MEDITATION ON THE NATURE OF MIND: –
The purpose of the meditation is to begin to recognize and get a feel for the nature of our mind. When we refer to our mind, we are talking about an abstract concept, without having a direct experience of our mind. If we are asked to identify the mind, we may be compelled to merely point to the brain. If we were asked to define mind, we may say it is something that has the capacity to ‘know’, something that is ‘clear’, and ‘cognitive’. But without having directly grasped the mind through meditative practices, these definitions are just words. It is important to be able to identify the mind through direct experience, not just an abstract concept. So the purpose of the meditation is to be able to directly feel or grasp the conventional nature of the mind, so when you say the mind has the qualities of ‘Clarity’ and ‘cognition’, you will be able to identify it through experience, not just as an abstract concept.
Meditation helps you to deliberately stop the discursive thoughts and gradually remain in that state for longer and longer duration. As you practice meditation, eventually you get to a feeling as if there is nothing there, a sense of vacuity. But if you go further, you eventually begin to recognize the underlying nature of the mind, the qualities of ‘Clarity’ and ‘knowing’. It is similar to having pure crystal glass full of water. If the water is pure, you can see the bottom of the glass, but you still recognize that the water is there.
Generally speaking, our mind is predominantly directed towards external objects. Our attention follows after the sense experiences. It remains at a predominantly sensory and conceptual level. In other words normally our awareness is directed towards physical sensory experiences and mental concepts. But in meditation, what you should do is to withdraw your mind in- wards, don’t let it chase after or pay attention to sensory objects. At the same time, don’t allow it to be totally withdrawn that there is kind of dullness or lack of mindfulness. One should maintain a very full state of alertness and mindfulness, and then try to see the natural state of your consciousness – a state in which your consciousness is not afflicted by thoughts of the past, the things that have happened, your memories and remembrances, nor is it afflicted by thoughts of the future, like your future plans, anticipations, fears, and hopes. But rather try to remain in a natural and neutral state. When you are able to stop your mind from chasing sensory objects and thinking about the past and future and so on, and when you can free your mind from being totally ‘blanked out’, then you will begin to see underneath this turbulence of the thought process. There is an underlying stillness, an underlying clarity of the mind. One should try to observe or experience this.
Fill every thought with determination, every step with courage and every word with love by meditation.