07 Jul 09
Sleeping or Meditating?
We should re-examine ‘the purpose of meditation’.
To do this, first we must clear away preconceived ideas of “what should be happening during my meditation”.
In this meditation, we do not try to control our experience. What we want is to transcend control; to let go, to allow Nature’s intelligence to take over. That is why we say that this is a natural practice. Nothing is involved but the nature of the mind and the nature of the body. No intervention by one’s individuality is necessary. And that is why during this practice we do not use effort. Effort means control and its use in meditation takes away naturalness.
When we say ‘nature of the mind’ and ‘nature of the body’ we mean this: By nature the mind’s tendency is always to move toward greater happiness (whenever a choice presents itself). It is this that causes the mind to follow the mantra, whose nature, in turn, is to become more and more subtle simply through effortless repetition silently in meditation. The subtler strata of thought intrinsically are more charming than the gross conscious thinking level.
As the mantra becomes subtler it also becomes more charming. This increased charm attracts the mind inward—and here is the crucial point – as far as the body will allow. Why do we say ‘as far as the body will allow’? Because mind and body are intimately connected. If the body is storing some fatigue (and whose body is not?), then, in the midst of meditation, the body may recognize an opportunity to rid itself of that fatigue. Dozing will indicate that the body has used a portion of the meditation sitting to purify itself of deep tiredness; the body is attempting to normalize – that’s all.
However, if intellectually we decide that that natural function does not match our concept of ‘the purpose of meditation’, then we may reject our own natural response, and resent our body’s need to rest in that way. Then we are in danger of using effort to stay awake because of an intellectual idea we cherished about ‘the purpose of meditation’.
Instead of that approach, what we should know is: “the use of effort defeats the purpose of this meditation”.
So the true purpose of this meditation is simply to allow whatever happens naturally to happen and not to wish that it shouldn’t happen. The true purpose of meditation should be to allow our own intelligence to be one with nature’s intelligence. To that end, we take it as it comes. This is why we do not reject any experience that occurs spontaneously in meditation.
By the way, there is a limited amount of fatigue in the physiology, so the dozing trend will clear up.
Jai Guru Deva, Thom