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Monday, December 17, 2012

MEDITATION AS THERAPY

Why people become restless when they are asked to close their eyes and meditate?

I have often wondered, why the day I would plan for meditation class many of them would be absent. May be they have not realized the importance of it or they are able to manage their emotions on their own if so then why they are restless. 
I would like to share the importance of Buddhist meditation and it’s very practical and step by step process to grow spiritually and anyone can follow.

One of the best thing which could have happened in my life till now in spiritual growth is attending the meditation course in Dharmkot,Tushita Meditation center.
It has changed the outlook towards the life in every aspect of my life. I found the kind of meditation which I was looking for many years, very logical and scientific and the best is that is used as therapy for healing the most common problems faced by all . I realized more than just the physical benefits through Yoga, the understanding of self-matters a lot in spiritual growth and further to help other beings.
Lama Yeshe says whether we are rich or poor ,religious or atheist, we all suffer from delusions like anger, pride, jealousy, selfish, depression, hatred, irritation, attachment, deluded doubts, wrong views, ignorance. Because of these negative aspects in us there are lots of problems and sufferings which we create for self and involve others too.

We collect negative karma's associated with these negativities. Karmas are never lost it gets accumulated life after life so what’s in our hand is now which is the cause, which create effect for tomorrow.
According to Buddha one must overcome these delusions one by one in this life time as human birth is precious and to avoid rebirths. 

It's not the religion nor the Yogic Asanas or any  spiritual master(who can show way) can help one to get rid of their negative emotions but one himself by understanding the fact that the problems lies in oneself and solution lies in oneself ,others can just kindle a spark in you and you have to identify that and further should take it up for spirituality.

"Be your own Therapist" says Lama Yeshe as the type of meditation which is being taught in that center is to study about yourself, the nature of your own mind, instead of some supernatural belief or some supreme being. It is more of science or psychology.

What I have realized is that, it is not attending to church, temple or mosque or blindly following religious Dharma which is going to give you self-realization but how one takes these religious Dharma in to practical life and help all other sentient beings without harming them and help them to grow more spiritually matters in spirituality and for self-realization. For eg. Lord Jesus Christ, when we all pray to him, do we pray to his physical form or to his qualities which made him the spiritual master to all. He was an example for compassion, love and service to all mankind so let’s take his quality and bring in to our mind his physical form to remember these spiritual qualities to help others. It’s the same in all religion and all spiritual masters set an example for growing spiritually but we as normal human being are not able to understand their teaching in reality. 

Best examples would be to make even atheist to understand are of Mahatma Ghandiji and Mother Teresa what else one can think when one say their name? It’s their devotion for others, humanitarian service which enlightened them. All spiritual masters lived for others so they had overcome their delusions like anger, hatred, pride, jealousy, self-cherishing, attachments, ignorance, attachment etc.

Don’t we check every day morning our least materialistic things eg; food, money, dress etc which we think is most important in our life.
The same way let’s be aware of every moment of our daily life, fully conscious of what we are doing, why and how we are doing? That's all so simple isn't it?
Investigate our mind with introspective knowledge and wisdom to see what's in there says Lama.
Without checking no matter how much we talk about our mind our emotions, we can never really understand our emotions which are egocentric and is making us restless.


Everyone wants happiness and in search of satisfaction we move from one relationship to another, one job to another, one country to another, we all keep collecting material things. We all believe that things and people have their inherent quality or nature or permanent like good or bad, attractive or unattractive for eg chocolate is inherently delicious but if that so then all would feel the same way or we also have the opinions like she or he is good or bad and I am fat or I am lazy. According to Buddhist philosophy, mind is clear in nature and reflects everything that it experiences just as still lake reflects the surroundings

There is nothing wrong in wanting happiness and attempts to find it but see things like relationships, possessions have intrinsic ability to satisfy us or the cause of happiness.

Meditation is not just closing your eyes and sitting and allowing your mind to wander like a wild horse.
It’s not activity of body or for the purpose of experiencing bodily sensations.
Many of us feel good after sitting quiet in meditation and would like to carry it back when they return to their worldly life but how many are able to hold the same state of mind?
Many of us due to their habit instantly react negatively and then may or may not realize their negative states of the mind.
This type of meditation is to be honest with ourselves and taking good look at what we are.
But remember that our life long habits die hard and it’s very difficult to recognize our anger ,jealousy, attachment, ignorance etc.so the transformation of mind is a slow process by creating more positive states of mind making it a habit to bring more positive results to self-first then to others around.

In Tibetan term meditation means "to become familiar”. What arises in mind is what we are most familiar with. For example: if someone treats us unkindly or disrespectfully we feel hurt or angry it is because these are the reactions that we are most familiar with or habituated to. 

Buddhist meditation makes us understand and familiarize our mind with positive states of mind like love, compassion, patience, serenity and wisdom so that these become natural and spontaneous. Then if we encounter an unkind person or similar unkind situation which we may not like we remain calm patient and have compassion for them and use the wisdom to deal the situation.

In Buddhist meditation one gets the opportunity to check their mind and with regular meditation one becomes more balanced and has compassion for all sentient beings and develops equanimity to all being.
If one expresses their negative emotions externally which leaves deep impression in their consciousness and this kind of imprint makes it easier for them to react the same harmful way again may be more powerful than previous. So one should recognize it in first place itself by carefully investigate their feelings and identify it and diffuse it or digest it before it increases further.

There are any different techniques in Tibetan style of meditation which can be categorized in to two: Stabilizing (Shamata) and Analytical (Vipashayana)
The step involved in meditation is very systematic and logical.
Steps to investigate the mind....
  • learn to sit in Padmasana  or Ardhpadmasan or any other posture where knees are reaching and relaxing on the floor, back straight, shoulders relaxed hands on knees with palm downward or right palm over left with tips of the thumb touching each other resting below navel and head straight but chin slightly down and lock the tongue and eyebrows gazing at nose tip. Sit on cushions to keep the back straight and knees on floor.
  • Close your eyes and observe the present states of mind for a while.
  • Body awareness from legs to head relax.
  • Motivation for this practice is must as without proper motivation the results are not proper and motivate yourself to do this practice for others so that there is less of expectation from self and many sentient being in this earth are not able to practice meditation and are not getting the opportunity so let's practice this for others and dedicate this positive energy at the end of the practice to all beings.
  • Stabilizing meditation on breath
  • Analytical meditation depending on what you want to analyze (esp. if you are restless or any mental stress or anxiety which is making you insomniac)  at that point of time or day
  • Identify it but how can one identify if it's a negative emotions which is creeping up and is disturbing you making you restless and others around is that you can notice a slight buzz behind your heart and leads to short breath (notice it as these are very subtle feelings) and positive emotions leads to lightness in heart and deep breathing and rhythmic, as breath goes hand in hand with thoughts and emotions. 
  • Put forth lots of Analytical questions related to it like How,where,when and antidotes to these negativity and work on the benefits of these positive antidotes. Once you are able to get some solution to your problem then finish your meditation with the last step.
  • Dedicate your practice to all sentient beings for their benefit and understanding.
Stabilizing meditation can be practiced in mornings as it helps to be more focused in days’ work and Analytical ones can be practiced in the evenings or before going to bed to analyze the day’s activity so that when you go to bed you can sleep after throwing off your entire burden.One can practice initially for 15 mins then slowly increase the practice.

HARIOM

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