The Matrix movie, Mind, and Meditation
What do they have in common?
Do you remember the Matrix movies?
In the first movie, Morpheus is asking Neo to choose between the red pill and the blue pill. The red one is the metaphor for awakening and experiencing the factual realities of the world of the moment whereas the blue one is synonymous with being in a dreaming state within the fictional world represented by the AI called Matrix.
Interestingly the Wachowskis sisters who produced the movie were very familiar with Zen philosophy
Meditating is like swallowing the red pill that is you are awake, experiencing the factual realities of the moment, nothing else. On the other end, when you swallow the blue pill, your mind is controlling you
in mind-made dreaming states made of zillions of fictional spacetimes, hopes, and illusions, most of them being ego-driven. In the movies, the Matrix is a metaphor for our minds.
We have the choice to pick either pill and if from a wrong choice, we take the blue one and become a prisoner within our mind, Zen is offering a solution called meditation.
The physical aspect of mediation is easy. It is just sitting still. As we sit, our mind is capturing us doing its normal job which is wandering. What we do differently when we meditate, is that we don’t daydream too long like we normally do. We let our thoughts come, notice them, and let them go again.
At first, thoughts will get more and more creative trying to entertain us with memories, hopes, and emotions, and often they will succeed in carrying us away for a bit, but, because we’re meditating, we remember to bring our attention back to our breath and let those thoughts to go.
Besides being in the present moment, the real work of meditation is to shift our attention from the mind-made fictional world to the genuine one that is the current realities of the moment including your focusing point i.e., breathing.
The skill to leave your mind repeatedly by refocusing over and over on your breathing during a meditation is the secret to, eventually, taming and controlling the beast called the mind or Matrix. Controlling our mind during meditation is only the beginning of the practice since the ultimate goal is to control it during the day. It cannot be achieved quickly. Only sustained daily practice is the secret. Once you are able to tame your mind routinely you are achieving 2 important skills:
1 A proper balance between positive and negative thoughts and feelings is achieved.
This is equanimity.
2 Becoming at ease when achieving the stage of "beyond thinking"