There are only two paths.
The first is the way of the world which leads to material gain.
The second is the way of Dhamma which leads to complete liberation from unhappiness.
Therefore, the true disciple of Dhamma will devote themselves to humility, simplicity and the truth.
Dhammapada verse 75
The beauty of Pure Dhamma
(in a world of full of experts).
Meditation is a multi-significant word. It can mean almost anything people want it to mean, depending upon their own group, business intention and acumen and lastly, personal understanding. However, in Dhamma training it has a precise a particular sentiment.
The word meditation is an over simplistic translation of the Buddhist word 'bhavana' which means to cultivate something, and in the case of Dhamma practice it signifies the development of three particular aspects of mind.
The first is a focused mind, a mind that can rest with a single object even for a moment (Samatha bhavana).
The second is a deep awareness into the nature of the mind itself, (Vipassana bhavana).
The third is an unconditional acceptance of the reality of this moment, (Metta bhavana).
These three simple yet deeply profound and necessary aspects of practice were said by the Buddha to be suitable for everyone to cultivate and develop.
For more than thirty years I studied with Dhamma Masters.
I trained in a way of the disciple and lived with my teacher as both a bhikkhu and layman, assisting him with whatever duties he proposed.
I listened to hundreds of Dhamma talks and was always inspired by the words of the master.
I sat in meditation for thousands of hours to see and understand the reality of this being called 'self', and I bowed at the feet with humility and the feeling of privilege of those beings that had gone before me.
Never, in all those times did I ever hear any of these great people addressed as meditation experts!
Such a concept did not, and does not in true Dhamma practice, actually exist.
To know the mind is to be free from the influence of self identity manifesting as superiority and all forms of inequality.
However, many types of meditation practices are now being offered as part of a huge 'self help' industry and are seen only as a means to an end. A way to get something to increase ego and self identity, rather than reduce it.
Of course, as with everything we meet in life, in the end things are only what they are, but whatever is being promoted in the modern world today, it is not Dhamma. Once that is understood everything is clear.
There is a Way, a traditional Way, based in humility and practice. No quick fixes, no short cuts, no advancement into the realm of expert. Only the releasing of self identity until the almost invisible state of pure love and pure being.
Dhamma is not for ego development, that's the business world. Dhamma does not carry the title 'expert' within it.
Dhamma is for the heart. Dhamma is for peace. Dhamma is for truth.
Between the choices of being someone in the world and being no-one, no-one is better.
The wise will understand.
May all beings be well and happy.
When everything becomes one, what does the one become?
The most practical thing we can do for ourselves is live a life established in love and awareness, then we will be happy and share that happiness with all beings.
(From Buttons in the Dana box - Michael Kewley / Published by Pannadipa books)