‘Meditation is meaningless if it does not bring about a complete
transformation, if it does not purify your thought or alter for the better
your whole approach.’ Because, ‘True meditation helps you go beyond like and dislike, craving and aversion, to awaken in you a state of dispassion. Meditation which fails to develop equanimity is no meditation’. And those who merely seek such meditation from some meditation center but return the same as before, it is ‘no more than sleep or unconsciousness’. It is like an evildoer while harbouring evil inside, ‘but outwardly at least he does no harm while asleep’.
After giving these valuable (and many more) tips, Acharya Mahaprajna, in his article ‘Meaningful Meditation, Greater Understanding’ (The Speaking Tree, The Times of India, Bangalore, Feb. 20, 2007, p. 16) concludes by saying, ‘The approach is all important. And inculcating the right approach, you must go into what thought is and what transcends thought’.
The way he criticizes seeking meditation from some meditation centers, without aiming for ‘complete transformation,’ is noteworthy. These meditation centers are ‘limited by time and space;’ beware, those who seek readymade and instant solutions through meditation, yoga etc. in some commercial centers. Meditation is meaningless unless it is implemented in practical life. Because ‘equanimity’ (stitap prajnata) comes from a stable mind. When you are in a meditation center, as you are focused without much outward disturbance, you may feel that finally you have attained it. But the real testing ground is what you are when you began to rub shoulders with people again.
But what exactly to meditate on comes to my mind when I read any article on meditation. Considering the fickleness of our minds, giving some formulas in the form of mantra, slogans, chants, etc., may discipline our brain for some time, but the mind, as the center of our personality, needs to be trained by reflection and analysis of our thoughts and works as often as possible to asses our progress towards that transformation.* Because transformation is a continuous process which involves many factors. Without considering these important factors, mere meditation even with ‘right approach’ and going ‘into what thought is and what transcends thought’ won’t help much. However, as Acharya Mahaprajna says, one must take meditation seriously rather than merely seeking it without aiming for transformation.
Mathigiri, February 20,12.30 pm.
*.in ordinary, normal conditions the mind is master of itself-perceives
justly, reasons soundly, acts rationally-behaves, in every respect, as a
sane mind should. The question is not, how will the mind act in the absence or disturbance of the appropriate brain conditions? But, how does it act when these appropriate conditions are present, and reason is securely seated on its throne?- – James Orr, God’s Image in Man, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1948, p. 76.