Spinning of the Brahmanical Thread

August 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Through too lax an approach to meditation the beginner is apt to become drowsy, daydream and fall asleep.  By straining, loss of control will ensue.  Because of this the beginner must take a balanced approach to meditation, neither spinning the thread of attention to loosely nor to tight.

When pleasant feelings arise it is natural to dwell on them.  When unpleasant thoughts arise it is natural to seek their end.  But whether pleasant or unpleasant, the aim is to become neither enamored nor overwhelmed by whatever arises in daily sitting.  When this happens the attention is to be brought gently back to whatever technique is being employed, e.g., attention to the breath, the candle flame or awareness itself.

The beginner will soon realize that when thoughts arise, awareness dims, and so will attempt to control his thoughts.  After some initial attempts it will be discovered that thoughts arise ceaselessly and it will even appear there are more thoughts than ever.  Failing then in the attempt to control thoughts the meditator should allow them to arise and fall, watching over them as a mother watches her children play, intervening only when necessary.

Continued practice of the type suggested here will lead to a state of quiescence that can be prolonged through continued practice.  And the resultant attitude of detachment to life’s ups and downs will bring greater peace of mind and enjoyment to life.  But none of the techniques suggested above have taken the meditator out of his thinking mind.  All the while the cognizing faculty has been at work creating more and more thoughts.  These initial steps have been of training value only.  The Goal is still far off.

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