Saturday, April 30, 2011

Introduction: How to Meditate (video)

Why Meditate?
Wisdom Quarterly
How does one meditate? It is the easiest thing to learn yet one of the hardest to practice. Ven. Yuttadhammo explains how in the first video in his series. But why meditate?

There are profound benefits, but that meditation eventually becomes extraordinarily pleasurable and self-healing is reason enough. "There is no way to happiness because happiness is the way!" Even enlightenment is attainable in no long time. But before freedom, there is calm and natural happiness emerging from within.

It's easy to learn, so the question is, Why should it be so hard to do? The answer is easy: It's simply because it goes against the grain of our mental habits.

Physically, we do not want to sit still without sleeping. Mentally, we are restless or lustful, angry or fearful, bored and confused. So a practice that brings clarity, energizes us, and somehow brings relaxation and serenity? The mind will say, "Impossible! I can do it better" as it thinks us into a tizzy or a dead end.

The breath is the way to the present moment, and it also allows us to peer into the mind emotional states. (How we are breathing directly mirrors our state of mind/heart).

Mindfulness frees us from discursive thinking, worry, and confusion: "Be here now!" And if the mind slips away, that's perfectly okay as long as it is brought back. Bare attention (dispassionate observation) -- detached from states of greed/craving, hate/resentment, and delusion/inattentiveness -- frees the heart/mind.

Learning Buddhist Meditation
() This video discusses a simple technique of sitting meditation. Second (of six) in a series of videos on how to practice meditation free of religious dogma and spiritual mumbo-jumbo.