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Translated teachings of Master Patana

The Paradox of Meditation Techniques – The Hidden Depth of Meditation

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Meditation is often misunderstood as a technique, a method to be mastered. But in its purest form, meditation is not about doing; it’s about being. It’s about becoming a witness to your own existence, to the unfolding drama of life around you. Initially, yes, techniques are offered, much like training wheels on a bicycle for a child learning to balance. These techniques serve as a bridge to take you from your current state of constant mental chatter to a state of serene awareness.

Imagine learning to swim. At first, you might use floatation devices or hold onto the side of the pool. These aids help you get used to the water, learn the basic strokes, and understand how to float. But there comes a moment when you let go, and suddenly you’re swimming. The aids are forgotten; the action has become effortless. Similarly, meditation techniques are the floatation devices that keep you from sinking in the turbulent waters of your own thoughts. They are necessary in the beginning but become redundant once you learn to float on your own.

The paradox lies in the fact that meditation starts as an effort but culminates in effortlessness. In the beginning, it feels like you’re doing something, like you’re making an effort to sit still, to focus, or to breathe in a certain way. This is the stage where effort is your companion, but remember, it’s only a temporary one. It’s like revving up a car; initially, you need to press the accelerator, but once you reach a certain speed, you can shift to cruise control. The car seems to drive itself, and all you need to do is steer.

The ultimate aim is to reach a state where meditation flows as naturally as breathing, where no conscious effort is required. It’s like reaching a point in a musical performance where you no longer think about the notes; they just flow through you. This is the moment when you’ve crossed the bridge built by techniques. You’ve arrived at a state of pure awareness, where ‘doing’ has dissolved into ‘being.’

So, as you embark on the journey of meditation, remember that techniques are just the scaffolding to construct the edifice of your true self. Once the structure is sound and stable, the scaffolding can be removed. What remains is a monument to your own innate, unique, and individual awareness—a state of pure, effortless being.

Patana Org
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