Sitting in Meditation
What does it truly means when we strive to “sit in meditation?” For most of us, the phrase “sitting in meditation” refers to the practice of physically sitting still and and re-focusing our attention to the present moment. As we remain continually distracted within our daily life, we lose touch of our body and of our environment. Basic meditation practice helps us bring our awareness back to the present moment and quiet the chattering in our head. The literal act of physically sitting in meditation for a set time interval is a beneficial exercise with numerous proven physiological and psychological benefits. The physical practice of “sitting in meditation” can be employed to temporary calm and still the mind, so that we may obtain provisional calmness, within the life flow. Guided meditation with the intention of re-framing reality, so that negative emotions transform into positive compliance, provides passing relief, but leaves us still bound to the relativity of negativity and positivity.
Life is rarely at our ideals, as circumstances come and go. Employing the sitting time to resolve the ever-changing life manifestations gives us a brief glimpses of inner peace, but do not ultimately extinguish the sufferings stemming from the mind’s perceptions at the root cause level. Not yet recognizing the innate polarity of life shall continually returns us to a state of emotional flux once the meditation sessions ends and we are pulled back into the vortex of daily life … until we once again physically sit down to meditate and grasps at revisiting inner peace. The meditation session becomes merely a bandage until the next manifestation arises. We habitually return to our tendencies and continue to project our likes/dislikes onto the ever-changing life manifestation. Our subjective positive and negative feelings repeatedly manifest and disappear. We again become trapped within the fluctuating emotions brought about by the endless stream of arising and departing life events.
The physical exercise of meditation is but an initial learning step to calm and prepare the mind to see its original nature. The practice of sitting in meditation is helpful to calm and cultivate the mind, so that it can remain unswayed by the impulses arising from fleeting emotions and behaviors stemming from the egocentric purpose. It is not a matter of how long we can remain physically sitting in meditation, but on whether we can actually continue to live within the life stream and remain self-stabilized against its fluctuations that truly matters. It is essential that we do not fall into the trappings of the concrete words to transmit the dharma and get bound by the mere act of physically sitting in meditation. The Enduring Zen state of meditation is only reached once we see the true nature of our mind. The ultimate goal of meditation is freeing the mind from its dualistic state of subjectivity and egocentric judgement, so that we can recognize reality for what it truly is: a stream of arising and departing non-self-originating karmic events. We should not lose our way and let the meditation exercise mistakenly guide us toward a temporary fix within the relativity of tranquility and turbulence.
In the original teaching of “sitting in meditation” by Master Hui-neng, the sixth patriarch of Zen, “sitting” means without obstruction anywhere, outwardly and under all circumstances… subjective thought do not arise when we face the objective world. “Meditation” is internally to see the original nature and not be confused. In the true sitting state, the thought flow is continuous, unobstructed, and unhindered by the physical manifestations and changing life circumstances. Sitting is the self-stabilization of the mind…not the concrete meaning of the act of physically sitting still… At Sitting/at self-stabilization, we integrate seamlessly into the life stream while inwardly remaining unswayed by the materialized forms and unaffected by ever-changing circumstances. In the true meaning of sitting, the mind does not bind subjective thoughts onto the objective outer world. Meditation is to internally to be at full illumination of Inner Light and living with the Original No-Mind. We are no longer hindered by the egocentric perceptions stemming from the dualistic mind, mana. At the Enduring Zen state of meditation we adaptively live with an universal altruism, rooted in wisdom and objectivity.
In the true meaning of “sitting in meditation” we self-stabilize against the mind’s habitual tendencies to run away with its own thoughts. As we live in the true meaning of sitting, the mind does not rest on the outer forms or deviate into subjective thoughts. Sitting in Meditation is not for us to physically remain still and abolish our senses, force the silencing of the thoughts , nor reach a state of indifference nothingness. The thought flow is continuous, unobstructed and non-abiding. In the true state of mediation, we recognize that everything in life is ultimately impermanent and transitory. Seeing the life’s true nature, we freely let-go of all biased clingingness and attachments. Within sitting in meditation, we are no longer bound by the life’s polarity. The mind becomes free from its dualistic state of subjectivity and of its egocentric judgement. We recognize the circumstances within our life journey, as it truly is. Within the true sitting in mediation, we to live within the life stream at full awareness and adaptively respond to the life circumstances with our Inner Light and an universal compassion.
Life is a journey comprising of present moments. Our present moments are manifestation our departed moments and the basis for our arising moments. In the true Zen state Sitting in Meditation, we experienced each moment to moment with full awareness both of ourselves and of the outer world. We let the our awareness stream inward and flow naturally onward and we adaptively respond to the circumstances as they come then let go and let karmic fate takes its course. Our thoughts are neither grasping onto the past or plotting for the future. In the now, we are neither passive nor indifferent. Instead, the our mind is actively aware moment-to-moment. The Zen meditation sitting is an inner state of being while at rest and while in motion, We exist at inner peace in the midst of the life stream. Living in the true meaning of “sitting in meditation,” the mind is undistracted and undisturbed by the ever-changing life. We see reality as it truly is, and we effortlessly self-stabilize against the mind’s habitual tendencies to subjectify and impart bias onto our world. We recognize that all sentient beings, whether a human or an animal, feel pain and sufferings due to their own self-afflictions. Living with the insight that we are all the product of our own doings and shall reap the fruits we sowed, we freely feel compassion for others and respond adaptively so that all shall passes by benevolently. To truly “sit in meditation,” we live with the truth of the Dharma and not with literal meanings the words used to transmit the Teaching. Living in Zen is not a passive letting go of life, but is instead an active acknowledgement and awareness of the present. We live at the Timeless Inner Peace with our recognition of reality as it truly is.
August 26, 2018
"Sitting in Meditation" is Published on ZenEnergy Organization & ZenEnergy Podcast with Permission from ZenMoon.org