Oakville Zen Meditation

#199 Meditation in daily life by Kris

                                       MEDITATION IN DAILY LIFE   by Kris Mohan

Physical & mental Stress is a fact of daily life. If we analyze the root cause of stress and suffering, we would conclude that, beside hatred and ignorance that is illusion/delusion, “desire/graving” is the main culprit in all its manifestations. Many of our sorrows and causes of suffering spring from unfulfilled desires. Everything we do in this life is to achieve happiness. However, we do all this running around in the mistaken belief that our happiness lies in acquiring external objects and endeavors. Objects, by themselves cannot give us happiness or sorrow. By acquiring an object or if we get some approval from others, it may temporarily make us “happy” but the vagaries of this world will quickly change the circumstances.

This running for the external sources of joy is because we are driven by an inherent defect in the human mind of dividing our world into two categories – of things/activities we like and those that we do not like. We run after what we like and abhor what we dislike. We pursue this path because we do not realize what the true locus or cause of our happiness is. It was stated over 2000 years ago that the, “kingdom of heaven is within you”. True happiness is within you and you do not have to seek it outside.

We know that true happiness and serenity can only come when the mind is under control that is tranquil and not agitated. But our “monkey mind” is perpetually in agitation. So how do we “manage” this monkey mind?

The human personality of made of three parts: 1. The Body, 2. The Mind/Emotion and

  1. The Intellect. The body is the physical aspect of our being. The Mind/Emotion is the next subtler aspect of our personality. It cannot be seen, but can be experienced from within. Even subtler is the Intellect, which is, enables us to analyze, judge and arrive at decisions. In computer terms, the body is the hardware and Mind and Intellect are the software.

To achieve true happiness, the existing software has to be updated to reorient the mind from looking outward to looking inward.

How do we achieve that? We have to manage the three aspects of personality.

For the Body, it means that we try to bring our attention to whatever we are doing in the present moment. The key to keep remembering this is: “ To bring your Head, Heart and Hands” to be in the same place (the three H’s) . If you are cutting vegetables, your total attention should be in watching what you are cutting, where your fingers are and not daydreaming. The result of your focused attention will also be good. Good results will automatically generate joy and serenity from within.

For the Mind/Emotion, learn to observe why you like something or dislike it. Regular meditation helps in the management of the Mind/Emotion and Intellect part of our personality.

In meditation, the many thoughts of the turbulent Mind are reduced to one thought by observing the breath. Most of us function in the turbulent Mind state. However, there is another state of mind on the other end of the scale where the Mind is in its natural state where all joy comes from within. This is akin to going from the turbulent waves on the surface of the ocean to its depth where the ocean is calm and tranquil.

To summarize, our modern life style is too mechanical in nature where we drift thru life in auto-pilot fashion. By observing our Body, Mind and Intellect as a detached observer, our life itself becomes a Meditation in action. And True inner peace and serenity is the result.