So many articles, books and blog posts are constantly talking about meditation. And perhaps some of you feel like this is beating the subject into the ground. Why not cut-to-the-chase and talk about the realities and answers to dealing with this life and finding solutions to situations? Maybe you would prefer not to waste anymore time just sitting on a cushion and doing nothing.
Well I think we need to see that developing our minds and awakening is a process that requires great effort, just as we would do if we were body-building. Sure, it would be great to just get in great physical shape without doing much, but we all know it doesn’t work like that. Consistent, and disciplined effort are required every day for us to reach peak physical condition. And the same is true of our practice. And just like we can talk about exercise all day long, we can also talk about the dhamma all day long. But neither one is likely to move us as further along the path.
It is only by sitting with yourself, observing the mind, and gaining understanding of the nature of this existence that we actually develop our wisdom. Our meditation practice lays the foundation for loving the self, loving others, acceptance and equanimity. Through our practice we learn to understand mudita (sympathetic joy), anicca (impermanence), and also develop metta (loving kindness).
And it is only through our practice that we may begin to unveil the reality of anatta (no-self). And while no-self may be a very difficult subject to fully understand, it is in mediation that we begin to observe our minds and see all of our mental formations being generated from this concept of self and ego.So should we talk more and meditate less? I don’t think so. Or should we meditate all day long and not discuss any of this. I don’t think that is Right Action either. I think that the middle path is the key. All things in moderation, as my Dad used to say.
Meditation is very important and valuable, but so is a good Teacher, and a community (sangha/kalyana mitta).
And as Bhante Sujatha often says, be kind to yourself. With a gentle and loving nature, we can each proceed at a pace that offers us peace and kindness towards ourselves and others.