What is meditation? Is it a technique that can be practiced? Is it an effort that you have to do? Is it something which the mind can achieve? It is not.
All that the mind can do, cannot be meditation. It is something beyond the mind, the mind is absolutely helpless there. The mind cannot penetrate meditation; where mind ends, meditation begins. This has to be remembered, because in our life, whatsoever we do, we do through the mind; whatsoever we achieve, we achieve through the mind. And then, when we turn inwards, we again start thinking in terms of techniques, methods, doings, because the whole of life’s experience shows us that everything can be done by the mind.
Yes. Except meditation, everything can be done by the mind; everything is done by the mind except meditation. Because meditation is not an achievement. It is already the case, it is your nature.. It has not to be achieved; it has only to be recognized, it has only to be remembered. It is there waiting for you — just a turning in, and it is available. You have been carrying it always and always.
Meditation is your intrinsic nature. It is you, it is your being, it has nothing to do with your doings. You cannot have it, you cannot not have it, it cannot be possessed. It is not a thing. It is you. It is your being.
Once you understand what meditation is things become very clear. Otherwise, you can go on groping in the dark.
Meditation is a state of clarity, not a state of mind. Mind is confusion. Mind is never clear. It cannot be. Thoughts create clouds around you — they are subtle clouds. A mist is created by them, and the clarity is lost. When thoughts disappear, when there are no more clouds around you, when you are in your simple being-ness, clarity happens. Then you can see far away; then you can see to the very end of existence; then your gaze becomes penetrating, to the very core of being.
Meditation is clarity, absolute clarity, of vision. You cannot think about it. You have to drop thinking. When I say, ‘You have to drop thinking,’ don’t conclude in a hurry, because I have to use language. So I say, “Drop thinking,” — but if you start dropping, you will miss, because again you will reduce it to a doing.
“Drop thinking” simply means: don’t do anything. Sit. Let thoughts settle themselves. Let mind drop on its own accord. You just sit gazing at the wall, in a silent corner, not doing anything at all. Relaxed. Loose. With no effort. Not going, anywhere, as if you are falling asleep awake. You are awake and you are relaxing but the whole body is falling into sleep. You remain alert inside but the whole body moves into deep relaxation.
Thoughts settle on their own accord, you need not jump amongst them; you need not try to put them right. It is as if a stream has become muddy…what do you do? Do you jump in it and start helping the stream to become clear; you will make it more muddy.
You simply sit on the bank. You wait. There is nothing to be done. Because whatsoever you do will make the stream more muddy. If somebody has passed through a stream and the dead leaves have surfaced and the mud has arisen, just patience is needed. You simply sit on the bank. Watch indifferently: the stream goes on flowing, the dead leaves will be taken away — and the mud will start settling because it cannot hang forever.After a while, suddenly you will become aware the stream is crystal-clear again.
Whenever a desire passes through your mind the stream becomes muddy. So just sit. Don’t try to do anything. In Japan this ‘just sitting’ is called zazen; just sitting and doing nothing. And one day, meditation happens. Not that you bring it to you; it comes to you.And when it comes, you immediately recognize it; it has been always there but you were not looking in the right direction. The treasure has been with you but you were occupied somewhere else: in thoughts, in desires, in a thousand and one things. You were not interested in only one thing — and that was your own being.
When energy turns in — what Buddha calls parabvrutti: the coming back of your energy to the source — suddenly clarity is attained. Then you can see clouds a thousand miles away, and you can hear ancient music in the pines. Then everything is available to you.
Excerpt from Ancient Music in the Pines, Discourse #7
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