” You can empty a bottle, but the bottle is still there. When you try to bring your mind at ease, there is still the concept of mind. When you reach a peace-full moment of joy during your meditation, there is still a you around to invite the show. “
The most accepted buddhist figurine is without any doubt Buddha in meditation. The directness of Jesus hanging and suffering on a cross is more and more exchanged for this absolute peaceful symbol of the Buddha, when we go for a spiritual path. Meditation in the form of sitting in silence is perhaps the most accepted technic to get in touch with ourselves. We can call it Vipassana, Yoga, or one of the latest variations on awareness in action: Mindfulness.
Staring at a float for a fish to catch
I had periods in my life with a lot of meditation practice. At home I made a shrine, burned incense, some candle-light and tried to follow directions I got from several teachers. I enjoyed buddhist meditations also in one of their temples where 30 minutes of sitting in silence were alternated with short periods of meditative walking. We did this for days in a row. And yes, it all became very quiet between the ears.
Then there were the endless variations Osho described in his Orange Meditation Book, From the silent Vipassana to the energy cooking Dynamic meditation. All of them brought tremendous feelings and pleasures. A bit like cycling a 100 miles, getting tired as hell, but at the same time enjoying a hardly to describe sensation of relief.
For some years I also practiced Yoga. Practicing a variation of asana’s and studying the ways of Iyengar and Saraswati. I learned a lot about the flows of energy. Although I think Yoga is not always suited for our more vast western bodies, I loved doing it with a fine group of students. A silent sensation I also encountered in watching the changing figures of the stock market indices for hours in a row, or staring at a float for a fish to catch wich I loved to do as a child.
Then of course there were the satsangs on Advaita Vedanta with my master Alexander Smit. Listening to him gave the same peace and bliss I had with all the other practices. But the encounter with Him gave me a sensation I had not tasted before in any other practice.
A sensation I had not tasted before in any other practice.
I have learned and practiced, but I have to be clear on one important part of the game. No matter how wonderful these ways of meditation are, there is only one that can help you go pass on all the moments of bliss you have enjoyed. And that is by meeting someone in real, who has followed the path all the way. By meeting our teacher or Guru like it is called in India, we meet ourself in an immediate way. Yoga, Vipassana, Satsang is only of greater value when we have met our teacher. Why?
Even when you enjoy wonderful moments of silence, peace, unity, bliss and even when your life starts to flow with love and joy one thing has to be done to make it all perfect. And that is meeting someone who has followed the road all the way to the end. In meeting him/her it is possible to take the final step that makes you realise there has never been a mind at all. Meeting is Knowing.
I will try to describe it. Let’s say you are about 12 years of age and friends start to talk about being in love. They start to act weird, become passionate about a boy or a girl and you don’t see or feel anything special about the girl/boy. They talk lyric as if they just had encountered some god/goddess. They seem to be possessed by feelings you would love to have, but you how? You start to read about it, talk about it with your friends. You even date a boy/girl, but somehow nothing happens. Then one day, at one sudden moment you are caught by surprise: you fell in love. Now you know. Meeting is Knowing.