Offerings - Meditation
The word meditation means to consider, contemplate, think about, and
reflect. We have noticed that many people and many belief systems
proclaim that meditation means to stop thinking. However, maybe there
is another perspective to it:
Our thoughts arise constantly, coming from the root-ground of our inner desires, conflicts, reactive mind etc. Of course it is good to practise some discipline and learn to concentrate on the breath, for example. This not only strengthens the will, but also results in clarity, as if you have shaken up a glass with water and earth and let the earth settle. Suddenly you see many things in your life much more clearly and you also are more in tune with what is important for you and what your priorities are.
However, this does not yet change the root-ground where the thoughts arise from! To change the root-ground, our character, our conditioning, our unhealthy habits with which we sabotage our success in life and thus our happiness, we need to reflect on ourselves and get to know ourselves. Then we need to use wise discernment, wise discrimination about what is good for us and what is not good for us. One law of consciousness is that our character is formed by our own evaluations. Another law is the law of seed and harvest, or the karma and karma phala: whatever comes out of us will return to us, no energy gets lost... on the contrary, it returns to its source.
Here is an example to illustrate this:
maybe we learned somehow that it is necessary and good to use our elbows to push through life. We evaluate this positivelye as it came from a subjectively trustworthy source (1st law: character building). But, of course this attitude creates friction not friendship and unity and so we end up feeling lonely (2nd law: stress comes back to us), even though we think that it is right and good to use our elbows, and even though we are already used to being like this. We have realized that only by REFLECTION do you become aware of friction and resulting underlying bad feelings, or negative consequences for your sorroundings or even for your own vegetative system when say elbowing your way through situations. Of course this can be not only self-reflection but also reflection initiated through others if we are really open to listening). Once we have noticed that using our elbows is not such a great attitude in order to live a happy life, we start looking for better ways, stat using discernment and some discrimination. Maybe we end up noticing that it feels much better for us, to be cooperative, compassionate and act lovingly. Maybe we notice that some people really appreciate our behaviour, maybe some friendships start to grow...
This was just one example for meditation in line with to its original meaning: Reflect on yourself!
We can say that there are three stages of meditation:
The first stage is to reflect on oneself including the use right discernment. This changes our character, the root-ground of thoughts. We become clearer, calmer, light and shiny and because of this we feel happier!
The second stage is dwelling in contemplation on compassion, understanding, or our attainments regarding our development, or about the beauty of giving or the blessing of letting go, etc. There are many wonderful subjects that make us happy, clear and free and support our growth when we contemplate them. This second stage becomes easier as the root-ground of our character gets increasingly cleaned up. The 1st stage is preconditioned, of course. The second is the door to Samadhi, the unity of the heart, where consciousness is focussed on inner bliss and there is no awareness of the senses anymore.
The third stage is Samadhi, unity of the heart. The root-ground is tidied up, no reactive thoughts shooting up, no worries, no desires, no animosity, no resistance. Yes, here is where thinking stops (!) - however, not by control, but as a genuine result of throwing out the causes of thoughts. As you can imagine, this is a real road to travel and not accomplished by one quick thought or insight.
We meditate two or three times a day.