How Shall We Approach Life Through Meditation? 

            This whole universe is an open field for man’s growth, happiness, awareness and enlightenment.  Still, human beings are not receiving from the universe even a portion of what they are capable of receiving.  Why?  Because they have limited themselves, put up fence composed of their perceptions and beliefs.  They receive according to the perceptions and limtations.  Meditation breaks down the fence; it lifts the curtain which is created by society and the sceqtical mind.  You start experiencing the reality that “The world is for me and I am for the world.  If I am open to the world, the world is open to me." 

            This experience is like visiting your mother’s house.  There you can go and feel at home.  You can eat anything you want anytime.  Your mother will not be angry to see you going to the refrigerator.  She will be happy to see you enjoying the food she has prepared for you.  This earth is like that mother, but your doubt, guilt and fear have caused you to lose your relationship with her.  You are afraid to reach our, afraid you will be rejected, rebuked or put down.  You do not spread your hand or extend yourself to receive those gifts the universe can give you.  With meditation you are opening yourself.  That is the purpose of meditation.  When you open, things naturally flow in and you receive.  

            If we open a window, the air comes in.  We don’t have to ask or call the wind; all we must do is open the window.  If we open all the windows, we have cross-ventilation and the air comes and goes freely.  You do not worry that the wind will escape and you will be left without any air.  More wind is always coming so we enjoy the breeze.  It is infinite, everlasting.  Some people fear that by giving they will reduce their own supply.  But the universe works in a different way.  By opening to give and receive, there is never any lack or want.  We receive the flow of air from higher consciousness through the open windows of our mind.  Our fears are created by our mind.  What you think will come to pass.  If you think something bad will happen and dwell on it, then you invite that event and naturally it comes about.  That is the law of the universe. 

            Meditation means to send an invitation to health before the subconscious mind can invite weakness and sickness.  There are beautiful things happening in the universe, but often we don’t enjoy them.  The world is not as bad as the newspapers, television and radio indicate.  They report abnormal events the unusual and unpleasant.  Do the papers ever report how many people went home safely and happily?  They do not, because this is what is normal and usual and people do not read about these things. 

            In our lives we must clear the clouds and see the beauty and positive energy all around us.  Then our whole approach to living changes.  Now our subconscious mind is busy with unpleasant, negative, petty things.  They cover our smile, cloud our happiness, blur our vision, and upset our mood.  Big things do not upset life; they come only rarely.  It is the tiny irritations, which disturb our lives.  If a small incident occurs in your family and you become irritated, it can spoil your whole day.  A little ink will ruin your clothes. It takes no time to spoil something but much time to clean it up.  People are not ready to take the time to find out why they are unhappy and irritated, or why they lose control of themselves.  Meditation means taking that time. 

            Why do you need to take this time?  For years you have been conditioned by your society and its rules, by your teachers and schools, by your parents, your religion, even by your parents, your religion, even by the climate and geography of the place where you live.  You have been covered by many layers.  You have forgotten your real nature, which is serene and happy.  You need to take time to rediscover your real nature.           

            There is an old fable, which shows what has happened to many of you.  Once there was a wise king who ruled his kingdom well.  One day his minister came to him and told the king that he had had a dream that the water of the next monsoon would caused all the people who drank it to go crazy.  The king became very much concerned.  So he decided to cover the palace from the rain so that someone in the land would remain sane and capable of ruling.  This was done.  When the monsoon started and the people began to drink the water, they began to feel light-headed and then they went completely crazy.  They all began taking off their clothes and walking about naked in the streets. 

            After one or two days the king decided to make an appearance before the people and tell them not to worry that a solution would soon be found to their problems.  And so he set the time and appeared on the balcony with his minister.  But when the people saw him, they all began to shout to him.  The talked among themselves and decided that the king must be crazy because he was still wearing his clothes.  Then they decided that they should lock both the king and his minister away in a safe place until they regained their sanity and were again able to govern intelligently.  When the king heard this he knew what he had to do.   Both he and his minister quickly removed their clothes and threw them away.  The people all began to cheer and applaud, and they settled down to listen to the speech of their king. 

            The same thing has happened to you.  You have been conditioned for man-years to think that you are weak and worthless inside.  Instead of seeing joy in life through your own eyes, you have accepted the negative vision of others.

             If your mind believes that you are worthless, then no one else can convince you that you are priceless.  Now we have all taken a step toward meditation to understand that have all taken a step toward meditation to understand what we really are, to leave these old concepts of guilt and sin behind.  Once we get a glimpse of our real Self, then our lives will be changed and we can free ourselves from the conditioning of others.  We will see that life is worth living.

             With the help of meditation, we learn and grow from each experience in life, from happy incidents and painful events, from richness and poverty, from gaining a place in society and from being rejected by society and friends.  We use meditation to draw wisdom and to grow.  We do not allow any moment of depression to cover us or make us feel helpless.  We stand up and say,  “With my suffering I have paid my debt.  Now I am free let me move o and leave it behind.”  With that thought you rise up and move onward on your path.

             Once I knew a very lovely and sweet young woman who was about to have her first baby.  Suddenly her husband died.  The poor woman faced a terrible struggle because she did not want to live without her husband, yet she had another life to consider.  She took it as her mission to live for this second life, to consider.  She took it as her mission to live for this second life, this unborn child, and to raise the child to the best of her ability.  Taking this mission, she used her suffering and hardship to learn and grow and to strengthen herself to give to those around her.  She meditated on her child and saw the child’s needs.  She felt,  “I live for thee”.  With this feeling, living is not mere existence; living becomes life.

             Ask yourself, “Do I learn and grow from my experiences?  If I do not, then what is meaning of living?”  When you go to the store and buy some costly items, you return home without as much money.  But you do not feel disappointed because you have used the money to get something you wanted.  This is also the way we invest our days.  We are passing time here; we want to spend our days learning and gaining wisdom, understanding and balance.

             If life goes by and you have not attained anything, which is real, then old age is miserable.  If you have never known yourself, then the prospect of dying and the approaching time of departure are very frightening.  But if you knowyourself and grow in life, then advancing age is beautiful; each stage of life bolds new richness and rewards.

             We do not grow old, we become old.  To grow means to increase our wisdom and vitality.  Years are not important, it is pleasantness that counts.  I have seen many beautiful old faces., people in their seventies and eighties who are so wonderful to look upon.  Thought there are wrinkles, in each line some pleasantness is hidden.  And I have seen young faces, which are dull and fat and covered with powder.  There is no pleasantness to be found there.  The flat faces are good for portraits and magazines, but not for communication.  Meditation means that you bring a pleasant feeling in your face.  You see beautiful moments from every corner of your memory.  Bring those moments to your memory now so your face becomes pleasant and peaceful.  When we become tired of life we become old, whatever our age may be.  Meditation is useful for older people as well as the young.  As we advance through life meditating, we build our good feelings and joy.

             The first thing to know about meditation is that you must start from here, wherever you are now.  Once a lady was walking out of her house and she dropped her ring near the doorway.  It was very dark there, so she walked a few yards and began looking around under the streetlamp.  A man came along and asked her what she was looking for.  When she told him she had dropped her ring, he began helping her look for it.  After a few Mounties, he asked her exactly where she had dropped it.  Then she explained that she had dropped it near the doorway, but because there was more light under the streetlamp,  she was looking for it in that spot.  Then the man said,  “You cannot expect to find the ring here just because there is light.  You must go to the spot where you dropped the ring and bring light there if it is too dark.” 

            The same thing is true for us in our meditation.  Each of us is at a different point from everyone else; not better or worse, just different.  It may seem that your spot is rather dark at first, but you cannot find what you are looking for anywhere else.  You must bring the light of your increasing awareness where you are in order to begin your quest.  There is no comparison in this journey.  You simply start from where you are. 

            The first step is to become calm and observe your feelings.  See yourself in your relation with the universe.  Are you alone in the world?  Do you feel alienation? Why? Do you feel that you do not have any friends?  Or is it that you do not have anyone who satisfies your desires?  We can view life in two ways: in the large context of the whole universe, or from our little self and its connection with endless desires.  Seeing the world the second way, though many people smile and say “hello” to you, if your desires are not exactly fulfilled nothing will be right for you.

             Now, take some time to examine your needs.  Consider the people who have no food, no clothes, no shelter; or the aged who sit in corners all alone, their hands trembling, with no one to bring them water.  Consider the young who are innocent of any crime except to be born in a certain country at a certain time, and are forced into a battlefield against their will.  If they refuse to go, they are branded as traitors.  If they ask,  “Why should we fight?” or say “I have no enemy; they did nothing to me and I did nothing to them,” they lose their freedom and are locked in jail.  If they go, they must kill and many will lose their lives in hopeless struggle. 

            Do you not see that you are blessed?  Why do you yearn for what your mind desires?  If things come, that is fine.  If they do not, why do you let it spoil all that you already have?  See the blessings you have.  Do you have a good body with five beautiful senses?  Can you walk, talk and communicate?  Can you see, hear and think?

             Come in touch with this beautiful body.  It is a gift of the universe and it plays a great role in our growth.  Use it well and don’t abuse it.  Build it in strength and health.

             First count your gifts.  Then ask yourself,  “Do I have any relation with the universe?”  With a little thought you will see that the answer is yes.  The food you eat is grownby someone, through you may never meet him.  The clothes you wear were made by others you never see.  And what about your house, the car you drive, and the electricity you use?  Could you create all this byyourself?  Thinking in this way you will see that you have a vast relation with the universe and you are constantly receiving its plentiful gifts.  Realizing this, you feel rapport with all mankinds and you want to dedicate yourself to the good of the universe.

Next


What is Meditation? |Beinning Practice | Beginning Meditation: calming Down and Observing Yourself and Your Breathing| Developing One-Pointedness |Deeping Meditation: Emtrying and Focusing | Impediments to Growth: The Ego |Continuing Practice: Meditation on Hrim and Breathing |How Shall we Approach Life Through Meditation? |The Use of Mantras: Veerum and Sohum |Seeking Our True Nature |Deepening Meditation: who Am I? |Deepening  Meditation: Eliminating  Negative Traits |Meditation: The Art of Life and Experience of Light | Review |Meditation and the Art of Communication |Guided Meditation: Experiencing Light and Life| Meditation in Jain Philosophy|Sense Beyond the Senses| Perfection Is in Us|Realize What You Are

 

www.jainworld.com