Cultivating a Daily Meditation Practice
Joy of Meditation
In this ongoing series on Insights from Advanced Meditation Practice, I am sharing the realizations which occur with the practice of the Silent Mind Meditation Technique, Gyan Yoga or Zen Meditation. The insights are the notes that I put down after my daily meditation session, and their content is a reflection of that which was realized when encountering certain states of consciousness or perceiving directly the facts of our internal reality.
The quote below reflects what I think is a very key aspect of daily meditation practice. It is the joy one gets when watching the mind in action.
Joy in Meditation:
Happiness is the absence of struggle. The ease of observing the futility of trying is great joy.
In the great expanse within, the condition of becoming and the hope that permeates the mind can be seen clearly. This seeing is all that can be and must be engaged. All else is just the same orientation – strengthening the current condition. Leaving us bound to time.
Do whatever you have to do, in order to participate in and initiate your evolution.
Analysis of Joy in Meditation:
The particular aspect of this quote that I want to focus on, is the first line which points to the joy one gets in watching the mind. Below are several key points I want to make with regard to this important and essential phenomenon, understanding which I think will make possible the reality of a serious and long-term, daily meditation practice.
- The Fact of Joy: The joy that I refer to here is absolutely a fact. It is not vague or derived. It is pure and full. It is really unadulterated fun and happiness.
- This Joy is Not a Result: Normally we can find long, long lists indicating the benefits of meditation and on those very true lists, we will also find joyous living as one of the entries. Although joyous living will certainly materialize as a result of your meditation practice, this is not the joy that I am referring to here. Here I am referring to the joy one gets simply from participating in meditation. Simply from watching the thinking mind from moment to moment as best as you can.
- Arduous Yet Joyful: Although in the quote above, I said the "ease of observing", watching the mind and comprehending it from moment to moment via direct perception is not trivial. It is arduous. The "ease of observation" is encountered only after a period of intense observation, the very intensity of which causes the thinking process to slow down, thus making it possible to see the fact in action. Although the early phase of a meditation session can be fun, the real joy tends to present itself once the thinking mind has slowed down enough to allow for the moment to moment observation of the facts in action to materialize.
- Enjoyment in Meditation: As indicated above, meditation at this level is challenging, and I think that encountering this joy is very key in helping establish a deep, daily meditation practice. The more you enjoy meditation, the less you will resist it and the more you will embrace it.
- Not Always Joyous: One final point I want to make, is that meditation is not predictable and every time you sit to watch your thoughts does not mean you will end up slowing down the thinking process to a trickle (or stop it), and therefore experience the joy of observing the fact in action. Sometimes you will not be very effective, or other greater experiences might be encountered. Be patient, remember not knowing is part of this great adventure :-D.