Able To Meditate But Not Liberate
Meditation is not liberation: it is the path to liberation. Meditation is a wonderful method to focus the untamed mind (the flibbertigibbet, the idle chattering), and so tame it. But meditation practice itself can be a distraction by not realising the reality of our true being. What is true being? It is pure awareness, empty of contaminations. It stands to reason that, without pure awareness, nothing would be known. Unfortunately, we constantly place our attention on – and even addictively obsess about – ‘something else’, and so forget ourselves. We are not this temporary mind and body: we are awareness beyond all this. If we get stuck in the practice of meditation, as in “I feel so peaceful”, we may fall into a state of vacancy or dullness.
Pure awareness is sharp. It is intense intelligence, compassion and emotions. Actually, the negative emotions are the key to wisdom!
Meditation is mindfulness: it is a discipline. We use mindfulness meditation (shamata) to remember, so that we can arrive at insight awareness (vipashana). Once we arrive at awareness, mindfulness is no longer needed as we are there. In pure awareness, there is neither meditation nor meditator. We return to meditation only when we forget!
Before we learn to meditate, we need to know why we are meditating. Meditation is the path to liberation-freedom from the controlling, chattering thoughts, thus realising our true nature. Liberation-freedom is non-meditation as everything ceases, and there is just pure awareness. This is absolute reality: non-duality.
In meditation, we observe all the obstacles to meditation. We start seeing clearly. In fact, the thoughts seem to get worse, but that is because we are noticing more! Meditation is the path to clarity – our true nature – by recognising the veils of concepts we picked up.
Why liberation? It is being free from distractions, from the reflections and negative emotions in the mind. It is being free from all those day-in and day-out projections that we maintain and protect. It’s just being our self, which is merely pure awareness.
In resting in pure awareness, nothing happens. In Dzogchen, this is called Rigpa essence, which could be seen as dry. It is then that rigpa expression, display and adornment arise – ‘the juice of rigpa love’, as my teacher calls it.
The point is not to feel guilty about our flibbertigibbet mind as we all have one! This is conventional/relative reality as opposed to absolute reality. When absolute reality relates to something either than itself, that is relative reality – a duality.We just need courage to do something about it, and gain control. If we are not controlling our mind, then someone else will do it for us!