Gateway to Dharma
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a time-proven process by which the well-being of the mind is nurtured through the engaging of single-pointed concentration to familiarise one's mind with qualities one wishes to cultivate. All manner of psycho-physical manifestations we come to experience have their origin in our mind. Without the presence of an intention in our mind, no action will ever come to take place. When this action is repeated enough times, a habit is formed and subsequently transforms the characters and the energetic properties of our psycho-physical being to a state that is beyond our conscious awareness. It is principally because of this unconscious energetic state that the rise and fall of conditions we come to experience in our lives are generated into being.
Since the type of mundane consciousness we are familiar with is predominantly the partial cognition of the world based on superficial impressions we glean through our ordinary mind, and not the pure consciousness of the subtle mind which takes its bearing from the cognition of the Ultimate Truth, we end up experiencing recurring bouts of bewilderment and unsatisfactoriness time and again in our lives. In order to effectuate a change of conditions in our lives, we need to identify the exact nature and energetic structure of our own psycho-physical state, and since we are incapable of recognising them while we are being incapacitated by our attachment to the ordinary mind, it is not feasible for anyone who is besieged by such a bewildering state to attain deliverance on their own without assistance from a qualified source of support. Thus, the liberation from psycho-physical suffering requires the presence of four pre-requisites. Namely: the awareness of the severity of their conditions by the sufferer; the willingness of the sufferer to approach a qualified teacher whose function is likened to that of a doctor capable of providing correct diagnosis; the provision of suitable prescription for the condition; and, the implementation of the prescribed treatment by the sufferer.
The preliminary phase of Classical Meditation centres upon the cultivation of mental tranquillity to free the mind and the body from the influences of afflictive views. The elimination of these afflictive influences gives rise to the development of Pristine Insight into the true nature of the Absolute Reality with regard to the cause and effect of individual past, present, and future existence. When the cognition of all our psycho-physical activities arises through the practising of discriminative discipline and meditative absorption, the nature and energetic properties of our psycho-physical state naturally reconcile with that of the Absolute Reality of All Things, whereby total liberation from all negative states is spontaneously realised, while the wholesomeness of all our true being is rightfully resurrected and restored.
The Classical Path of Dharma Training involves extensive meditative effort to cultivate two types of accumulations: accumulation of merits and accumulation of wisdom. Accumulation of merits is the spiritual undertaking based on the view of the relative truth and the practices of paramitas -generosity, ethical discipline, forbearance, enthusiastic effort, meditative concentration, and discriminating awareness. Accumulation of wisdom is based on the understanding of the ultimate truth comprising insight meditation and cessation of the mind and mental phenomena. The cultivation of the twofold accumulations leads to shunyata (emptiness of non-duality), and ultimately, the realisation of Buddhahood.