Right & Wrong Meditation Practice

Right & Wrong Meditation Practice

People overlook the fact that suffering lies inside the mind (rather than outside it) and therefore must be dealt with inside the mind, not in the body or outside body and mind.

Many misunderstand that drinking, taking drugs and roaming from one place of entertainment to another will alleviate their suffering but in fact, it only manages to distract the mind from suffering temporarily. If we want to deal with suffering on a permanent basis, we cannot avoid meditation and it is perhaps no surprise that meditation is becoming more popular in the present day, especially in the western world.

Different people, however, meditate for the different reason. Some merely want to show off mental powers to win spiritual followers. Others wish to use meditation to cultivate mindfulness and wisdom to deal with suffering at its roots. Thus, it is obvious that the one word ‘meditation’ can refer to different things. Therefore, it is necessary to take note of the most fundamental categorization of meditation so that when we come to practice meditation, we can choose the correct methodology:

1. Right Meditation

Proper meditation in Buddhism is called ‘Right Meditation’ [Sammaa Samaadhi] further elucidated in the scriptures as follows:1 “What do we mean by Right Meditation? Any monk established in the Dhammavinaya, who is aloof from the sense pleasures and unwholesomeness attaining the first absorption as identified by initial application of mind [vitakka], continued application of mind [vicaara], joy [piiti] and happiness [sukha] and one-pointedness [ekaggata]. Detached from these qualities, he enters upon the second absorption – his mind becoming brighter in the absence of initial or continued application of mind. Only joy, happiness and one-pointedness [ekaggata] remain, mindful [sati] and self-possessed [sampajañña]. Detached from these qualities, joy disappeared, and he enters upon the third absorption as praised by the Buddhist saints as being one who has attained equanimity, mindfulness and happiness. Entering upon the fourth absorption where there is neither suffering nor happiness – because he has already transcended elation and sorrow. Equanimity results in the pure mindfulness named Right Meditation otherwise known as the Noble Truth of the Pathway to the Cessation of Suffering [dukkha-nirodha-gaaminii-pa.tipadaa-ariyasacca].” It can be concluded that Right Meditation is a way to calm the mind and reduce any sensuality or unwholesomeness in the mind. All the way from the first to the fourth absorption, will have the condition of feeling ‘neither-happiness-nor-suffering’ [adukkhamasukha], but rather abiding in equanimity [upekkhaa] which allows one to perceive things in pure mindfulness. In other places in the Buddhist Scriptures, Right Meditation is described as:

1. the mind free of mental chatter.

2. a mind made stable and focused in the proper way.

2. Wrong Meditation

In the Abhidhamma, Right Meditation is described as:

Right Meditation is the focus of the mind, where the mind is stable and unwavering. The mind’s condition of being unmoving gives rise to peacefulness, the faculty of concentration, the strength of concentration, and focusing the mind in the proper way.

Right Meditation can thus be seen to be of great benefit to the practitioner of meditation. When mental chatter disappears and the mind becomes focused, Wrong Meditation and defilements will be vanquished in accordance with the scriptures which affirm that, “those who cultivate Right Concentration will uproot greed, hatred and delusion.”5 Broadly speaking, it can be said that Right Meditation is able to eradicate Wrong Meditation, mental chatter and defilements, and allow the practitioner thereby to attain the highest goal of Nirvana. As stated in the Majjhima Nikaaya Commentaries that when Right Meditation comes into existence, Wrong Meditation and the defilements which are the obstacle to Right Meditation are eradicated a taste of Nirvana thus being attained thereafter giving the practitioner full faith in and unfailing practice of the compounded mental phenomena [sampayutta-dhamma]  and that is why it is known as Right Meditation. In conclusion, to succeed in meditation, one must practice Right Meditation that is to practice for a peaceful mind, eradication of sensuality and unwholesomeness and freedom from mental chatter until the mind becomes focused steadfastly. This practice corresponds to the Buddha’s teachings, and will enable the practitioner to attain the goal of Nirvana. The absence of mental chatter means that thoughts or images of the things that bring about the greed, hatred or delusion must no longer pass through the mind. The Buddhist Scriptures define mental distraction as when the attention is displaced outside the body becoming caught up instead infatuation in five types of sense objects: images, sound, odor, taste and touch which pollutes the mind with sense-desires.

What are the differences of Happiness and Pleasure?

What are the differences of Happiness and Pleasure?

True happiness is easier to obtain than you might think. It is much easier than owning a dream house, marrying a dream girl, or getting a dream job, etc. Where is it? Why is it that everybody of every race and religion is searching for it, but few people have ever found it?

True Happiness

True happiness is like true love. You cannot purchase true happiness. It is not like buying a lipstick, a Mercedes Benz or an ice cream. It comes from inside, from a place where force, money, and charm have no access. Yet, its’ invisible presence has had a universal appeal since time immemorial.

Pleasure is often mistaken for happiness. Pleasure makes you forget bad things for a while, but it comes with side effects. 

Happiness is pure and unadulterated joy. It is free from side effects and free from the slightest bit of suffering. As much as we appreciate the pleasure of: sitting by the sea, watching the sunset, cruising along the river, being a parent, receiving a promotion or buying beautiful things for ourselves, we know that deep down these things all come with a certain amount of cost (thinking, planning, problem-solving, maintenance and sometimes even stress). Pleasure requires us to take action (to do something), whereas pure happiness asks us to do absolutely nothing.

That is because pure happiness relies on nothing. The presence (or absence) of a particular person, possession or circumstance are not the conditions of happiness. Pleasure is short-lived and relies on external factors, on other people and things outside our control.

This does not mean that we should deny all pleasures. It means that we need to know what real happiness is, where it comes from, and how we can have it. There have been and there always will be times when we realize, temporarily, that all the external possessions and the lovely pleasures cannot lift us out of emotional suffering. Even a nice house, a six-figure salary or a diamond ring cannot prevent love from ruin or save us from heartache. We feel happiness in the mind. It comes from the mind.

To be specific, happiness comes from the center of the body, the natural home of the human mind. Most of us cannot find happiness because we look for only pleasure. We look for happiness on the outside. Sometimes we even feel empty inside, despite owning a new car, a new house and all the beautiful things that money can buy. Sometimes, we work so hard and spend so much time to get all these things for ourselves or for others, to win their hearts. We think that they will make us happy or will return our love. Other people still expire, malfunction or die. They leave us in a most unkind and unexpected manner. We wonder why they left. Then we realize that none of these things can help us when we are worried, depressed or in pain. We will truly appreciate this fact and the difference between happiness and pleasure, only when we have experienced pure happiness.

Real happiness is much closer than you might think

Real happiness is much closer than you might think. It is within every one of us. We have only to station our mind (in the right place) and still it (in the right way) to tap into our private ocean of joy, located right at the center of our body. Have you ever noticed that when you have a good night sleep, you wake up feeling refreshed and energetic, ready to face the day? That is because your mind is floating near the center of your body, two finger-widths above your navel. Medical scientists call it the “center of gravity” because the energy at this center keeps your entire body grounded and in balance.

The center of the body is where our mind feels happiest, where sadness cannot exist and joy abounds, infinitely. It is a place of strength, energy and inspiration to be creative. A place inspiring us to do what is morally correct and useful for oneself or others – despite difficulties and obstacles. It is where our mind rest and it is strengthened and purified. The closer the mind is to the center of the body, the happier it is. The further away our mind is from its home sweet home, the unhappier it becomes.

Have you ever noticed that when you long for someone or something, or when you are angry with somebody, your mind is not with you? It is with that person or thing. By leaving its happy home, the mind exposes itself to negative forces, pressure and emotions – adding to the owner’s suffering. Similarly, when you feel pain in your leg or your arm and you focus on the pain, your mind is with that pain. It is with that painful part of the body. You feel more pain than when you rest your mind in its protected home at your center.

You have only to allow your mind to come to a standstill and rest in its’ home, to savor the pure happiness from your private ocean of joy. You can tap into as much peace and joy as you wish at your center. It is all yours. This permanently reliable source of joy is an inner wealth that you gain when you are born. It is your “true possession”. Nobody can take it away from you.

When your mind dips into the ocean of joy, you will experience an absolute joy that does not compare to owning any possession. Nothing in the world can compare with this absolute joy. Our body’s center guarantees that we all have the ability to make ourselves happy – independent of personal circumstances and external factors.

How anger affects your brain and body | Best practice for anger management

How anger affects your brain and body | Best practice for anger management

“Anger” a human emotion conveyed to said message. No one is devoid of not feeling this emotion. The more you try to push it, the more it comes towards you. There is nothing wrong with feeling anger but one should know how to come to terms with it.

While it has fueled some of the great leaders in the world to make changes in the system for humanity, however it is also the reason for wrecked relationships, serious crimes, work problems and an overall decline in the quality of life.

Anger causes not only the external problems of leaving scars to your loved ones and a hurdle to your professional life but it is a serious threat to your internal health too. Anger devours much of your mental energy leading to stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and distraction. One is also more in risk of high blood pressure, heart diseases, weak immune system and break down of the nervous system.

There is a very common myth related to anger that says one cannot control anger. But the fact is one might not be able to control the situation but the emotions that arise out of the situation can be controlled.

But how does practicing Meditation reduce Anger?

Meditation increases healthy serotonin levels in the brain which creates more awareness reducing the chances of doing or saying something harsh in anger. Meditation boosts calm hormones. The feeling of anger generally causes physical responses like an increase in the blood pressure, stress in the mind and increase in heart rate. It causes all mental, emotional and physical turmoil. Meditation provides a serene and calm thought process harmonizing the dangerous hormones with healthy hormones.

Basically, Meditation replaces anger with compassion.

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What meditation can help

What meditation can help

The world is moving at a rapid pace and all the people in it want to put up with this pace. Increase in globalization and technological devices are making our life easier physically but while moving on at this pace while most of the populations are facing emotional problems with depression, stress, and anxiety.

Want to be free from all the emotional and mental turmoil but don’t know how?

The answer is Meditation. Meditation is the tool to renew our mind, body, heart, and soul. These thousands of year old practice does really have benefits in every area of life. To name a few benefits meditation can have in a mental and emotional wellbeing:

Alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress: Scientists have discovered that mere 30 minutes of meditation daily helps to provide more clarity on self-awareness and inner thought and desires. The consciousness of the mind increases decreases the negative thoughts in your mind. According to researchers meditation can relieve depressions as much as taking a depression medicine. It also improves your sense of wellbeing and gives you a better version of yourself.

Increases the concentration level: Meditation not only increases the mind awareness but helps to cut down on distracting thoughts. One review concluded that meditation may even reverse patterns in the brain that contribute to mind-wandering, worrying, and poor attention.

Rejuvenates You: Our mind needs to be cleaned just as we clean our homes, offices and our body. Meditation cleans our minds from the negatives energies and enables us to look at the positive aspect life has been providing us. After meditation one finds themselves rejuvenated and energized.

Well! There is countless benefits meditation provides in one’s emotional wellbeing so why not try and accommodate meditation in our daily lives. As Siddhartha Gautam Buddha once said, “Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”