His Holiness, the Dalai Lama says,
“All human beings have an innate desire to overcome suffering, to find happiness. Training the mind to think differently, through meditation, is one important way to avoid suffering and be happy.”
Training the mind is the first step in meditation. In its’ most basic form, such training calms our relative mind.
Relative mind refers to the seemingly endless, unstoppable onslaught of thoughts and judgments – the push and pull of attachments and aversions, of likes and dislikes - that creates the mental chatter which creates anxiety and keep us up at night.
From this unfolding process, our suffering arises.
Once calm, one then seeks to recognize the absolute nature of our existence – to realize the fusion of wisdom and compassion that comprises our essential nature from which all things arise, dwell, and cease.
A common Buddhist metaphor helps us visualize and better understand the meaning of these words.
Imagine a glass of pure water (absolute nature). Add some dirt (thoughts) and stir. As the swirls, what is the state of the water?
Cloudy and dirty.
As the water slows and settles, what happens? The pure, clear, and innate nature of the water returns effortlessly - so to our minds through meditation.
In future blogs, I will be sharing various techniques with the intention of sparking a better understanding of the meditation process for the benefit of all sentient beings.
‘Til next time, be happy.
Great use of metaphors. Nice synopsis.