Meditation and Mind
If you really observe, meditation has got nothing to do with the mind; meditation simply means a state of no-mind. All those who sit for meditation would have definitely observed that the only serious barrier to meditation is the mind. There is no way one can try to get into a meditative state through the mind — that is impossible.
Most new meditators try to control the mind, initially we are desperately trying to will our body to sit still — here the mind is trying to enforce control over the body — all these activities of the mind actually strengthen the mind — it is nourishment for the mind.
Meditation is not a question of effort because all effort is going to be through the mind, of the mind, by the mind. How can it take one beyond the mind? We will go round and round IN the mind. We have to wake up! Mind is sleep. Mind is a constant process of dreaming, desiring, thoughts, memories.
It is not necessary to sit with our eyes closed to meditate — when one is in the midst of nature, one can go into a meditative reverie just by observing the birds frolicking, their sweet music, watching the leaves flutter, the sound of the breeze as it plays with the leaves, the sound of insects — beautiful butterflies fluttering around — the mind goes blank as we take in nature’s beauty.
What one needs is watchfulness and not concentration — concentration is food for the mind, watchfulness means just observing in silence. We need concentration in the material world, but in the subjective world where we contemplate on Paramatma, some inner light, love, compassion and so on — concentration is useless, awareness is useful.
For millions of meditators the mind is an issue, it is the biggest distraction. If one is concentrating then any sound, literally anything can become a distraction as the mind loses its focus.
Existence is not linear, it is simultaneous. For example, the birds are chirping, the traffic noise is there, the train is passing by — all these things are happening together. We have to be simple, silent, watchful, witnessing all that is — no need to exclude anything because the excluded thing will try to distract us. If nothing is excluded, if our awareness is all-inclusive, then what can distract us? Can this bird distract one? In fact, it will enhance one’s silence. Nothing can distract us because we are not in a tense state. Concentration is tension, hence the word “attention.” It comes from the same root, “tension.” Awareness is not attention; awareness is relaxation, it is rest.
So, rest silently. Thoughts will pass; there is no need to he worried — what can they do? Desires will come and go. Watch them coming and going. Do not make any evaluation. And gradually start relaxing, our tensions disappear. Then insight opens up like a bud opening up and becoming a flower. Great fragrance is released. In that silence is truth, is bliss, is joy.