constant running and chasing creates stress. Over many years of this constant running, stress builds to eventually become a chronic problem sapping our vital energy and creativity.

Let’s rewind our minds back to our childhood and answer one question very sincerely. Are we more creative now or were we more creative when we were children? Of course, we were more creative during our growing up years. The sheer amount of learning that happened in our early years of life is proof of this. We solved more problems during the first 5 years of our lives than in the last 25 years combined

We have gotten so used to thinking about the future and dwelling on the past that complacency toward constant stress has made it immune and strong. So strong that it is becoming more and more difficult to identify and deal with stress. We just think it’s normal.

Creativity is a natural state of the mind. When the mind is not in stress, when it is in the present moment, it wants to solve problems; it wants to use its energies to positively express itself in many ways. A stress-free mind is a creative mind.

Creativity is not a domain of life. It is an essential and integral quality of our being. Not only are we a part of the creative expression of existence, existence is also a part of our creative expression. Stress can completely drown this creative force by not allowing us to rest and relax. When the mind is racing between the future and the past it is impossible for us to be creative.

Only when we slow down, take deep breaths, and just be in the present moment, can we be creative. This moment is all we’ve got; nothing was ever created in the future, and the past is just that–it’s the past–it’s gone. Enjoy this moment and embrace the creativity that flows from being in the present.

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Quick Pleasure or Lasting Bliss?

Quick Pleasure or Lasting Bliss?

“The purpose is to transcend pain and suffering.”

What is meditation? What is the message of Jesus? What is the message of Buddha? Their message is that there is a zone within us; a zone where there is peace and tremendous joy. When you touch this joy, you know that it’s internal and you know that it’s real. In this zone, the pain of the body goes away; the pain of the mind goes away, and you experience existence in its most natural state.

While you’re having sex, or when you drink alcohol, use drugs, or take part in whatever it is that you do to escape, you are basically connecting with that zone. That’s when the peace comes. You don’t smoke to be happy, you smoke to forget the pain of the body, or you drink alcohol to forget the pain of the body. Now for me, any “sudden jerk” in trying to connect with that zone–that inner zone–without a systematic process is just like smoking and drinking and having sex.  It’s like walking into someone’s house and seeing them drinking and being blissful, being happy, and then walking into someone else’s house and they are crazily jumping and dancing and speaking in different tongues. It’s the same thing. They’re experiencing some kind of joy, but once they step out of that experience they can’t carry forward that experience, so they feel depressed and sad.

This is where systematic practice is required to help you understand what mindfulness is, what meditation is, and how to gradually get into it. Life is a very long phenomenon; it’s not like you just live for 10 days. It only takes a few years to get to the point of experiencing this bliss. All we need is to develop the narrative. We need to develop the conversations. People should start talking about the scientific way of exploring the inner life and they should get into the practice of naturally touching those internal zones. In all my years of meditation I have never done anything crazy. I’ve never danced, no drama, never have psyched myself up. Once in a while I used to connect and feel all this is good, but then I quickly stepped away from this knowing that those feelings weren’t the “real thing”–They were not permanent. 

For me, I wanted to be in this zone permanently. I didn’t want to just start something accidentally. I wanted to be able to find that zone again. If you approach meditation gradually you might not experience tremendous energy and crazy things happening all of a sudden, but gradually you will experience it and enjoy it. It’s a better idea to experience gradual enlightenment because you need to know the path, you need to know how you got to that zone so that you can go back to it at will. 

Ultimately, what is the purpose? The purpose is to transcend pain and suffering. Do you want to go beyond pain and suffering for one moment and fall back into it? I mean it’s like this: Do you want to go beyond your pain and suffering completely and experience tremendous blessing one moment and then fall back into the body consciousness where the pain is still there, or do you want to gradually reduce the pain of the body, and gradually reduce the pain of the mind by connecting with that zone again and again, by going deeper into meditation? The pain of the mind reduces by understanding it, by watching the thoughts. In that understanding you grow. This is why I say the best meditation   without any doubt comes from the middle path.

When you touch the inner zone through external means such as sex or alcohol, it’s only momentary, and as soon as “the high” is gone, you’re right back to where you were, only feeling worse, because you’re not experiencing that bliss anymore.  The middle path is simply integrating quiet, meditative time into each and every day. Be mindful throughout the day, and watch your thoughts. There won’t be any “sudden light”, but the light will gradually get brighter and brighter until every day of life is full of bliss and you can live from that inner zone without external stimulation.

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Standing for Truth

Standing for Truth

When you are confused, always take the side of truth. Nothing a human being has ever done matters more than this. Truth is, was and always will be the yardstick on which we are measured. While truth is the best path to take, it is also one of the most difficult of paths to stick to. You can be pushed away from the path of truth very easily.

The world has become a complex and confusing place. The sheer pace at which things are changing makes it easy to get confused and lost in this fast-paced, ever-changing, shape-shifting reality. The only reliable source of strength and inspiration for the individual is the truth he or she believes in.

Now, why is it so important to discover our truth and stick with it? Apart from the moral argument that truth is right, there is also a very important practical aspect to truth. Truth provides us a sense of direction; it acts as a guiding light to help us make sense of the confusing darkness around us. The moment we decide to compromise on our truth and integrity, we simply lose the way.

Truth offers us the internal certainty that is necessary to face the daily challenges of external reality. We are living in a world where everybody is fighting for our attention. We have to constantly choose between our influences and focus on what is important to us. How is it possible to focus when we are not sure about what we want, and how we can be certain about what we want if it is not deeply rooted in the truth we believe in?

Without internal truth, honesty and integrity we are like a dry leaf that is drifting in the wind. Without this internal certainty, our future, fate and destiny are simply a matter of chance. We will not have any control over our present or the future. We will not have the necessary strength and motivation to pursue our dreams and desires.

Truth fills us with incredible energy and enthusiasm. Truth lifts us when we fall. It cushions our fall and puts us back on the path. Truth gives us meaning and purpose to our actions. It helps us to weed out unwanted distractions and helps us to stay clear and focused. Truth is the best friend who will walk with you and support you in your most challenging situations.

Just reflect on the lives of some of the most creative and successful people of history; Einstein, Da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo and so many others. What drove them towards such incredible excellence and success? The common connecting factor of their lives is truth. They were all possessed by the truth they believed in. They were guided by an internal truth that shaped their lives. Without a clear sense of the truth that we believe in, life will always be uncertain.

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If a tree falls …

If a tree falls …

he fundamental question is: “Is there an independent existence that goes on all by itself whether you exist or not?”

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody was around, did it really fall? That’s a very fundamental, existential question. Why do you ask such a question, when we have absolutely everything in existence happening all by itself, and you are just a small part. When you have absolutely assumed that the forest is already there for you to take a walk in, the sky is already there for you to contemplate on, and everything around you is ready-made and you’re just one person in the middle of the game of life, then that question doesn’t make any sense.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, we still ask the question, Did it fall? When you understand the nature of reality for what it is, can you understand that existence is pure perception? Without the perceiver there is no perception; without the watcher, there is no watching; without the one who is inquiring, there is no inquiry; without the one who is listening, there is no song. So, if a person is not there to hear a tree fall in the forest it did not happen.

Everything that you have perceived in your life, you have perceived through your own personal experience. When somebody says that a tree fell in the forest, you have to imagine a tree falling in the forest. There’s got to be a sound that’s already in you to be able to imagine that tree falling in the forest. If you don’t have that imagery at all, if you have never experienced it, then it is impossible to even talk to you about such things. That itself means that you supply something very important to the process of creation.

There’s a difference between your imaginary world and your real world. In your imaginary world you can create whatever you want. You can imagine a tree falling, you can imagine dinosaurs gathering themselves up from bones, you can imagine a lot of things. But for something to actually happen you need to participate in the process. To experience a tree really falling you have to be there watching and listening. The question is not about the tree, or the tree falling, or you listening to the tree falling. The fundamental question is: “Is there an independent existence that goes on all by itself whether you exist or not?” Every time you think about this, if you think that you’re just this reality or just this physical body, then you’ll miss the whole point.

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