I really like the knife sharpening analogy. If we see challenging situations in our life as the stone that will sharpen our awareness, we will alleviate much suffering in ourselves.
One should realize that one does not meditate in order to go deeply into oneself and withdraw from the world... There should be no feeling of striving to reach some exalted or higher state, since this simply produces something conditioned and artificial that will act as an obstruction to the free flow of the mind... When performing the meditation practice, one should develop the feeling of opening oneself out completely to the whole universe with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind.... Meditation is not to develop trance-like states; rather it is to sharpen perceptions, to see things as they are. Meditation at this level is relating with the conflicts of our life situations, like using a stone to sharpen a knife, the situation being the stone.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Sharpening our perceptions
I often encounter the belief that meditation is about withdrawing from the world or thinking lofty thoughts. Here's a comment by Chögyam Trungpa that speaks to this misconception: