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Meditation and non meditation

These teachings are from

Meditation and Non-meditation Talk One

Here we are relaxing in our body and mind while being aware that that is what we are doing. By being aware that we are relaxing when we are relaxing, we come to gain control over our mind. So that's easy, right? It is very easy. You do not need to do anything. You do not need to meditate. You do not need to create anything. You do not need to work hard. Therefore it is easier than sleeping! When we want to sleep, we need to make our bed and make sure there's a nice pillow and then finally we lay down and relax.

When we relax in this way what is our mind like? Our mind is relaxed and comfortable but still we cannot identify it; we can't point at our mind and say "this is my relaxed mind" or "this is my comfortable mind." This meditation technique that has just been described is called shamatha or calm abiding meditation without object.

Beginners probably would not experience that type of meditation for more than two, three or five seconds, but that's fine. We should practice in short segments many times. If we set out a very large container and put it in a place where it could catch drops of water, these single drops of water will cause the whole container to become full. In the same way, if we practice in short segments many times, our meditation will improve. We shouldn't think thoughts like "I need to sit for a long time," "I need to stop my thoughts," because thoughts will happen and we cannot stop them. We can't shoot our thoughts, we can't burn our thoughts, and even if we set off a bomb, that will not stop our thoughts. That is the nature of mind. We do not need to stop our thoughts. What do we need? We need mindfulness. The main point about shamatha meditation is mindfulness, or, in other words, awareness.

Meditation and Non-meditation Talk Two

If you understand this meditation-without-object technique, you will attain Buddhahood very quickly. Maybe in two or three days [laughter]. It is a very profound meditation but there is nothing special about it.

Our biggest obstacle in meditation is the movement of thoughts - thoughts of desire, aggression, ignorance, jealousy and so on. There are all kinds of movement in our minds - we usually think of these thoughts as getting in the way of our meditation and harming or destroying our meditation.

But if we understand the key points of meditation, then those very thoughts actually will be support for our meditation and will not harm our meditation at all. It is the same as how forms become support for our meditation.

As we look at our thoughts in this way, even a hundred thousand thoughts, that means you have a hundred thousand supports for meditation. That is very good. The thoughts themselves become a support for holding our mind.