Satsang with Giten on Buddha:
The Middle path
From satsang with Giten, February 25, 2016, in Stockholm
7. Right Mindfulness
The sixth step on Buddha’s Middle Way is Right mindfulness or Right awareness.
By mindfulness, Buddha means that you should always remian awake, alert and aware.
You should always remain present.
In every act that you do, be present and aware.
In walking, eating, talking or listening, be aware.
Never allow any act to be done without awareness.
Then this awareness will spread all over your life.
Then meditation and your life are not separate things.
Then meditation spreads in your acts, in your relationships and in your creatvity.
Meditation has to be one with life.
In the book “Presence – Working from Within: The Psychology of Being, I write about the essence of meditation:
The Essence of Meditation:
Watchful Awareness, Acceptance
What is the essence of meditation? The essence of meditation consists of four qualities:
1. Watchful awareness
2. An accepting attitude
3. A non-judgmental attitude
1. Watchful awareness
The first quality of meditation is a watchful awareness. Awareness is another word for meditation. Awareness is meditation. Awareness can also be described with the words presence or witnessing.
Awareness is the capacity to be present to the thoughts, the feelings, the sensations of the physical body, and to the outer stimuli. Awareness is a 180-degree turn within from being identified with the continuous inner stream of thoughts, feelings, desires, ambitions, dreams and expectations to being conscious about and to watch this inner stream.
Awareness is the capacity to say “yes” and to be present to the constant inner stream of thoughts; feelings and sensations, without will to stop this stream and without wish that it should be different than it is. It is like being a witness, an unidentified observer, to theinner stream. It is like sitting by the side of the river and watch the flow of the river.
Awareness is the corner stone that can transform our whole quality of life. Awareness can create the inner presence, which can transform our life into a joyful dance, a song of meditation. Through awareness we can discover our true inner nature, which allows us to discover a new dimension to be in contact with life. Awareness gives us the freedom to choose between clinging to the past or to live in the unknown mystery of the moment.
Awareness is not about continuously trying to change ourselves or to become “better”.
Awareness is about learning to love and respect ourselves as we are. Awareness is about becoming aware, to lit the light of our inner being.
Awareness is not about becoming something; awareness is about realizing that we already are somebody.
In the light of awareness, the real and authentic grows by itself and the false and artificial falls away by itself like dead leaves in the autumn.
If we close our eyes and turn our attention within for a moment, we will soon notice three things:
1. That the activity of the mind in the form of thoughts, feelings, desires, ambitions, dreams, expectations and reactions on outer stimuli is going on continuously 24hours a day. When we are awake it is going on in the form of thoughts, feelings, attitudes and reactions and during sleep it is going on in the form of dreams. The mind is also one whole, even if Freud divided the mind into two parts, and calledone part for the conscious mind and the other part for the conscious mind. The only difference between these two parts is that the conscious mind is the conscious part of the mind and the unconscious mind is the denied and repressed part of the mind, but they are both part of the same whole. It is like the relationship between the dark, unknown cellar, where we do not enter, and the light, comfortable living area with the living room and the kitchen, where we normally live our lives.
2. That the mind continuously moves like the pendulum of a clock between the memories of the past and the dreams of the future, but it never stays in the moment, in the here and now. The mind is a mechanism that cannot function in the moment.
3. That there is an inner presence, an inner witness that has the capacity to watch the continuous activity of the mind, without being identified or engaged. This inner presence and this watchful awareness is the essence of meditation. It gives us the insight that there is an inner presence that can be aware of the constant activity of the mind. This insight leads u further to the realization that we are not the mind; we are not the thoughts, the feelings or the sensations of the physical body. The easiest level to become aware about is the sensations of the physical body, since the physical body is the grossest form of our consciousness. The second easiest level to become aware about is the thoughts and the most difficult level to become aware about is the feelings and emotions.
There is really nothing that can disturb our meditation; everything can be used as an object for meditation. Everything that happens on the inside and everything that happens on the outside can be used to go deeper into meditation. It does not really matter if it is a feeling of joy, sorrow, aloneness or anger that we meet inside ourselves. And it does not really matter if it is a person on the outside that insults us and makes us angry, sad and disappointed. With presence, awareness and understanding, we can say “yes” to and include everything that arises in our consciousness, and everything that we meet on the outside, in our meditation. The deeper we go into meditation, the more it expands in our life. It is to realize that life and meditation are not two separate things.
A question that we can ask ourselves in different situations in life is if we are identified with the thoughts, feelings and sensations of the physical body – or if we simply can be aware about and watch what arises in our consciousness.
Through this awareness, we can use all situations as an opportunity for meditation.
2. An accepting attitude
The second quality of meditation is an accepting attitude. Awareness includes an accepting attitude. An accepting attitude means to learn to say “yes” to everything that arises in our consciousness. It means to learn to say “yes” both to positive and negative experiences, to light and darkness and to joy and sorrow.
An accepting attitude means to include everything that we find within ourselves with presence, awareness and understanding.
An accepting attitude means an attitude that the reality of the moment is perfect exactly as it is. It means not wanting to change the reality of the moment, or to have a wish that the moment should be different than it is. It means to embrace the moment as we find it inside ourselves with a love and acceptance for how the moment is. It is a love for the reality of the moment. This accepting attitude expands our inner being and creates larger freedom and space within ourselves.
An accepting attitude means to embrace everything that we find within ourselves like a mother embraces her child.
A question that we can ask ourselves in different situations in life is if we say “yes”, if we accept, what arises in our consciousness and what life offers us, or if we say “no”, if we resist the reality of the moment.
3. A non-judgmental attitude
The third quality of meditation is a non-judgmental attitude. Awareness also includes anon-judgmental attitude.
Normally we judge ourselves, rather than simply witness our behavior without judgment. Since early we have been taught to judge ourselves and make ourselves wrong, so now it is easier not judging others than ourselves.
People who love and respect themselves are not easy to control and manipulate, so the strategy of political, religious and economic interests is to teach people to judge themselves. People who do not trust themselves and are split within are easier to control, exploit and manipulate.
A non-judgmental attitude means to learn to love the imperfect in ourselves. It means to include everything that we do not love and accept in ourselves in the light of awareness. A non-judgmental attitude means to learn to say “yes” even to that which we say “no” to in ourselves.
A question that we can ask ourselves in different situations in life is if we say “no”, if we judge, that which arises in our consciousness and what life offers us – or if we simply cane aware and witness without judgment and evaluation.
The fourth quality in meditation is relaxation. The watchful awareness, the accepting attitude and the non-judgmental attitude, results in a deep relaxation together with feeling that whatever happens inside and outside of ourselves is perfect exactly as it is.
It leads to a rest in ourselves and the feeling that we are already all right as we are. This relaxation creates a feeling that we can appreciate the beautiful being that we already are.
We can rest in that which is already perfect within ourselves.