Thursday, 21 June 2012


Meditation can be said to be the recognition of everything being as it is, but nothing is being said here of what this means. It is when we try to give a meaning to what this is that all our problems arise. When we don’t give a meaning to ‘what is’ it can be seen that there is still the awareness and the fact of what is. We are trained from birth to give meaning to everything and while this has many practical and useful benefits it may also have consequences that are far from useful or practical.  The word for the consequences that are not useful or practical is ‘suffering’, adding a meaning to ‘what is’ that is not true causes all the suffering in the world. Fortunately there is a particular mechanism built in to us all that may help us discern exactly what is practical and useful and what is not. This mechanism is suffering itself, so long as we understand that suffering can only exist when we believe something that is not true. It is important to understand precisely what this word ‘suffering’ means. The word suffering seems to refer to something quite extreme but this is not what I mean by suffering. Although suffering can be extreme it can also be very subtle. It is in the more subtle aspects of suffering that we may learn how we may add meaning to our experience is such a way that suffering is the result. When the cause of suffering is clearly seen suffering can no longer exist. When the body experiences pain it is doing what it is designed to do. This is not suffering, suffering occurs when we add a meaning that is not true to any physical sensations of the body. The more subtle aspects of suffering are, boredom, irritation, frustration, impatience, uneasiness, envy, jealousy, guilt, regret and any aspect of desire where we believe that attaining our desire will cause us to be complete. This does not include eating or drinking or anything necessary to the natural health of the body. Meditation starts with the principle and the fact that everything is what it is and no meaning is given to what this is. With awareness we just notice the way it is. We notice that there are sounds that occur without meaning, there are the physical sensations of the body and again these occur without meaning. There are thoughts that arise up out of nowhere and for no reason. A thought that is not practical or useful has no reason to exist. All of the aspects of suffering above such as boredom or irritation all come with an equivalent subtle physical sensation. In noticing these sensations carefully we may begin to see the root of all suffering. Sensations occur but have no meaning unless we give them a meaning, and these sensations become suffering when the meaning we add is negative or untrue. Once we can identify that we have added a negative or untrue meaning to natural physical sensations it becomes inevitable that suffering will end. There are many possible ‘methods’ of meditation; all of these methods have a problem in that they all involve doing something in order to attain something. Many of these methods can be useful in that we may ‘attain’ the ability to be more focused or to be able to concentrate for extended periods of time, they may also be useful in helping to still the mind. The simplest form of meditation involves no method and no attempt to attain anything. A question can be asked that may make this meditation clearer. The question is what happens when we sit without meaning or purpose? This may appear to be another method but it is not as the natural state of the mind has no meaning or purpose; its natural state is still. If the minds natural state is stillness then all the thinking or movement of the mind is not natural. Doing nothing is the hardest thing of all because we seem convinced that without the ‘anchor’ of thinking we will cease to exist. What does cease to exist never existed in the first place and once we are free of this delusion we find what we really are and what we have always been. This truth of what we are has had many names throughout history such as Buddha mind, spirit, presence, the unborn, nirvana and pure consciousness. It is interesting to consider that every aspect of what we are except one is subject to change. All the other parts that are subject to change swamp the part of us that is not subject to change. Not subject to change can also be seen as invisible or undetectable. Something that is not subject to change has no discernable qualities and this is the reason why so few ever realise the pure consciousness that they really are. It is because we are swamped by all the things that are subject to change such as the mind, the body, the physical sensations of the body, the personality or the thoughts that run through the mind, that the part that is not subject to change is so difficult to detect. If we can clearly identify all the parts of our being that are subject to change are not what we really are then this process of elimination will result in all those parts being seen for what they really are. In other words when all that we are not is eliminated we are left with what we really are.