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Meditation is like perfecting a dance

At its simplest, meditation is about developing a positive attitude

hhGD 6thADCReligion: The perception of going into the mountains in search of a calm environment for meditation among non-practitioners and beginners is what makes understanding the practice complex.

It is believed that meditation is the final stage of all Buddhist teachings and before preparing to go into meditation, one needs to have an ability to listen and contemplate the teachings received from the masters.

However, Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche said meditation in a simple way is a process of understanding our own mind by trying to familarise with its natural state of mind, which is pure.

While teaching the ‘art of meditation’ at the ongoing 6th Annual Drukpa Council in Kathmandu, Nepal, Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche said, “mediation is like perfecting a dance.”

As dancers need to dance to the tune, so is meditation a process of understanding the nature of mind that is not afflicted by attachment, anger and ignorance, which in Buddhism are the root causes of samsara.

The rinpoche said meditation is familiarising with a good attitude to get rid of desire, anger, ignorance, pride and jealousy among others.

Meditation, he said, need not necessarily mean going out in the mountains but is about constantly developing positive attitude and putting into practice in daily life.

“When people are unable to have a positive attitude then going to the mountains to prevent distractions is not meditation,” His Holiness said. “Jealousy being the basis of all negative emotions can be only removed by good attitude such as appreciating others.”

The rinpoche said meditation became complicated when scholars and thinkers later interpreted and put it into texts. “During Buddha’s time, the explanation for meditation was just understanding positive attitude.”

According to the rinpoche , there are two ways of familiarising with positive attitude. Good reasoning through written text of the masters and reminding oneself of positive attitude would prevent one from developing negative emotion.

Like jealousy is the basis of three-root causes of samsara, so is joyfulness the basis of four immeasurable thoughts- love, compassion, joy and equanimity that will lead one to Buddhahood. “One can’t have joy unless jealousy is removed,” rinpoche said.

Jealousy basically is the state of unhappiness. Citing an example, rinpoche said when he shook hands with foreigners, he felt inadequate for being short.

“I realised later that being tall had no real benefits, and I was not handicapped by being short; it was a feeling of jealousy,” rinpoche said.

By Tenzin Namgyel, Kathmandu