Posted inHenry's Messages

Message from Henry: The Fifth Paramita – Dhyana

May 2, 2017

In meditation we can drop the whole caboodle. Instead we can sit in the vast timeless reality of the present moment, with no agenda but appreciation.

Dhyana means “meditation” – or meditative concentration, or meditative absorption. We can take it as absorption, the practice of becoming absorbed in meditation. In other words, being absorbed by.

So what gets absorbed? And what does it get absorbed in? Precisely, our self, our “me,” gets absorbed. And it gets absorbed in whatever arises in our meditation.

Dhyana may be taken as the practice of entering meditation and dropping our self, letting go of the wishes, hopes, fears that our little self ordinarily lets itself be prodded and pushed around by, that it constantly creates and identifies with. In fact that is its raison d’être – to want, to scheme, to fear, to like, to dislike.

In meditation we can drop the whole caboodle. Instead we can sit in the vast timeless reality of the present moment, with no agenda but appreciation.

But we don’t get to do that unless we first allow ourselves to be absorbed by the way things are. No more reacting. No more manipulating. Here, kshanti and virya – patience and determination – come together. Dhyana is the practice of the two of them, developed in our daily living, and now brought to bear, in stillness and quiet, on the present moment.

Much of the range of meditative experience and discovery is here, in this fifth paramita, so I won’t go into it too much. But let’s look at how it relates to the other paramitas.

First, numbers three and four: as above, in order to become absorbed in our sitting, it helps greatly to have developed some patience and constancy.

Likewise, if we are following the second paramita, and the practice of non-harmful living is growing in our lives, we are less likely to be troubled by remorse and anxiety about our actions in our meditation. And if those habits of mind are still somewhat prevalent for us, we can take comfort in the fact that we are now trying to live harmlessly, through the second paramita. A life devoted to non-harming – that alone is a gift to the world. We can be reassured by that as we meditate.

This will help us to drop our clenching, drop our attachment to thinking, and drop the contraction away from the present moment, and instead allow us to be present – to be here, aware, now.

 

Message from Henry is taken from our May 2, 2017 Newsletter.
Image: Meditation by NatoPeriera, CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay.com

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