"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

April 23, 2013

Meditation as a Total Way of Living

"I have read Vimala Thakar's article 'Meditation, A Way of Life.' Here are some of the things I really liked in it:

'... unless there is an innate passion to find out, to discover for oneself one will not be equipped to live the meditative way. Meditation is a total way of living, not a partial or fragmentary activity... Life is neither occidental or oriental... There is no excitement in a real enquirer, there is a depth of intensity, not the shallowness of enthusiastic excitement... Then that state of observation begins to permeate the waking hours. Whether you cook a meal, go to the office, or while you are talking, the state of observation begins to permeate all activities of the waking hours... When the state of observation is sustained the sensitivity gets heightened, and from morning till night you are much more aware than before...

...It is no use concentrating your attention upon the activities of the mind, to the exclusion of the rest of your way of living. Meditation is something pertaining to the whole being and the whole life. Either you live in it or you do not live in it. In another words, it is related to everything physical and psychological... Thus, from the small area of mental activity, we have brought meditation to a vast field of consciousness, where it gets related to the way you sit or stand, the way you gesticulate or articulate throughout the day. Whether you want it or not, the inner state of your being gets expressed in your behaviour...

...This co-relation of meditation to the total way of living is the first requirement on the path of total transformation... Very few of us realise that constant verbalisation is one of the greatest obstacles in the path of meditation... Life is a homogeneous whole and you can never fragment it... To be aware of the lapse or the gap is itself a kind of observation.'" (Vimala Thakar)

Quoted in "Snow in the Summer"
Ven. Sayadaw U Jotika

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