In the current era, everyone is very busy, with a lot of things, and the heart is impetuous. Therefore, it is very necessary to restore peace and tranquility in the heart.
The way of life of modern people is something that the ancients never experienced, and the way of thinking and values are completely different from those of the ancients. In such an era, spiritual food is extremely important to people. Therefore, many people are exploring religion and traditional culture, which have even become an indispensable part of their lives. Like magic medicine, it is beneficial to the body and mind.
After a little observation, we will find that there is a lot of suffering in contemporary people, and the reason is that there is no inner peace and no tranquility. If you can control your heart and keep your peace, everyone can feel the beauty of life and do things more easily, just as the “Baoyun Sutra” says: “If you can be at ease with your heart, you will also be at ease with all dharmas, just comfortable.”
Meditation for good health
Controlling one’s own mind is a more difficult thing, but it is not impossible. In ancient India, people used the “Tunning the Image” To describe the process of self-adjustment – just like subduing a mad elephant, you need to use sticks, ropes, etc. to slowly make it obey. The same is true of our minds. It is difficult to control at first, but after training, we can walk, stand, sit, and lie down.
Meditation has many great qualities. Zen believes that a balanced diet, adequate sleep, body massage, and meditation all contribute to good health, and the most effective of these is meditation. It can not only strengthen the body and delay aging, but also make the body’s wind and pulse bright points to be used freely, thereby increasing the practice. All in all, in our daily life, it is very necessary for us to maintain inner peace through meditation.
In modern society, many people are worried about aging and death, but both the world of devices and the world of sentient beings are impermanent, and no one can avoid these two things. Relatively speaking, people who practice meditation tend to live longer. There are many practitioners in Han and Tibet who are over 100 years old. Although they are old, they look very young. They are the vitality of life due to long-term meditation. This is not anecdotal or ancient myth, but an example that exists today. These practitioners are not only peaceful and happy, but also healthy and long-lived, which reflects the power of meditation.
Meditation helps with inner peace
Nowadays, people in the United States, Canada, Australia and other places are keen on meditation for the sake of inner peace, and many students even set up meditation clubs in schools. As early as the 1990s, some prisons in India also tried to use meditation to ease the inner pain of prisoners, and achieved great success. Later, with the strong support of the Indian government, meditation was gradually promoted in more places.
Some people claim meditation calms their inner pain and is important to them. There are many places in the world for people to repent and atone for their sins, and prison is one of the worst. If they can even deal with this kind of environment, they can face it calmly even if they encounter difficulties in the future when they return to society.
Open the right way to meditate
Most people think that the only way to meditate is to sit with the hands in a squat, and to sit with your eyes closed. It is impossible to meditate in daily walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, such as when driving or walking. In fact, it is just beginning to practice stillness. At the time of meditation, the body, speech, and mind must be practiced according to the three silences, but after the meditation is stabilized, it can be practiced anytime, anywhere.
The meditation classes offered by some schools are just to suppress gross discriminatory thoughts and relax the mind; some people think that meditation is just to observe one’s discriminatory thoughts with righteous knowledge and mindfulness, and does not need the guidance of a teacher or inheritance and tips. With these points of view, the understanding of meditation is not deep enough. Meditation is not only about sitting in the morning or evening and entering a state of non-thought, this kind of meditation can only temporarily suppress gross greed, hatred, delusion and other afflictions. If we meditate in the way described in the sutras, we can have a deeper understanding.
The meditation techniques I want to introduce to you have a history of more than 2,000 years. If you can practice diligently in your life, you will definitely gain inner peace. The tricks are: eradicating the five faults, relying on the eight antidote, the six forces, and the nine minds, which I will explain below.
Eliminate five faults
It is said in the “Discrimination of the Middle and the Boundaries”: “Slacking and forgetting the sacred words, sinking and slumping, not doing actions and actions, are five faults.” Here are five faults that we should get rid of, which are obstacles to meditation. The front, the right, and the back of the practice.
There are two obstacles to moving forward: laziness, which delays the practice; and forgetfulness of teachings, which refers to forgetting the teachings of meditation that have been learned before. These mistakes can make us unable to follow our teachings.
Obstacles to right action are the drowsiness caused by the outward dispersion of the mind and the drowsiness caused by the mind being too inward.
There are also two hindrances in terms of hindsight: inability to deal with it means that in meditation, the discriminatory thought that arises is not dealt with; forcibly dealing with it means that when the discriminatory thought arises, one constantly tries to deal with it and doubts oneself again and again. Is the amendment correct?
In the process of meditation, you must first get rid of laziness and forgetfulness of teachings, and when you are doing the right thing, you must get rid of uplifting and drowsiness. In the end, you can neither fail nor force the countermeasures, and the countermeasures should be moderate. Generally speaking, when doing things in the world, it is also very important to pay attention to relaxation. This is very important.
Six Powers and Nine Abstinences
How to get rid of the five faults? One must rely on the six forces of the eight antidote and the nine in the mind. The six powers include: listening power (listening to the teachings from the guru), thinking power (thinking over and over again about the Dharma heard), mindfulness, right understanding, energy, and practice (continuous practice in practice) .
The nine types of abiding minds include: Rest, Continuing, Counting, Nearness, Subduing, Quietness, Highest Calmness, Concentrating on One Interest, and Equal Condition, each of which is explained below.
Rest: Since beginningless time, our mind has been scattered outwards and cannot rest for even a minute. Therefore, when we begin to meditate, we need to rely on the power of hearing to settle the mind.
Continuing: Extend the duration of abiding from one minute to five or ten minutes… At first, it is observation and cultivation, and gradually it becomes natural and peaceful. Here, it mainly depends on the power of thinking.
Counting: When counting, the mind often scatters the external appearances, sounds, smells, and tastes. At this time, one should use righteous thoughts to bring the mind back to the state of its previous dwelling. If the mind is scattered again, put it away again. Come back, so repeatedly, here mainly rely on the power of mindfulness.
Nearness: When the mind is scattered and fluctuating, we can use our thinking to take it back and add mindfulness, such as thinking: “If we can’t concentrate for such a short time, how can we meditate in the future?” Here we also rely on the power of mindfulness. .
Subduing: Constantly thinking about the merits of peace of mind, such as the benefits of peace of mind to body and mind, here mainly rely on the power of right understanding.
Quietness: When the mind cannot be settled, through the mistakes of distracted thinking, such as discriminating delusions that will cause us pain, etc., let the mind be settled and practice diligently. The main thing here is to rely on the power of right understanding.
The Highest Calmness: When greed arises, cultivate the antidote to greed, such as the self-nature of the greedy body is not established; when anger arises, cultivate the antidote to anger, such as loving-kindness and compassion; Differences in world knowledge and dependent origination, etc. Relying on this kind of meditation, one can suppress the afflictions and make the mind peaceful. Here, it depends on the nature of energy.
Concentrating on one interest: After a long period of meditation, the gross discriminatory thoughts have been eliminated. No matter where the mind rests on any object, it can basically focus on one mind. Here, too, it relies on energy.
Equal Condition: When the thought of discriminating between the gross and the subtle is slowly extinguished, the mind can rest for a long time without being shaken. In history, some people have been able to enter into meditation for several months or even years without moving. At this time, the mind will be very peaceful. The main thing for holding on and relying on is the force of habit. After a long time of practice, in the end, in all the majesty, the mind will focus on the object for a long time, and there will be no interruption of discrimination, and there will be no pain.
The above are the very well-known nine-abstinence method of Zen, also known as the nine tips of meditation.
When meditating, it is best for beginners to sit in the cross position. After practicing for a long time, you can also sit on a chair to meditate, observe your mind with your mind, and let your mind rest.
The most important part of liberation
I briefly introduced the practice of stillness. Although stillness alone will not liberate us, true supramundane meditation requires a combination of vipassanā “The wisdom of selflessness”, but stillness can still bring some inner peace to modern people.
People who are not at ease, even if they can enjoy all kinds of happiness in the world, will not have real meaning, and will bring some unstable factors to the family and society. Just as it is said, if the mind is not subdued, self-interest cannot be achieved, let other people’s interests. Therefore, I hope you can practice diligently and tame your mind.
Introspection within oneself and the world at the same time
Finally, I would like to share something that is not related to meditation. All of you here have nationalities, families and relatives. You can gain inner peace and freedom through meditation. However, there are still many homeless refugees in the world, and the total number exceeds 10 million. Although they are also included in the total world population, they have no nationality. Some American university teachers and classmates believe that refugees have been wandering for a long time, and their safety and many other aspects are not guaranteed. While there are a lot of celebrities out there looking at their situation at the moment, I feel like everyone has a responsibility to care about them and give them the same rights as everyone else. Many of them live on the water all year round. They have no nationality, and sometimes they have no personal free space. It is very pitiful. I hope everyone can pay attention to these displaced refugees and help them find a place to live.
I hope that while cultivating the joy of Zen, you are also concerned about the suffering and happiness of the world.