Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Countering obstacles to meditation

Here's something the Dalai Lama said in his book, Transforming the Mind:
To summarize, we have seen that in order to counter the four obstacles to meditation, and particularly the two principal ones, distraction and mental laxity, what is required is the skillful application of two important mental faculties: mindfulness and introspection. Through introspection we develop a vigilance that enables us to see whether, at any given moment, our mind is under the influence of excitement or distraction, and whether it is focused or lapsing into dullness, Once we have observed our state of mind, mindfulness allows us to bring our attention back to the object of meditation and to remain focused on it. So we could say that the practice of mindfulness is the essence of meditation.

Whatever forms of meditation you practice, the most important point is to apply mindfulness continuously, and make a sustained effort. It is unrealistic to expect results from meditation within a short period of time. What is required is continuous sustained effort.
Actually, I've known quite a number of people who've experienced positive results from meditation surprisingly quickly. The important thing is, however, not to be attached to the idea of results. Simply meditate in order to meditate - truly for its own sake. Results happen but an attachment to results will sabotage the process.

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