I Can’t Meditate

I want to meditate, but can’t.
I don’t see the point of meditation; it seems so complicated.

There are many responses to meditation, and sometimes the reasons for meditating are not clearly explained. We may be wary of being caught up in dogma because we see others acting mechanically and ritualistically in a prescribed formula.

Formula: A form of words, set expressions, phrases, sayings, aphorisms; code, set of words, set of symbols that set a foundation for communication.”

We need form in order to arrive at the formless. We need some sort of foundation, platform, method to express the formless that is free from form. Unfortunately, we can become stuck in both the foundation and in the idea of being free, and we miss the whole point.

Out of the people with whom we associate, some are sticklers for the form, and make life hell for others, whereas some are ‘free spirits’ and also make life hell for others. When the Buddha said, “Not too tight and not too loose”… wow! Did he know what he was talking about! 😀

Some of us have to learn things step by step, while others are more intuitive. This is because of previous association – a karmic inclination – and we need both vertical and lateral approaches.

Lateral thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic. The term was coined in 1967 by Edward de Bono.”

Our human nature and our upbringing – nature and nurture – both contribute to the way in which we work.

So what is meditation?

We first have to realise that this IS the way out of our confusion.

We use meditation – which is the experience of knowledge – to realise the direct experience of wisdom, which non-meditation. The form becomes formless. Confusion becomes clarity. As Gampopa said, “May confusion dawn as wisdom”.

Meditation is awareness. Awareness is not a formula. It is natural, and not made up of parts. We have to be clear about what meditation is, and why we are meditating. We want to stop confusion, and thereby end suffering – and, of course, we want to be happy.

We start by watching the breath, merely being aware of the breathing and nothing else. Focusing in this way, we cut through the arising of thoughts and emotions. Sitting upright allows breathing to be natural and unrestricted. That awareness of the breath is the foundation.

At some point, we become aware of the actual awareness itself. It’s just there. It has never, ever changed. This is the moment we realise that awareness is beginning-less and end-less. It is both empty and formless. It has no formula. No parts. Being caught and held by outer or inner phenomena, we are usually unaware of both breathing and awareness.

Awareness only takes form when either compassion or selfishness arise. This is the moment of choice – and we do have a choice at every moment, thank buddha-ness!

So, that’s meditation: being aware of being awareness itself. It doesn’t matter whether the mind is turbulent or dull, as awareness is naturally present, and we have the space and clarity to decide whether to become involved, or not. We either see a need to remain neutral or to act in order to benefit a situation: we are, however, still in danger of selfishness, of fear and desire arising, enslaving us in demonic activity. Understanding this demonic enslavement is enough to focus the mind with wrathful, compassionate energy. As sentient beings, we are distracted all the time, and when we are carried away by selfishness, we need some wrathful energy to focus awareness. That’s when we may need various toys: the trick is to not get stuck with the playthings, as this can cause tantrums 😀

Form, we argue about.
Formless, there is nothing to argue about.

Life is complicated enough
without further complications!

Just be aware.

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