Dear dharma students, friends, brothers and sisters,
First off, I would like to deeply apologize for my very long silence. It was in part because of my busy schedule, long hours of puja, and perhaps most significantly the long power outages that have been lasting 14 hours per day (a wonderful way indeed to practice patience in this age of electronics)!
Now coming back to where we left off, this seven lifetime old man would once again like to take the opportunity to remind you all to not go astray from practicing the precious dharma.
It is said in the Dhammapada that without meditation, wisdom wanes. Remembering, glimpse by glimpse, our meditation practice, I would like to talk a little bit more about how to bring your mind home. Our last conversation dealt with cultivating diligence and now we’ll move on to the next chapter in The Way of the Bodhisattva and briefly talk about Meditative Concentration.
How to have a Successful Meditation?
1. Before you tackle the above question, first ask yourself: “What is the benefit of meditation?”
The major benefits of meditation: Happiness, preserving happiness, achieving happiness, learning to tame the mind from negative emotions and finally to achieve enlightenment.
Because of loved ones and desire for gain,
We fail to turn away from worldly things.
These, then, are the first things to renounce.
The prudent should conduct themselves like this.
-Śāntideva, The Way of a Bodhisattva
2. It is said by the masters of the past that when one is associated with the eight worldly concerns, then one is easily distracted. This results in unsuccessful meditation.
Therefore whenever you are about to meditate, it is advisable to let go of yourself, your work, and your wants (just for the duration of the meditation). Through this you are reducing yourself of the obstacles on the path of meditation.
3. Before you start with your meditation, it is important that you supplicate the Buddha and receive the blessings and aspire to have a successful meditation.
4. Finally, one should always have a good motivation, which is bodhichitta.
The Four Qualities Of Meditation:
- The body should be natural and calm.
- One-pointedness: the mind should be one-pointed towards the object of meditation.
- Clarity or subtle mindfulness.
When doing shamatha meditation, these four qualities should be present. On the other hand, in vipashyana, mahamudra, and great perfection meditation, one-pointedness is not necessary.
This is all that I have to say. I think it is just karma that I couldn’t send the two prior emails and that you didn’t receive it either! Ha ha!
Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche