How To Meditate VI – Meditation Practice and Daily Life
- By : Oliver Santos
- Category : Articles, Blog
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Hi, in this video I’ll be talking about some of the ways in which we can incorporate the meditation practice into our daily life. First of all the first important thing to explain in terms of incorporating the meditation practice into our daily life are those things which it’s going to be important for us to abstain from if our meditation practice is to be effective and is to have good results in our daily life. As we mentioned in the beginning meditation is an equivalent to medication, and as we know with medication there are always certain things which you can’t take in conjunction with the medication, some certain things which when taken together with the medication will cause the medication to be ineffective or will be contraindicative to the results which we’re hoping to get from the medication. So certain things, when we take medication, there’s always certain things we have to take out of our diet. Well with meditation it’s very similar. Meditation is something which is to bring about a certain state of clarity or a natural state of purity in the mind, to bring our minds back to this state of clarity and sobriety which is free from suffering. So then there are certain actions, certain things which we can do by way of body or by way of speech which are going to be contraindicative, which are going to have the opposite effect, which are going to create a more clouded state of mind, which are going to bring about high states of anger, high states of addiction, high states of delusion, high states of… clouded mind states. So these things we’re going to have to take out of our diet, so to speak, if our meditation is to be effective. The first thing that we have to take out is not to kill; we have to make a promise to ourselves that we’re not going to kill living beings. Not to kill living ants or mosquitoes or any sort of living being which breathes, and which is… in and of itself doesn’t wish to die. Number two; not to steal. So if our meditation is to be effective we have to be able to respect the possessions of other people and not to take things without permission. Number three; not to commit adultery or sexual misconduct, to get involved in romantic relationships or sexual conduct which is emotionally or spiritually damaging to other people. Number four; not to tell lies; not to deceive other people, or take them away from their reality. And number five not to take drugs or alcohol, not to take anything really which is going to be intoxicating for our mind, things which create states of insobriety, take us away from our natural, pure, clear state of mind. These things are, it’s very important that we actually abstain from them completely if our meditation practice is to be successful. There are certain other things which can be undertaken, can be partaken of but must be partaken of in moderation if our meditation is to be successful. These things are not unwholesome but when taken in conjunction with the meditation they reduce the effect, they take away from the clarity of the mind when taken out of moderation. These are things like, first of all, eating; we have to be careful not to eat too much, if we’re always obsessed with food, this is one major addiction. This is something which creates sloth, which creates an unhealthy bodily state as well. It’s something which is overall not conducive for meditation practice, this is overeating. We have to eat to stay alive but we shouldn’t live simply to eat. Another one is entertainment; watching television, watching movies, listening to music and so on. These are not unwholesome things but when taken in excess they create states of addiction, and states of insobriety actually, in the mind, they take the mind out of its natural clarity. Using the internet for instance should be done in moderation. And the third one is that, as far as sleeping. Now sleeping can be one addiction that we often overlook and we don’t realise that actually we enjoy sleeping so much and whenever problems arise we always find ourselves going to take a nap or going, trying to sleep more. Some people actually become insomniacs because they’re so obsessed about their sleep and we find that through the meditation practice actually we need very little sleep. You know lack of sleep is not a real problem because our minds are so calm and so pure all the time. These are things which have to be taken in moderation and altogether these are things which we have to start to take out of our life if the meditation is to be a successful part of our daily life. Now onto the question how do we then incorporate the meditation directly into our daily life, and this we do in two ways. First of all we focus on the body. Now the body in general is in one of the four major postures at all times. So either we’re sitting, or we’re standing, or we’re walking, or we’re lying down. And we can use these four postures as sort of a very clear and very gross base for us to always find something to be mindful of, to create a clear thought. So when we’re walking, instead of simply walking and letting our minds wander we can say to ourselves ‘walking, walking, walking, walking’. When we’re standing we can say ‘standing, standing’, when we sit we can say ‘sitting, sitting’ when we lie down ‘lying, lying, lying’. This is when we’re not actually doing the meditation, we can undertake this practice at all times. Similarly with minor movements of the body, when we bend we can say ‘bending’, when we stretch ‘stretching’, when we move the hand ‘moving’, when we brush our teeth ‘brushing’ when we eat food ‘chewing, chewing’ and ‘swallowing, swallowing’ and so on. Any movement that we make in the body during the day we can be mindful of. When we go to the washroom, when we take a shower, when we change our clothes, when we wash our clothes, whatever we do during the day we can be mindful of that as well, creating a clear thought based on the movements of the body. This is the first way of incorporating the practice directly into our daily life. The second way is we can use the senses, so seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling. Normally when we see something we either enjoy it or we get upset by it. Well now we’re going to start to use it to create a clear thought, not to create a judging thought. When we see something just to know that we’re seeing, say to ourselves ‘seeing, seeing, seeing.’ When we hear something instead of listening and enjoying or getting angry and upset by it, we say to ourselves ‘hearing.’ When we smell we can say ‘smelling.’ When we taste instead of enjoying it or getting repulsed by the taste we can simply say to ourselves ‘tasting, tasting’ and keep our mind clear. When we feel something on the body, hot or cold, hard or soft or whatever feeling, we say to ourselves ‘feeling, feeling, feeling’. These two ways are sort of a general practice which we can undertake in our daily life and a way of incorporating the meditation practice directly into our daily life. Of course we can also be mindful of all of the things which I mentioned in the earlier videos; pain for instance, or the emotions, anger or greed or so on. But besides all of those, this we can say is an addition which once we’ve mastered the four foundations which I mentioned in the earlier video, we can then add all of these things on as well as a way of incorporating the practice into our daily life. This is an explanation of meditation practice in daily life and this concludes the set of videos on how to meditate and I would like to thank you all for watching, taking the time to watch these videos and I really, truly, sincerely hope that these videos bring peace and happiness and freedom from suffering to you and all of the people around you. Again, thank you for tuning in. If you’d like more information you’re welcome to contact us through the website. All the best to you.