Meditation in Jain Philosophy

Meditation requires sincere, consistent and constant awareness.  Real meditation cannot be “instant meditation.”  Yes, after long practice, in a instant you go into meditation.  That can happen, but the person must have some previous background, some former experience.

                When I entered the monkshood, for five years I practiced silence.  I wanted to know the secret of words, the mystery of life, and what is beyond death.  When you observe silence, in the beginning you feel uncomfortable, because you have the habit of voicing you opinions, speaking and making noise.  But when you observe silence, in the beginning you feel uncomfortable, because you have the habit of voicing your opinions, speaking and making noise.  But when you observe silence for a long time, you are not ready to break it when the time comes.  The peace is so deep in you that you enjoy being silent.  Your eyes are open, your ears are open yet in upayoga you are with yourself and the noiseless sound.

            Silence plays a great role in the path of meditation.  At the same time we need inner awareness.  The direction is inward, not outward.  It is not going anywhere outside.  It is finding yourself in being.

            In this dynamic meditation there I no boundary between East and West.  The boundaries are of the mind, not of souls.  We see human life everywhere, pulsating with eagerness, and having a deep inner quest.  All sould are equal.  If you only see the outer garb you will see that some have white skin, some have red skin, some have black skin.  These are all outside appearances.  Inside, the flame is the same.  This message, which permeated the Indian air tow thousand five hundred years ago, is here today.

            What is meditation?  Meditation starts with awareness.  Turn off you outer activity for a while in order to enter the complementary, receptive mood of your soul, Because you are always active, you are busy living outside.  You are making yourself empty, and you are not fulfilling yourself inside.  Without the inner touch your words become empty, your language becomes meaningless, and your talk becomes only a kind of chatter. 

            Whatever activity you do, you don’t really do it on your own initiative.  You follow the herd and act the way many others are acting.  The time comes when a person is ethnical in movement, without knowing why he or she is doing or saying something.  In order to receive, you must turn off all this activity. 

             What do you do then?  First you sit quietly.  You take an asana, or posture.  It is called kayatsarga, which means that youforget for awhile the body and its tension.  You allow the body to relax in its own way, like a piece of sponge.  So the tension which you have accumulated begins slowly dropping down.  Kai means the body and utsarga means to drop.  Drop your body.  Why?  Because as long as there is tension in the body, you won’t be able to experience the flow of life. 

            Do you know how much tension you have?  Even as you prepare to meet a person, you are building tension in your body and mind.  How to greet? How to meet?  How to speak? What to say?  In this way, in school, in colleges, in our studies, in our society, in our contacts with people—everywhere there is tension.  This tension is built in now Even if you sit for meditation.  Your body is not quiet.  It is jerking.  Even though people may sit wquiely, they go on biting their nails.  They make many gestures because there is no calmness.  The first step is to drop your body—allow it to live I its won state.  When you have done kayatsarga, then you can turn to the mind and the breath.

 

            When you are under tension, you take shallow breaths.  But when you allow the body to flow, the breath goes deep, and you take in proper oxygen.  Y ou body is animated when it is filled deeply with fresh oxygen.,  The cells are not dead r stagnant, there is no inertia.  You need fresh breath.  That is why meditation generally was observed on mountaintops, in forests, near rivers, o shores, I the natural environment.  As you take in fresh air, your mind is also blossoming.  You are opening, and you feel the freshness of your mind.           

            You become attentive to your breath and begin a mental count to four to bring yourself in tune with your breathing.  You use the mantram brim to raise your energy for meditation. 

            Then, after attending to the breath, you may use the mantram veerum to enrage your mind.  For a long time your mind has been rushing among so many activities, it does not know what to do.  The five senses are sending demands to the mind and it is off in many directions. 

            In meditation you locate your mind in one place.  That is why we use mantras.  When you breathe in, you use vee When you breathe out, you use rum.  Veerum means to bem, brave enough to accept the real nature of yourself.  This may seem contradictory.  You may ask,  “To accept the nature of yourself you have to be brave?”  Yes.  To enjoy your blissfulness, to know your inner thought, and to be in a relaxed mood, you need bravery, because your mind is loaded with worry, anxiety, fear and negativities. 

            As soon as something beautiful happens we are afraid.  We are afraid to embrace happiness.  A student recently came and she told me,  “For six days I have been feeling joy.  Now I don’t know what terrible thing may happen to me.  When I am so happy and it last for six days I worry that something is going to happen, I don’t know what, but I feel it.”

 

            The mind is not ready to enjoy blissfulness, the Sat, Chit and Ananda.  These three qualities are in us, but we don’t believe that.  We have doubt.  We believe only for awhile, on the word level.  It will be a great day for you when you believe that “This is my nature, to be happy blissful, full of knowledge and immortal.  I am sat, Chit, Ananda.”  Sat means immortal.  Chit means consciousness.  Ananda means bliss. These qualities are within us—this is what we have forgotten. 

            We doubt these gifts are for us, as though they belonged only to certain blessed and higher souls.  We say,  “Oh, Christ was the Son of God; Mahavira was fortunate because he was born in that time.  The Buddha was lucky, he was enlightened.  But me—don’t think of me.  How am I to enjoy that?”  We don’t have faith that this is our birthright, our real quality. 

            We use the mantras to quiet and engage the mind.  In deep meditation, after practice, the time comes when we leave behind all he rituals and the mantras, and go free.  This state is called dharma synapse.  That comes when you are free from the shackles of the mind, free forms the bondage of desires.  Then you need nothing. 

            As long as the imprints of our longings are set in our mind, we are bound with the shackles of cravings and we are always comparing ourselves with somebody.  This is the business of mind. 

            Using mantras we go inside for the first time.  We experience deep calm,  that glimpse come you know you have really reached the state of meditation.  Then you feel “I am here.”

            There are three stages as we go inward.  In the first stage, your mind s reciting a mantram, but at the same time it is bringing many distractions.  Then we use the word Kabum.  Ko means “who” and hum means “I.” Who am I?”  You ask yourself this question.  Without knowing yourself you will not reach yourself.  It is our real Self we have forgotten. 

            Slowly put this mantram to your mind, saying;  “Kohum.”  Then the answer comes:  “I am form.  I body. I am he or she.”  Your name comes.  Your emotions come.  Passion comes.  Your say, “No. This is not me.  My name was given after I was born.  Somebody has given me this name.  What was I before then?”  Then the answer is “the body.”  But before the body, you were there.  You entered the body.  Who was it that entered the body?  The body is constantly changing.  Your body now is composed of completely different. Cells that your body as an infant.  You are going deeper now.  Kubum. 

            Constantly you keep removing the layers.  When you remove the layers of an onion the freshness comes out.  When you remove the layers of a cabbage the fresher leaves come out.  The outer leaves are tough and rotten.  We also have many psychological layers we have mistaken for ourselves.  Because of these layers we become depressed, suppressed, prejudiced, angry, irritated and unhappy.  Think of yourself.  How are you using your day?  Most of the tie we are lost in all these layers.  We hardly have time to feel our rel nature and experience the inner divinity.  We use kobum in order to investigate our real self, and we go deeper and deeper and deeper. 

            Three students came to study with a Master.  One was a prince, another was the son of a very wealthy sheriff, and the third was a humble seeker.  They all sat before the Master.  The Master asked a question.  “Who are you?”  The prince smiled and answered “Don’t you know me?  I am prince, I am the son of the king.”  “Oh,” said the Master.  “You are the prince? Very glad to see you.” 

            Then he asked the next, “Who are you?”  The young man replied, “I am the son of the sheriff.  And this big garden in which you are sitting belongs to my father.”  And the Master said, “Oh, I am very glad to see such important people.”  Then he asked the third stranger,  “Who are you?”  He answered:  “Sir, had I known who I am, I would not have come here.  I don'’ know. That'’ why I am here." 

            The Master asked for a little milk, and put some yogurt culture in it.  Then he asked the humble student to take this milk and put it aside for twelve hours.  It became yogurt.  Then he asked him to churn it and he made butter. 

            Then the Master said,  “Put the butter on a low fire and make gee.”  *The student made gee, and then the Master said,  “See, this gee was hidden in the milk, but if you had put your hand in the milk, you would not have found it there.  This is the process of y our growth.  You have to add culture, and then allow yourself to be calm.  Then you have to churn inside and put yourself on the fire.  Then finally the purest substance comes out.” 

            This story sheds light on the nature of our journey.  First you have to put a real message of the Master n you life.  Culture means the right knowledge, the right insight.  If wrong concepts enter your head they will cover al your thinking.  And you will become lost.  Right teaching is as important as right food, right air and right living.  Do not follow the herd or hold any belief merely because your father did.  You have to be a seeker.  Really speaking, life is meant for the truth—to seek and to find it.  Don’t be stagnant and don’t follow anything blindly.  Blind faith is not the answer—it may stop your search, become a barrier that keeps you from going further.  Awareness keeps you alert, removing all your layers. 

Next          

What is Meditation? |Beinning Practice | Beginning Meditation: calming Down and Observing Yourself and Your Breathing| Developing One-Pointedness |Deeping Meditation: Emtrying and Focusing | Impediments to Growth: The Ego |Continuing Practice: Meditation on Hrim and Breathing |How Shall we Approach Life Through Meditation? | The Use of Mantras: Veerum and Sohum |Seeking Our True Nature |Deepening Meditation: who Am I? |Deepening  Meditation: Eliminating  Negative Traits |Meditation: The Art of Life and Experience of Light | Review |Meditation and the Art of Communication |Guided Meditation: Experiencing Light and Life| Meditation in Jain Philosophy|Sense Beyond the Senses| Perfection Is in Us|Realize What You Are
 

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