Meditation is like planting a garden. The type of seeds you plant determines what you harvest. The same works for meditation. The results of meditation are also like a jewel buried in the ground. It can only be discovered through practice. Many people are standing on the rock hiding the jewel and aren’t even aware that it is there. Through meditation you can discover this jewel and polish it, becoming a Noble Friend to yourself.
Let me tell you a few things about meditation. Meditation is the practice we are doing to cultivate our mind. Cultivate means, simply think of if you are planting something sometimes we are planting seeds expecting flowers. Sometimes we are planting seeds but expecting fruits And so many things we are expecting certain results. We plant different seeds, knowing what will be harvested.
Mindfulness is necessary to practice meditation
Remember, we always harvest what we plant. If somebody plants anger they will harvest anger. If somebody plants anxiety or fear or jealousy…The result will be either harmful or it won’t be too nice. Therefore, meditation is a mindful person’s action. Sometimes people say, they are practicing mindfulness, but no. We have to have mindfulness to practice meditation.
There are many ways we are losing our mindfulness. When we are distracted by power, money, desire, or something We would go away from mindfulness. Because we will power into those things and power will become our priority. Money will become our priority. There are certain things we want our freedom to be helped We have to have freedom from health and some other obligations, family but, for the meditator realizes the determination and effort is really helping us to have freedom from those obligations and obstacles. It is part of mindfulness. With that mindfulness, we find time to practice meditation.
Again, meditation means we are planting well-being. The seed of well-being. We are expecting to harvest well being. So, if you name compassion, loving-kindness, or joyfulness, happiness, peacefulness all of those things are the desired harvest of planting the right seeds.
Mindful meditation is really action. It is not doing nothing. And, it is a difficult action.
Weeding the Garden
If you really want to plant something then you have to make the ground empty. You have to remove all the big trees. Small trees and weeds. And then you have to fertilize the ground. That’s the meaning of finding the quiet, empty mind. Once you accomplish this quiet, empty mind, then you are planting the seeds.
But, as a meditator, you have to keep weeds out. If you stop weeding [in the garden] what will happen? It will become a jungle. It will become a forest. I have seen people who come to meditation who sometimes some weeds become a powerful tree and then they distract with those weeds. which can be part of again, money, power, some other obligations. Then you see that this is very important.
So, the part of the practice you are trying to support you, not to distract, not to get distracted by anything else. That is meditation.
I would like to ask a question for you to think about. What kind of mind do you want to have? Or, what kind of mind you would really appreciate having? In order to have that mind, what you are supposed to do? Or, who is responsible??? Who is capable of providing you with such a mind? So, the answer is very easy and I’m sure you all know the answer.
It is you.
But, that’s not my [real] question. My [actual] question is, even though you know that you are the one who is responsible, what makes you stop? What makes you stop doing what we need to do in order to have that peaceful mind?
How many of you have said in the past “Yes, meditation is good, but I don’t have time…” “Yes, meditation is good, but I can’t find time…” [For example, ] my family obligations, my work obligations or the weather is too bad to drive to meditation. I don’t feel I am safe. Don’t feel safe to drive today. Or, my boss needs me to work. So, we are blaming others.
And sometime, think about when doctors schedule an appointment, I’m sure you will clear your calendar for that. Or, you will even give up some of the things, even you will give up a party if that is seen as a serious matter Because we think that living is more important than anything else. When your life gets threatened we’ll postpone everything else.
But, when something comes regarding our own well being for our mind we think, “I can do it later.” So, knowing is not enough. There is something powerful that is really stopping us. We need something powerful to get us to really think “But, I have to do this now.” This is very important. We need to think, “I can do meditation now and do my workout later.” [Establish] that urge to fulfill the desire of the mind.
So, all of those things being prioritized are based on our desires. When you ask the question, but…. that question comes with a strong desire letting you come up with an excuse. It becomes our defense. It is the defense to protect this internal desire. At the same time, the meditator realizes the world is based on desires. That is where the meditator realizes the renunciation or the ability to renounce is a powerful skill. Even coming to meditation this hour it is not easy.
You have to renounce many other things. Family time. Some people even let go of their TV. And some things are really important. And then you leave your comfort and have to sit on the cushion. Even if you sit on the chair, those chairs are not like your couch. You have to sit upright. There are so many questions [and thoughts] and you have to let go all of those mental demands to sit down, renouncing the comfort, or the desire for comfort, the desire to be with someone [or] to be someplace else.
Being Addicted to Distractions
When you happen to have thoughts during meditation you are not thinking about that because you have let go of that thought. You are not living in that dream. You are letting go of your thoughts. The meditator is realizing how much renouncing is helping you become rich with the practice. That’s why often people find time at least temporarily renounce by going to retreats or even just having some alone time. This gives you time to establish yourself with less distraction.
These people learn how much they have been addicted to distractions. Sometimes, when you happen to drive your car with no music, you say, “Oh, it is so boring.” If you don’t see a lot of things on the road “Oh, it is so straight, there is nothing to see. It is so boring” Just think, what’s the meaning of that? We don’t like emptiness. We have become addicted to distractions. That’s why we are trying to do so many things at once, multi-tasking.
If somebody says “Hey, you are doing a lot of things at once.” You say, “It is very important to do! It is very important that I check email while I’m having my tea…. It is very important for me to send this text while I’m having my dinner.” So, what’s the meaning of that? We think that it is important. There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with that action. The wrong is… we don’t realize the value of myself. Or, the value of a peaceful mind.
Discovering the Gem For Yourself
Imagine a gem is buried under the ground. Nobody knows about that gem. It is just another rock in the ground. But, at the same time, the people on the ground they are talking about gems, without knowing where it is. Maybe they are standing on that rock. But, you have to have mindfulness to find that gem. And then to polish it you have to have mindfulness.
You have to have wisdom. Once when you polish it then everybody knows, this is a gem. But, before you take it out, until you polish it, nobody knows the value of that rock. At the same time, you don’t know the value of your mind. You don’t know the value of your joyful mind. People say, “I’m am not capable of having this peaceful mind.”
People often ask, “Is there anybody who has this peaceful or joyful mind?” Because they [can’t imagine] that they can take this joyfulness and live with it. But, the meditator is a mindful person who starts the meditation by thinking, “I can become” or, “I can take this beautiful gem out.” and use it and even share the beauty of it with others. Then, with determination with effort, you are digging and polishing it.
That is what the meditator does. With confidence and trusting yourself [and your meditation tools] to take this gem out and polish it. With doubts, without laziness, without lack of confidence, that blind person would never even look where the gem is. Even though you happen to kick it. You will not pick it up. Just think about some of you who have been coming to meditation a longer time. I’m sure you have been speaking to your family and friends about coming to meditation. Maybe you have invited many people to come to meditation. But, they talk about it “Yes, meditation is good. I think I will come one day.” Those are the people who are just kicking the gem and not picking up the gem.
Being a Noble Friend
With compassion, we are better by encouraging [and inviting]. That is the action of a Noble One. That is the action of the Noble Friend.
The action of the Noble Friend works in two different ways. One way, you are being a Noble Friend to your own self. As a person, you are not supporting your excuses. You will find where to fulfill other life obligations while you are practicing your meditation or your workout. While you are supporting yourself maybe you doing other things at a different time. That is how you can maintain and become a Noble Friend to yourself.
The second way you continuously become a Noble Friend to others. To your family, to your friends, you keep supporting and sharing the value of being mindful. The value of [demonstrating] the value of cultivating this joyfulness and friendliness. After your encouragement, one day they will start to look [for the gem]. That is the action of a Noble Friend. The meditator is going to be a Noble Friend to oneself and others. That is why we practice. That is how we are going to find and polish this gem within.
Presented by Sathi on July 3, 2018.