Bhante Sujatha was the one who taught me that “bhavana” is actually the true practice. And that meditation is only a part of that. He explained that “bhavana” is actually Wisdom (panna), Meditation and Virtue (sila).
I have only altered this slightly, because in my practice I have come to see that without strong determination, one does not develop virtue. In fact one may even neglect meditation.
Without a loving determination to spend time in meditation, and think we severely limit our opportunity to gain wisdom and develop virtue. There is a peace, release and acceptance that I have found in meditation. And with a determination of practice, these qualities become manifested in many moments off the cushion.
Developing the qualities of loving kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), equanimity (upekkha) and sympathetic joy (mudita) all stem from the seeds planted in meditation.
But also please understand that I do not have an attachment to meditation. I fully understand what the Buddha taught about seeing meditation as a raft to cross the river. When the time comes, I will gladly let go of this raft so others may use it.
Each day I attempt to be mindful of my practice; letting go of attachments and mental formations, while remaining determined to be present and accepting.
May I continue in my determination, humble, and of benefit to all other beings. May I gain the wisdom to destroy all delusion, increase my compassion, and continue the practice of “bhavana”.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.