A teaching given on the 5th of September 2016.
Calm abiding with attributes:
By positing the body properly it becomes relaxed and the mind also becomes relaxed. While the body, speech and mind are at ease, calmly exhale and calmly inhale. Making the inhaling and exhaling relaxed, this is what we focus on. Continuously and repeatedly engaging in this method of meditation by relaxing the mind and focusing it by counting the breaths from 1 to 10, from 1 to 50 or from one to 100, is very beneficial for abiding the mind calmly. Habituating like this for a long time, the knees hurt from sitting in the full meditation lotus position, for those who don’t have the experience, or one has the risk of falling asleep, so in these cases, go to an isolated place or the balcony of the house, a beach and other such isolated places. Having gone there, walk in a relaxed way, with a straightened body, with the eyes in the right way of looking, have the hands in proper equipoise and pay attention to the different stages of walking. Think:”The right leg has been raised. The right leg has been put down on the ground now. The left leg has been raised and the left leg has gradually been placed on the ground”. Concentrating only on the walking, if you do this walking meditation in an isolated place, it is of great benefit for resting the mind.
Also, while eating food, relax yourself by thinking: “Now I’m holding a spoon. The food on the spoon has gotten into my mouth”. Once the food has arrived, pay complete attention to the taste of the food. “This food has gone down my body. Now again, I’m taking hold of the spoon”. Have thoughts such as picking the food up, focusing exclusively on chewing with the teeth, focusing only on the taste of
the food and focusing exclusively on the sensation of the food absorbing in the body. By focusing on actions, this is one sort of calm abiding meditation. If you pay absolute attention to the activities of sitting and walking, this is what is called calm abiding with attributes.
Calm abiding meditation without attributes:
The mind doesn’t follow happenings of the past, doesn’t make plans for the future and on the present consciousness; does not contemplate the need to meditate about this or that, the meditation was good or bad, with hope and fear, any kind of alteration, this happened well and this didn’t happen well, and others. In short, without any thoughts of hope and fear, affirmation and negation, just rest the mind naturally and calmly while focusing. This meditation is called calm abiding without attributes.
When calm abiding meditation with attributes and without attributes are meditated upon persistently, then the mind which is usually wild and has extremely excited conceptual thoughts, a mind which cannot be settled or sent to another object, this crazy mind which is like a crazy monkey, if during a long time, repeatedly with a lot of effort you practice settling it calmly, by the power of that, the mind will naturally abide peacefully. Subsequently, the energy- winds of the body will abide in peace. By the power of that, the blood will flow naturally and the body will naturally feel warm. In this way, unprecedentedly, the mind will experience feelings such as well-being, joy and emptiness. This will bring occasionally an incredible great interest in meditation and delight.
At other times in meditation, the conceptual thoughts which arise are more than before, the afflictions are stronger than before and the mental difficulties are greater than before. This is because, while you’re cleansing the afflictions from your mind, they seem to become worse.
In short, whether the mind encounters happiness or difficulties, if you continuously apply effort in meditation, then definitely you will progress and develop. This is the nature of reality, as it is said: There is nothing which doesn’t get easier with habituation. Therefore, it is certain that there will be a great change and great development.