Greetings brothers and sisters from Nirvana. No this ain't no rock band, but it is your ticket to the biggest party on the other side of consciousness. I'm talking about meditation. You know, those Indian dudes who sit on beds of nails, walk across fire, get buried in the ground for three days and come out chipper as a mongoose, levitate, sit in one place for twenty-one days ch'an sessions. Yep, that's right, unlimited, inconceivable understanding and connection to the universe all without leaving your seat. Imagine being able to crush beer cans at parties with the power of concentrated mind. You'll never be late for class again since you learned how to travel through space and time. Ever wonder what you looked like in past lives? I have. And believe it or not, there are people in, but not of, this world who can do those things and infinite others even more seemingly impossible though meditation.
Nirvana is the ultimate state of meditation. By mastering our own minds; that is, turning our attention and concentration which is normally directed toward outer space inward toward inner space and relearning our own true nature, we can obtain the power to do anything to the point that we do nothing. Sounds pretty new age, huh? Well, it's not. This stuff has been around for thousands of years. You see, the whole point of meditation is to concentrate so fully on nothingness that we become nothingness and enter everything. By thinking about nothing we can eliminate all the everyday senseless gibberish that fills our mind in an endless flow to make room for perfect understanding and wisdom of the true essence of who we are and what we are doing.
The ageless tradition of wisdom teaches that there are specific steps to follow in order to enter the state of meditation. These steps are Dharana (mental concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (telepathic identification). In western tradition, these are called Consideratio (considering), Contemplatio (contemplation), and Raptus (rapture). Each step, when mastered, naturally leads to the next.
"To concentrate" means to focus, gather to a center, unite random thoughts into one. Dharana is the process of focusing the mind in all its random chaos onto one thought as to the nature of the object being meditated upon. It is usually necessary to begin meditation on a physical object to strengthen the mind and then be able to turn it inward onto the mind itself. When we direct the fullness of the mind into one thought, all other thoughts can be ignored and finally stopped. When all thoughts are finally done away with, the mind can then enter the no-mind state which is the state of highest creativity and spiritual intuition.
Dhyana is the continuous stream of the mental processes directed toward the object being meditated on. As the flow of spontaneous thought slowly straightens out and is completely random and unrelated begin to become more and more specifically related to the object. The mental processes, or thoughts and ideas, turn around the object becoming more focused and begin to make free associations to that object. This is how we can learn the true nature of the object and eventually the self. By mastering Dyana, the mind can attain knowledge from inanimate objects. Imagine learning the process of the growth of a tree by meditating upon the tree to the point of complete understanding.
The third, and coolest, step is Samadhi. So we just learned that Dyana is the continuous flow of freely associated thoughts derived from the object being meditated upon. Samadhi occurs when the inherent nature of the object is known to the point of telepathic identification or co-penetration of the object of meditation with the meditator's own being. What? What this means is that by learning the true nature of the object we become that object. No kidding. I was told a story one time by an abbot of a Buddhist monastery (Buddhist monks meditate a lot) about a monk attaining Samadhi with water. The story goes that the monk, or Bikshu in Chinese Buddhism, was meditating in his room one day. One of the monk's disciples happened to walk by and look into the window. He was astonished to see his master's room filled with water. Absentmindedly, the disciple picked up a piece of broken tile and threw it into the water with a splash and walked on. The monk, having come out of meditation, felt a deep pain in his stomach and realizing what had happened, told his disciple to enter the room and retrieve a piece of tile he had so unmindfully thrown into the water. The monk again entered Samadhi and upon the disciple wading through the water that again filled the monk's room and retrieving the tile, when he finished his meditation noticed the pain gone. The monk had sat in his room and meditated single-mindedly on the true nature of water, Dyana, to the point of learning the characteristics and being of water, Dharana, to the point of becoming a pool of water, Samadhi. Far out, huh? It's actually close in.
Upon attaining Samadhi, the mind reaches the triangle of meditation, that is the awareness of the knower, the known and the knowledge the knower has of the known, and transcends above it to fuse into one. Pretty esoteric, huh? When this triad merges the mind experiences a state of undifferentiated consciousness of all things, all creatures, all worlds, all knowing. The smallest part can then be understood to be present in every other part. The mind can then recognize and become one with the cosmic consciousness that composes, surrounds and unites everything in the universe. Don't believe me? What do you think the great wise sage Yoda was talking about in the Star Wars movies? The Force. Ch'i, the Universal Energy Field, call it what you want, it is present and it is inconceivably powerful.
There is a Buddhist saying that goes, "The mind is like a drunken monkey stung by a bee," but is fairly easy to imagine the uncontrollable, chaotic, unfocused rampage this would cause. Completely inconclusive to a focused, efficient, mindful existence. Wouldn't you say, "Hey mates, how you gonna pick up chicks if they think you are drunken monkeys?" A Yogi friend of mine (a yogi is someone who renounces everything of this world in order to meditate and be mindful all the time, 24:7) uses a great analogy of tuning the mind into a laser. A focused beam of thought that is powerful it can get you into or out of any situation you could possibly create for yourself. Right now most of our minds are like plastic spoons. To finally fully understand who we are and what the *&#@ we're doing here we need to go from a plastic spoon that bends in jello to an ever penetrating laser which reaches the farthest extremities of the universe.
It's going to take a long time but we benefit every single time we practice. Our minds become calmer, our every day life becomes more meaningful, we attain new inconceivably beneficial experiences and the tasks which seemed so difficult and laborious are now a breeze. So lets begin:
1. Sit in a comfortable posture with the neck and spine straight and vertical (begin cross legged, work to half lotus which is very important).
2. Relax quickly and deeply from bottom to top, use any relaxation technique (smoking a joint is counterproductive, time and place for everything).
3. Regulate your breathing, make it calm and peaceful.
4. Turn your attention inwards and disconnect from all outside disturbances, withdraw your mind from arising thoughts. Just make a determined effort to stop all thought, it may take a while.
5. Concentrate your mind on the object of your choice, a crystal, flower, tree. Once you get the hang of this you can turn your attention onto you own mind, then begins the real stuff.
Don't get mad if you think it's not working. This will take a long time but every time you practice you get closer and become more focused. When your mind slips to another thought, slowly and calmly bring it back to your object. Bam, you're in meditation.
There is a story that the Creator was kickin' it with his homies one day, all gathered up and they said, "Wait a minute, here we got man and he's got all this power and potential. Man is a part of us, man is God, but he doesn't know what to do with all this. What are we gonna' do?"
They said, "We've got to hide it from him."
One said, "Let's put it in the bottom of the ocean."
Another said, "No, he'll go down there and find it. Lets put it in the sky."
"No, no, one day he'll fly up there and find it too. Well, lets bury it deep in the earth."
"No, he'll dig. He'll dig it up." "Well, where are we going to put it?"
So all the homies asked the Creator where they should hide man's potential.
The Creator said, "Put it with him. He'll never look there."
And so it is. "Go on, discover your truth. It's up to you and you alone
because no one can do it for you. It's yours and no one else's. You're on
your own." Good luck to us all. E MI TWO FWO.
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