Meditation and Method
Meditation is something which we already do in everyday life allowing us to focus on the task at hand – but the depth of meditation is superficial. The events around us in the world soon rob us of our attention and our concentration is gone. The mind that wanders outside our own body is the source of all types of suffering. By deepening our meditation until our mind comes to a standstill we can unlock the potential and unused ability within. We maintain a balance of mindfulness and happiness for ourselves bringing contentment and direction to life in a way not possible through any other technique.
1. The sitting posture, which has been found to be the most conducive for meditation, is the half-lotus position. Sit upright with your back and spine straight – cross-legged with your right leg over the left one. You can sit on a cushion or pillow to make your position more comfortable. Nothing should impede your breathing or circulation. Your hands should rest palms-up on your lap, and the tip of your right index finger should touch your left thumb. Feel as if you are one with the ground on which you sit. Feel that you could sit happily for as long as you like.
2. Softly close your eyes as if you were falling asleep. Relax every part of your body, beginning the muscles of your face, then relax your face, neck shoulders, arms, chest, trunk and legs. Make sure there are no signs of tension on your forehead or across your shoulders.
3. Close your eyes and stop thinking about the things of the world. Feel as if you are sitting alone – around you is nothing and no-one. Create a feeling of happiness and spaciousness in your mind. Before starting, it is necessary to acquaint yourself with the various resting points or bases of the mind inside the body.
4. Feel that your body is empty space, without organs, muscles or tissues. Gently and contentedly rest you attention at a point near to the seventh base of the mind – at the center of the body. Whatever experience arises in the mind, simply observe without attempting to interfere. In this way your mind will become gradually purer and inner experience will unfold.
5. If you find that you cannot dissuade the mind from wandering, then your mind needs an inner object as a focus for attention. Gently imagine that a bright, clear, crystal ball, the size of the tip of your little finger, is located inside at the center of the body. Maybe you’ll find you can imagine nothing, but later you’ll be able to see a crystal ball of increasing clarity. Allow your mind to come to rest at the very center of the crystal ball. Use the subtlest of effort and you’ll find that the crystal ball becomes brighter and clearer. If you see too much effort you will find that it gives you a headache.
6. If you find that your mind still wanders from the crystal ball, you can bring the mind back to a standstill by repeating the mantra, “Samma-araham” silently, as if the sound of the mantra is coming from the center of the crystal ball. Repeat the mantra over and over again without counting.
7. Don’t entertain thoughts in your mind. Don’t analyze what’s going on in the meditation. Allow the mind to come to the standstill – that’s all you need to do. If you find that you can imagine nothing, then repeat the mantra, “Samma-araham” silently and continuously in the mind. If you find that you’re not sure about the location of the center of the body, anywhere in the area of the stomach will do. Persevere because today’s day-dream is tomorrow’s still mind, today’s darkness is tomorrow’s inner brightness, today’s perseverance is tomorrow’s fulfillment. Don’t be disappointed if you find your mind wandering. It is only natural for beginners. Make effort continuously, keep your mind bright, clear and pure, and in the end, you will achieve your goal.
8. Keep repeating the mantra and eventually the sound of the words will die away. At that point a new bright, clear, crystal ball will arise in the mind of its own accord. The crystal ball will sparkle like a diamond. This stage is called pathama magga (primary path). At this stage the shining crystal ball is connected firmly to the mind, and is seated at the center of the body. You will experience happiness, With continuous observation at the center of this crystal ball, it will give way to a succession of increasingly purer bodily sheaths until it reaches the ultimate one called “Dhammakaya”, the highest level of attainment of supreme happiness.