Author Topic: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.  (Read 5086 times)

Matthew

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Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« on: February 14, 2011, 01:02:21 AM »
A lot of confusion abounds regarding meditation and differing practices. One of the greatest confusions is mistaking the practices related to meditation to the meditative state: Mindfulness or "sati" in Pali.

There are many layers of the meditative state and as we reside in and pass through them, we peel back the layers of conditioning that keep us in the ordinary daily state of mind. When we get up from the cushion how long we retain that state depends on many factors.

Whatever techniques you are using do not mistake technique for meditation. Practice is about attaining or grounding yourself in these states. The more time you spend in the meditative states of being, the easier it becomes to make those your natural home.

This evening I attended a concert of classical music. One of my favourite pieces of music was on the menu, Beethoven's "Piano Concerto No 5. - The Emperor Suite". As I sat in the second row I alternately spent time with my eyes shut, completely at one with this incredible journey of emotion  in sound, and with my eyes open examining the musicians and the way they played.

Some were leaning forwards, reading the score intently, concentrating to get every note right - and nearly missing the odd one here or there. Others had soaked this music into their very being, they glanced occasionally at score, took their lead from the conductor, but were fluidly and competently playing the piece - not only without fault, but so clearly, visibly and audibly at one with their instrument, the music, their colleagues and the pianist and conductor.

However you find it, develop the meditative state - and stop thinking of meditation as something you "do". It is not. Like these musicians at one with the piece and the players and all, it is something you be. With that in mind all doctrinal disputes pale into total insignificance. As long as you are in a meditative state (and not one of hypnosis or trying) it doesn't matter how you got there.

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 01:21:35 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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Andrew

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Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 04:14:11 AM »
nice.  ;)

love

Andy
getting it done

Crystal Palace

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Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 11:30:00 AM »
Good post Matthew. Need posts like this from time to time - as a reminder.

Thanks,
CP
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 12:30:00 PM »
I like the 'peel back layers' imagery. I feel that happening at a quicker pace over the last week. It used you be very quick years ago, then slowed to a halt, now it has built up momentum again. It is hard to separate the power of accountability to the forum from the effect of meditation and the general effort to increase my morality, but I guess it's all the same in the end. A lifestyle choice, not a moment in time.

Beautiful music. I hadn't heard that one.

Please keep posting like this Matthew, I for one (and I'm sure there are others) am looking for the 'inside story' on buddhism. It only dawned on me the other day how the eightfold path is structured. I had 'bleeped' over it before, looking for the red pill ;)

I much prefer the real life exposition found here rather than books.

thanks

love

Andy
getting it done

Quardamon

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Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 03:54:36 PM »
Thank you Matthew.
That is beautiful and wise.

Morning Dew

Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 04:41:48 PM »
Yes so true. I play the guitar through my heart not by concentrating or focusing on it but by simply encompasing it with the whole. That is also how i meditate at times i let go of concepts and shoulds.
Once i relaxed into the guitar i started playing it with joy.

You know what, i will delete that article about concentration and all the eye balls crap ... We are the whole body and as such there is no need to focus but just be with the whole universe you are. If like the Earth we too have some kind of boiling center than its the heart and from that point let the melody of compassionate awareness fill the entire cosmos.

Thanks for posting this TIB

Stefan

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Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 06:49:18 PM »


and here's another one to stitch onto the cushion ...


do not mistake technique for meditation


 :)

Metta, Stefan

anicca

kidnovice

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Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2011, 07:14:27 PM »
Yes, agreed. I really enjoyed reading your post, Matthew. I especially liked the vivid description of the musicians-- it speaks alot to how we might practice.

KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Namaste

Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2011, 07:37:35 PM »
Beautiful music, good message.  Thanks  :)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2011, 11:45:47 PM »
Everything is empty of inherent existence. Even the meditative states, the music and the beautiful 3rd violinist. ;)

It is easy to get lost on the way.

Or not to.

It is nice music even if devout of meaning.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Andrew

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    • Letting Go.
Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2011, 11:51:22 PM »
getting it done

Lokuttara

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Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 07:20:07 PM »
Like krishnamurti says, the division we make between meditating and not meditating must end. Meditation must become one movement, a flow from love to love. Not the separation between states which leads to all sorts of confusion and craving.
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

Morning Dew

Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 07:49:24 PM »
Hi Lokuttara my friend nice to see you again :)

I read India is doing you well, nice to hear :)

I agree with JK and he is totally right BUT one can not JUST HOP into that state of mind, the one he talks about :) please try to feel what I am saying here :) you remember when you started meditating, all sorts of distraction, confusion, identifying with the ego self, Dark Night, etc ... lots and lots of crap, until the body actually calms down in shamatha and stops creating stress hormones produced because of the upset mind. Once the body stops producing stress hormones due to deep calmness invoked by practicing calm-abiding the chattering mind starts to "run dry", no stress hormones are being pumped into the body and the awareness come to be so easily, burning the habitual tendencies :)
Once we have reached this state through practicing calm-abiding and we gained a few first insights we suddenly start Actually Seeing the ego self off the cushion too, we see the self in everything we do not just while sitting but while eating, shopping, talking to others etc ... This is what JK talks about and this is also what is thought in Zazen :)  you practice mindfulness all the time not just on the cushion BUT it does start there and it certainly helps to reap the deeply calming hormones one's body produces during the sitting Shamatha.

I agree with JK totally :) even he sais to sit still, even still the eye balls and observe without judging and without clinging;

Quote
First of all sit absolutely still. Sit comfortably, cross your legs, sit absolutely still, close your eyes, and see if you can keep your eyes from moving. You understand? Your eye balls are apt to move, keep them completely quiet, for fun. Then, as you sit very quietly, find out what your thought is doing. Watch it as you watched the lizard. Watch thought, the way it runs, one thought after another. So you begin to learn, to observe.

Are you watching your thoughts - how one thought pursues another thought, thought saying, ''This is a good thought, this is a bad thought''? When you go to bed at night, and when you walk, watch your thought. Just watch thought, do not correct it, and then you will learn the beginning of meditation. Now sit very quietly. Shut your eyes and see that the eyeballs do not move at all. Then watch your thoughts so that you learn. Once you begin to learn there is no end to learning.

Krishnamurti On Education Talk to Students Chapter 1





When you sit down, do you sit really quietly? Is your body really very quiet? Do you know what it means to sit quietly? Do you keep your eyes closed? Are you relaxed? Do you sit really quietly?




Please listen to this. Are your nerves, your body movements and your eyes absolutely quiet? Is your body very quiet without twitching, without any movement and when you close your eyes are they still? To sit quietly means your whole body is relaxed, your nerves are not strained, not irritated, there is no movement in friction, you are physically absolutely quiet.




Look, sit absolutely quiet without a single movement so that your hands, your eyes, everything are completely quiet.EP75BL-107 Beginnings of Learning Page 99




You see meditation means to have a very quiet, still mind, not a chattering mind; to have a really quiet body, quiet mind, so that your mind becomes very religious. All this nonsense that is going on in the name of religion is rubbish, but to have a very, very quiet body, to have a very quiet mind, and to keep your eyes quiet, still so that your whole being is totally harmonious. And in that state other things, greater things take place. That's real meditation – not to say, I must be quiet, keep my body very quiet, force it. - naturally quiet. So shall we do it for a few minutes? Right.FA8DS2




Have you ever sat quietly for a few minutes without a movement of your eyes, without movement of thought? J.Krishnamurti, Talks and Dialogues, Sydney, Australia, 1st Public Talk, 21st of November, 1970.





K. Will you do something? Do you know what meditation is? That is, to sit quietly for two or three minutes. Shall we do it? Would you like to do it?

A. Yes.

K. Then sit quietly. Comfortably, don't sit like that, sit comfortably. And shut your eyes – just listen to what I have to say first – quietly, shut your eyes, when you shut your eyes, don't let your eyes move. You understand? They move because they are looking at something else. So sit quietly, don't move your eyes and find out what you are thinking, what you are thinking about. That's all.

RA81DS1 J. Krishnamurti First Talk with Students at Rajghat November 1981

Now, look at it with eyes that don't immediately jump with images.

J. Krishnamurti Second Public Talk in Bangalore January 1971

In inquiring, can one observe without any movement of the eye? Because the eye has an effect on the brain. When one keeps the eyeballs completely still observation becomes very clear because the brain is quietened. So, can one observe without any movement of thought interfering with one's observation? It is only possible when the observer realizes that he and that which he is observing are one - the observer is the observed. Anger is not different from me - I am anger, I am jealousy. There is no division between the observer and the observed; that is the basic reality one must capture. Wholeness of Life, J. Krishnamurti The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 14 4th Public Talk Brockwood Park 4th September 1977 `That emptiness is the summation of all energy'

The “ what is” can only be observed when there is no me. Can one observe the colors and forms around one? How does one observe them? One observes through the eye. Observe without moving the eye; because if one moves the eye the whole operation of the thinking brain comes into being. The moment the brain is in operation there is distortion. Look at something without moving one's eyes; how still the brain becomes. Observe not only with one's eyes but with all one's care, with affection. There is then an observation of the fact, not the idea, but the fact, with care and affection, therefore there is no judgment; therefore one is free of the opposite.EP 78 WL – The wholeness of Life p. 218

To attend: which means to give your whole attention, whole attention is observing, which means keeping your eyes absolutely still and looking. Will you do some of this? Original source of EP 78 WL p. 218 above BR77D2Silence of the mind is the beauty in itself. To listen to the bird, to the voice of a human being, to the politician, to the priest, to all the noise of propaganda that goes on, to listen completely silently. And then you will hear much, you will see much more. Now, that silence is not possible if your body, the organism, is not completely still. Do you understand? If your body, the organ, with all its nervous responses, all the fidgeting, the ceaseless movement of fingers, the eyes, you know, the restlessness of the body – that must be completely still, without a single movement of the body, including the eyes? Do it sometime and you'll see. You may do it for five minutes of two minutes – that's good enough – don't say, how am I to keep it up for ten minutes, for and hour – don't that's greed. Do it for two minutes is enough. In that two minutes the whole of the mind is revealed, if you know how to look.SD70T4 _ Sand Diego State College, Public Talk 4, April 9th 1970

First of all sit completely quiet, comfortably, sit very quietly, relax, I will show you. Now, look at the trees, at the hills, the shape of the hills, look at them, look at the quality of their colour, watch them. Do not listen to me. Watch and see those trees, the yellowing trees, the tamarind, and then look at the bougainvillaea. Look not with your mind but with your eyes. After having looked at all the colours, the shape of the land, of the hills, the rocks, the shadow, then go from the outside to the inside and close your eyes, close your eyes completely. You have finished looking at the things outside, and now with your eyes closed you can look at what is happening inside. Watch what is happening inside you, do not think, but just watch, do not move your eyeballs, just keep them very, very quiet, because there is nothing to see now, you have seen all the things around you, now you are seeing what is happening inside your mind, and to see what is happening inside your mind, you have to be very quiet inside. And when you do this, do you know what happens to you? You become very sensitive, you become very alert to things outside and inside. Then you find out that the outside is the inside, then you find out that the observer is the observed. J. Krishnamurti, On Education Talk to Students Chapter 3





Observe the tent, observe the color round you, the shirts and the dresses around you - how do you observe it? What is observation? You observe through the eye, don't you? Now can you observe without moving the eye? Because if you move the eye the whole operation of the brain comes into being. I won't go into this because you will turn it into some kind of mystical, nonsensical thing, mysterious and you know, occult and all the rest of that...September 1977

... Now look at something without moving your eyes. How still the brain becomes. Have you noticed it? The moment you look all around there is then taking all that in - I won't go into that... Wholeness of Life, The J. Krishnamurti Second Public Dialogue at Brockwood Park September 1977

To be able to be mindful of all that is off the cushion one has to start by realising the truth about the suffering self, one must actually get the insight into the nature of impermanence, the rise and fall, to actually differentiate from the ego-self and to develop calm, deep calm. Only like this one can penetrate through the tick vale of ignorance while off the cushion in a busy life style of a urban community :)

Sitting practice is the prerequisite to what JK talks about and I agree with him. Me like the old fart :)

Friendly Che

Lokuttara

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Re: Meditation is a state of being - not something you do.
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2011, 06:08:54 AM »
Thank you so much for posting all of that. There are a lot of people who concentrate on what K says about not sitting and not trying to meditate, and this created some confusion. So thanks for pointing out the places where he is an advocate of proper meditation.

I agree that sitting meditation helps one to get started with awareness off the cushion. For me the 10-day Vipassana course by Goenka was perfect for this, and it seemed like the teaching was the most in line with Krishnamurti's teaching compared to others that had elements of dogma, rites, rituals or imagery.
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

 

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